Does baldness skip a generation?

Male-pattern baldness (MPB) is a genetic condition that “runs in the family.” If your father and uncles are all in varying stages of baldness does this mean you are destined to lose your hair, or does baldness skip a generation?

There is no easy answer to this question. As with many genetically inherited conditions it is possible for MPB to skip a generation, however, it is certainly not assured. MPB is dictated by complex factors and the risk of male pattern baldness can be inherited from either the mother’s side or father’s side of the family, although the genetic influence on the mother’s side is more prominent. Indeed, the primary baldness gene is on the X (female) chromosome. But your father’s genetic makeup can also cause MPB, since males carry both an X and a Y chromosome.

So, if baldness exists on either side of the family, then baldness may indeed be in your future. If your uncles on your mother’s side are bald and your father is not, chances are you will take after your uncles. However, you may be skipped over, luck out, and sport the Braveheart look into your 80s. The MPB gene can also skip siblings within the same generation, so that your brothers may get the Brad Pitt locks while you are stuck trying to rock the Bruce Willis look.

There is no way to tell what fate has in store, unless you are already showing signs of hair loss. If you notice thinning areas in the frontal or crown areas or temple recessions, then you are showing hair loss that is characteristic of MPB. Check where you are on the Norwood Scale, an illustration of the stages of hair loss patterns in male pattern baldness.

Chances are, if you are reading this, you are already displaying signs of MPB. It can be extremely demoralizing, but you can decide to do something about it, other than count the hairs in the hairbrush and the shower drain. There are many FDA-approved medical advances that help you keep the hair you have, and even if you think you are too far gone, chances are you may be a candidate for a modern hair transplant. The procedure usually takes a day, but the natural and 100% undetectable results last a lifetime.

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