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A bald new fact: 1 in 7 men at risk

leefly.gifmark_e_dyer.jpgFor so many men, the inevitability of hair loss is a statistical possibility that shows very little remorse. In fact, 50 percent of men will develop male pattern baldness and about one third will be affected by the age of 45. The recent discovery of two genetic variants that dramatically increase the chance of hair loss in men may not make the prospect any better, but could lead to new ways of predicting and preventing hair loss.

In research conducted by scientists at McGill University, King’s College London and GlaxoSmithKline Inc, a genome-wide association study of 1,125 Caucasian men who had been assessed for male pattern baldness found two previously unknown genetic variants on chromosome 20 that substantially increase the risk of male pattern baldness. The findings were confirmed in an additional 1,650 Caucasian men.

“I would presume male pattern baldness is caused by the same genetic variation in non-Caucasians,” said Richards, an assistant professor in genetic epidemiology, “but we haven’t studied those populations, so we can’t say for certain.”

The discovery may now account for the similarity in hair growth between father and son as the genes on chromosome 20 can be inherited by both mother and father. Previously a gene on the X chromosome, inherited from the mother’s side, was proven to be linked to hair loss which explained why hair loss in men often reflects that of their maternal grandfathers.

“That’s where the idea that baldness is inherited from the mother’s side of the family comes from,” he explained. “However it’s long been recognized that there must be several genes causing male pattern baldness. Until now, no one could identify those other genes.”

If you have both risk variants found on chromosome 20 and the unrelated variant on the X chromosome, the risk of male pattern baldness increases sevenfold.

“What’s startling is that one in seven men have both of those risk variants,” Richards said. “That’s 14 percent of the total population!”

Whilst more research is needed before new measures to treat male pattern baldness are produced, there are still options available now. The Belgravia Centre is a world-renowned hair loss clinic with more than 30 years experience in treating various forms of hair loss, including male pattern baldness. There are currently two effective, FDA approved treatments for hair loss and are available from the centre.

Minoxidil was the first hair loss treatment proven to reverse genetic male (and female) hair loss and to be approved by the FDA. The formulations of minoxidil produced by the Belgravia pharmacy come in a 4 or 5% solution with medroxyprogesterone (MPG) added or in an extra-strength 12.5% cream with azelaic acid added. These work by increasing the blood supply to the areas that it is applied, which increases the nutrients delivered to the hair follicles and prevents shrinkage of the follicles, resulting in prevention of hair loss and re-growth of the hair in many cases.

The second FDA approved treatment is Propecia. This is a tablet taken orally and prevents the formation of DHT which causes hair follicles to shrink, therby causing the hair to gradually become thinner until it no longer grows.

Optional booster treatments are also available from the centre which aims to maximize results. These include the HairMax LaserComb, a proven, FDA cleared hand-held low-power laser device and Hair Vitalics, Belgravia’s daily hair growth natural supplement. Uniquely there is also the option of clinical treatment therapy. This stimulates activity in the scalp which further encourages hair growth and to keep the hair in good condition, making sure the pores are clear to allow healthy hair to grow through.

For a free consultation with a trichologist, message the centre or call on 020 7730 6666. Alternatively, you could take advantage of the mail-order hair loss treatment course anywhere in the world. Simply fill in an online diagnostic form and a trichologist from the centre will examine your form, followed by contact from one of Belgravia expert treatment advisors.

(Image courtesy of mark_e_dyer at flickr, some rights reserved.)

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