What is hair thinning and how does it ultimately get converted into baldness?
Firstly, there happens hair thinning.Then, there happens hair loss which at a later stage takes the form of balding.
Hair thinning being more common in men, has been directly linked with male hormone, testosterone. There is a popular belief that bald men have higher levels of testosterone.
Androgenic alopecia, scientific name used for male pattern baldness affects huge percentage of men. Hair loss happens due to shrinkage of hair follicles and its resulting impact on the growth cycle. Hair becomes thinner and thinner until there remains no hair at all and the follicles become dormant. Hormones and certain genes cause hair loss.
Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is the hormone behind hair loss. The hormone is made from testosterone by an enzyme called 5 alpha- reductase. DHT is found in skin, hair follicles and prostate. The action of DHT and the sensitivity of hair follicles to DHT is what causes hair loss.
‘It’s in your genes.’
It is not the amount of testosterone or DHT that directly causes baldness, it is the sensitivity of your hair follicles towards it. That sensitivity is determined by genetics. The AR (Androgen Receptor) gene makes the receptor of hair follicle that interacts with testosterone & DHT. If your receptors are particularly sensitive, they are more easily triggered even by small amount of DHT and hair loss occurs more easily as a result.
Age, stress and hair loss and other factors can influence whether you experience hair loss, but genetics play significant role. Men who have close male relatives with male pattern baldness have got a higher risk of developing baldness themselves.