View Full Version : What if I end up losing my hair?

December 8th, 2009, 02:19 PM
Hey everyone. Don't worry, I'm not losing my hair. I was just wondering if anyone has a big worry about if they may go bald sometime in the future. Its a big concern for me because my dad is bald. I have heard different things about it being dependent on your mum's dad, while other sources say its all about your dad's side. My dad was 18 when he started losing his hair, luckily I managed to get past that (I'm 20 now), but I do worry that some time in the future it may happen to me. Does anyone else think what they would do if the worst happened to them? Are there any things proven to prevent hereditary hairloss? I guess it is probably more of a problem for men, but any input would be interesting.

December 8th, 2009, 02:20 PM
Most of the men on my mom's side of the family have their hair, however, my father started partially balding sometime in his forties. I have no idea if I'll be able to keep my hair, but I'm damn well going to do everything in my power to try and do so. XD;

December 8th, 2009, 02:38 PM
DH is starting to lose his, mostly the the temples. There is hope for that because Minoxodil (I think it's called) works best on that kind of hairloss, stalling more than reversing hairloss.

To my knowledge (only research done for DH) you can only really use these things once you start needing them, not in advance. Until then I suppose it's all the usually healthy diet and so on.

As for the hereditary thing, who knows? I've heard lots of things, but your best bet is to just keep am eye on it yourself. Maybe every six months take a photo from the front and measure your circumference. If you see a definate loss look into treatments then.

I find it's all or nothing. Men seem to either start balding young or really old; hopefully you're the latter!

December 8th, 2009, 05:07 PM
My family's pretty good on the hair side. My grandparents on my mother's side still have hair, and only my dad's dad went bald.

My concern (as silly/unlikely as it may be) is that at some point I'd need to have head surgery for some reason, so they'd have to shave off all my hair. :shudder:

December 8th, 2009, 05:44 PM
I am worrying about that myself at the moment. With the reduction in nutrients in my diet coming up with my surgery, the loss of some hair is getting on my nerves. I am pumping up my protein at the moment and thinking about getting some Nioxin to help prevent too much loss, but I really don't want to lose too much hair to the point where I need to cut.

As for pure baldness... not really rampant in my family, at least not for the women. The men get it.

December 8th, 2009, 08:39 PM
I have a faded memory from high school biology about the genetics of baldness. I don't think it's your dad's baldness you should worry about, but like you said, your mom. Mom's get to pass on the baldness gene I think. I know a dad aged 60 with an amazing head of hair and his sons at 40 have receding hairlines.

Myself, I'm worried because of how bald my grandmother became. Well, not worried as such, but if I am lucky enough to be as long lived as she was, I expect to have a lot of scalp showing.

December 8th, 2009, 09:09 PM
I worry about it, and after a very rough year of medical stuff I've lost a LOT of my already thinnish hair. Nothing I can do about what I've already lost, but I do focus on protein in my diet and keep up on my vitamin intake so that I can (hopefully) regrow a lot of that lost hair...

December 8th, 2009, 09:32 PM
My mom has super-thick, curly, still mostly brown hair at 63. Her sister is almost completely bald now at 65.

I'm hoping I get my mom's version of that gene and not my aunt's, but you never know! I don't really worry about it. Nothing to be done, really, but wait and see.

ETA: And as to what I'll do if the worst happens? Pixie. If my scalp is clearly visible all over my head at 20 paces, it is to the barber with me.

December 9th, 2009, 02:39 AM
As far as I understand, the gene for hair loss *in men* comes from the mother's side. My maternal grandpa lost his hair in his teens; my brother was mostly bald by age 25. Luckily, he is a good looking man and when he shaves his head he looks just fine.

I think that shaved heads are attractive on most people and much better than a comb over. DH is nowhere near going bald (his dad, at 70, is thin on top) but says if he does, he will also shave his head.

December 9th, 2009, 02:46 AM
Baldness normally skips a generation, so the likelihood of you going bald is small, however if you have sons they are more likely to go bald.

For example my father had a full head of hair, yet his father was bald, both my brothers are bald as coots!

Your safe...keep growing!

December 9th, 2009, 03:01 AM
Huh. I remember reading that the "passes through the mother's side" was a old wives' tale, partially, at least. If I'm wrong (and I hope I am), almost all the men on my mom's side that are still living have all or close to all their hair. :p

December 9th, 2009, 02:12 PM
[quote=jasper;887130]I have a faded memory from high school biology about the genetics of baldness. I don't think it's your dad's baldness you should worry about, but like you said, your mom. Mom's get to pass on the baldness gene I think. [quote]

Oh I hope so, my granddad (mum's side) had a full head of shiny black hair when he died, he used vaseline on it everyday...maybe he was a secret lhc member lol

December 9th, 2009, 02:21 PM
Hmmm. IF I started to balding (I really hope I'm not!), I would wear wigs. Big, long expensive ones, close to my own hair type. And try to use Minoxidil and take hormones, perhaps...

