Hair loss is something that everyone experiences sooner or later, but some get it earlier than others. Losing hair prematurely can be traumatic. Because of that, there is an infinite number of products that claim to cure and reverse the problem. But what if you could find out the likelihood that you will experience hair loss so that you could prevent it before the symptoms even showed? Researchers in the United Kingdom have reportedly found a way to predict who is at risk.
More Genetics Linked to Hair Loss
According to the new study, British scientists say they found over 200 genetic markers linked to hair loss. More specifically, the study focuses on male pattern baldness. This type of baldness, also known as male alopecia, is the most common form of hair loss in men. Researchers believe this affects as many as 30 to 50% of men by the time they reach the age of 50.
The study in question, which was first published in the journal PLOS Genetics earlier this year, analyzed the hair growth of 52,000 men between the ages of 40 and 69 in the UK. The numbers: 32% of the men said they did not experience any hair loss at all. 23% said they experienced a little bit. 27% had moderate hair loss, and the last 18% said they were suffering from severe hair loss.
By looking into the genetics of all the men, researchers managed to pinpoint 287 specific genetic variations, located on over 100 different genes. Many of those were located on or close to genes that have been linked to baldness before. Some were found on genes that are known to cause graying of the hair.
Interestingly, 40% of the genes causing male pattern baldness were located on the X chromosome. You inherit that chromosome from your mother. By analyzing all these genes, researchers could also make a “scorecard” which predicts what risk a man runs for experiencing hair loss based on his genes. The hope is that in the future, this could be refined and used to prevent early signs of hair loss.
Preventing Male Pattern Baldness
Researchers are not sure there are any foolproof ways to prevent male pattern baldness without taking medication or having surgery as of now. But well-known theories state that stress and emotional trauma can cause hair loss by increasing the amount of hormones our bodies produce.
Hair loss and Stress
Male pattern baldness is connected to the male sex hormone androgen. So naturally, reducing your stress levels will also reduce the risk of suffering from the different symptoms that stress cause. You can reduce stress by practicing mindfulness and yoga. You can also cut down on work and make sure to get enough sleep. Minimize your exposure to negative people or experiences. Spending time in nature and exercising also contribute greatly to your mental health.
If hair loss has started, you can treat the symptoms by well-known medications like Rogaine, which contains minoxidil. This treatment comes in the form of a cream that you apply topically to the scalp. There are also medications containing finasteride that help with treating hair loss.
Prevent hair loss through your diet
You can even increase your own natural hair growth by eating the right food. Since hair growth depends on what happens inside of your body, it only makes sense that what you eat matters. Foods high in protein are really good for preventing hair loss, since protein is what makes up the hair. Eggs, fatty fish, beef, pork tenderloin, chicken and lentils are all good. Another general rule is to eat many greens and veggies. Kale, spinach, bell peppers, carrots and onion all promote healthy hair growth. Basically, you need to make sure you get all the vitamins and minerals that the body needs to keep producing hair. If you find it hard to get all the important nutrients daily, you can supplement your daily diet with a specialized hair supplement.
To sum up, hair loss may be inevitable. But if there is a way to find out whether you are at risk for premature hair loss, you can take steps to push it off for a little longer – many times in a natural and healthy way.