Just as the gods don’t always play fair when it comes to doling out the good looks – just ask Doug Pitt or Jim Wahlberg – they aren’t always kind to brothers when deciding on who will be susceptible to hair loss.
As a result, there are millions of families whose elder brother sports hair that Russell Brand would be proud of while the younger sibling is a little more Vin Diesel. Or it could just as easily be the other way round. Or brothers 1 and 3 could be blessed with hair straight out of Grease while brothers 2, 4 and 5 stopped needing to buy a comb in 1985.
Baldness is hereditary
The fickle finger of fate proves time and again that while Male Pattern Baldness is irrefutably hereditary at its core, it doesn’t mean we can predict with certainty who will be susceptible to it – even if a person comes from a long line of bald men.
Genetic hair loss happens as a result of an inherited sensitivity to a testosterone by-product named DHT.
So while you may well share some of your father’s DNA as well as your grandfathers’ on both sides – as well as DNA from the female sides of your family – it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will inherit the gene – or set of genes – involved in genetic hair loss. And even if you do, they may not be active which means that you could simply be a carrier of the relevant gene or genes in their dormant state, without displaying the associated signs of thinning.
Your brother’s unique DNA, being slightly different to yours, explains why brothers the world over can have totally different volumes of hair.
Liam versus Noel Gallagher
A case in point is the Gallagher brothers. The former Oasis stars, while wonderfully hirsute in their 20s, are now in their 40s, so it was no big surprise to see Liam Gallagher (43) with thinning hair around the temples and a receding hairline when he sported a buzz-cut last year. His big brother Noel, meanwhile, who is now 48, recently told the NME that his own hair was in great shape. “My hair is impeccable,” he said. “It’s not showing any signs of thinning at all.”
A year earlier, however, Noel told the Sun newspaper that his biggest fear was losing his hair. “I’d rather lose my songwriting ability than my barnet,” he said. “I’ve written loads of great songs, but it doesn’t work without the hairdo.”
Was Noel voicing his concerns because he’d started to see the first signs of hair loss? Were his more recent comments in the NME the proud words of a man who took preventative measures and sought help from hair loss treatments?
Twins study shows benefit of finasteride
It’s impossible to say, but what’s certainly true is that many hundreds of thousands of men around the world are using clinically-proven products to stave off Male Pattern Baldness. When caught early enough, a combination treatment plan can help to stabilise any shedding, promote regrowth and maintain the hair, without anyone else even noticing.
Although the components of every course are personlised to each individual, the only two medications currently MHRA licensed and FDA approved for the treatment of male pattern baldnes are high strength minoxidil, which is applied directly to thinning areas, and finasteride 1mg, a once-per-day tablet which inhibits the formation of DHT.
In 2002 a study using nine sets of male twins, where both brothers were affected by genetic hair loss, was carried out to investigate the efficacy of finasteride 1mg. Whilst one brother was given placebo pills, the other was given finasteride 1mg tablets and none of the participants knew which they had been given. After 12 months, almost 90 per cent of the men taking the true hair loss treatment noticed an improvement in their hair’s appearance and regrowth, with none reporting any adverse side-effects.
So if you’re the brother who seems to have inherited the family’s MPB genes and want to do something about it, there are options available. A hair loss specialist nurse will be able to diagnose your condition, level and pattern of shedding then make personalised treatment recommendations based on your specific needs.
The Belgravia Centre is an organisation specialising in hair growth and hair loss prevention with two clinics and in-house pharmacies in Central London, UK. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world’s largest gallery of hair growth comparison photos and demonstrates the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time to arrange a free consultation.