December 9th, 2009, 10:13 PM
My grandpa has a full head of hair at 80, and so does my dad at 50, so I'm hoping it won't be a problem. But my other grandpa on my mom's side has been bald for quite a while, so we'll see I guess. If I do end up going significantly bald I'll probably go back to short hair and compensate with a massive beard ;)

December 10th, 2009, 06:43 AM
I'm quite concerned about losing my hair. All the men on my mum's side, (Dad, Granddad, Brothers) have gone bald by their 40s, on my Dad's side they have all kept a thick head of hair until old age. I have quite a high hairline, but my hair type and hairline is similar to my Dad's so I'm hoping I can keep it. If I did start going bald I would shave it all off short and grow a bread - I think that look is quite distinguished. :D

There is a section on the NHS website (http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Hair-loss/Pages/Treatment.aspx) that talks about hair loss, including male pattern baldness. It mentions to drugs, Finasteride and Minoxidil, which have been proven effective in slowing or even reversing hair loss in some men. Sadly, neither on available on the NHS. There are other drugs that have been suggested to help: Ketoconazole (which is used off-lable) is an antifungal/anti-inflammatory/anti-androgenic drug (perhaps there is a link there to Monistat? Just a thought... :) ); Dutasteride (similar to Finasteride) and Latanoprost (a prostaglandin analogue) and currently in development.

Male pattern baldness was originally thought to be controlled by an autosomal dominant mode of inheritance, but it is now known to be a genetically multifactorial trait (i.e. it's more complicated than "skipping a generation" or "if your dad's/mum's dad is bald you will be). Apparently, 40% of male pattern baldness cases are down to genetic predisposition based around the androgen receptors 5α-reductase type I and II. They are more highly expressed in the follicles of balding men and so antagonist drugs like Finasteride and Dutasteride that target these receptors are being developed. As for the remaining 60%, the scientists are working on that!

I got most of my info from Ellis, J. A. and Sincalir, R. D. [2008] "Male pattern baldness: current treatments, future prospects" Drug Discover Today; 13[17-18]:791-797. Unfortunately, you will need a login (such as Athens) to view that paper. :(

December 10th, 2009, 11:16 AM
I never worry about things that I have no control over. Whatever happens due to genetics is just nature taking its course. I figure, what can one do? :shrug:

That being said, I am often in meetings with co-workers who have lost most to all of their hair. I think to myself how lucky I am. :)

December 11th, 2009, 09:34 PM
Although I've got a few baldies in my family, I'm not really concerned about losing my hair. My primary concern, however, is that my hair will never grow to my goal length and I'll be stuck with this crappy head of damaged hair.

December 11th, 2009, 11:04 PM
I long ago decided I would not cut my hair short if I developped even serious balding.

That said, neither of my grandfathers had any balding atall, and they both lived into their late '70s. My father, OTOH, developped a bald patch at his crown at around age 30 something, but it didn't spread further until he was about 70. Even then, he doesn't really look like a bald guy, because he still has hair at the front of his head as well as all the way around, just not so much on top.

What worries me more however, is that he has already lived longer than anyone in the previous generation of my family did. He's now in his '80s. The same for my mum. I know life expectancy has improved, but it's almost like they are on borrowed time. Off topic, I know.

For men, MPB (male pattern baldness) is normally quite advanced by age 30 if the're going to go bald, but we all get it to some extent, i.e. essentially ALL men, or at least those with a normal hormone balance, do get some receding at the temples sooner or later. Those who will end up bald have really extreme receding in that area before they are 30, though, so I'm quite safe from that, as 30 is a long, long way behind me in the rear view mirror. This is something that the 20 something guys have to worry about, but not me.

There are (at least) two other types of balding that can affect men (and women), though. One of them is balding related to aging. This generally happens past retirement age, and tends to thin the hair all over.

Another cause is actually fungal. This appears as small round coin-sized bald patches. Anti-fungal cream can cure it, and doesn't need to be taken after it has gone away, which is different from treatments for MPB, which invariably have to be continued indefinitely. I got bald patches like this in my beard, and it all grew back when treated, although at first it was a lighter colour so still looked the same, but it did darken eventually, before it started going grey, LOL!

I think the patch at the back of my dad's head was actually fungal. He got a prescription that actually made it grow back, and bear in mind this was before any of the modern MPB treatments existed, but then we moved house and his new doctor refused to prescribe anything for it.

This was on the British NHS. It would certainly have been easier to switch doctors if he had been in the US, although he could still have done that under the NHS if he had really tried, but he didn't (OTOH, we're currently uninsured, so all is not sweetness and light in the land of the free and the brave). Then, when age related balding set in, it made his existing bald patch much more obvious.

So maybe when I'm about 70 (assuming I live that long) my hair will start to thin out (and it was never thick to start with), but I won't cut it short, so there!

I know, it's all about me, but hopefully there's useful info amongst my ramblings.

December 12th, 2009, 12:35 AM
In my family my mother and sister both have very thin, fine, straight hair that doesn't seem to grow all that much. My mothers sister (my aunt) however had very long waist length hair that grew very nice. Same with my mothers brother (my uncle) had very long straight hair back in the 70's (he was a hippie). On my fathers side, they are all Mexican and many family members have thick, curly and wavy dark hair although some of them have straighter hair, still it is on the thick side with a lot of body. I seem to have inherited my fathers side of the family's hair.

That monistat works great for hair loss and makes hair grow nice. If I ever started to loose mine I would definitely use it again. If that didn't work, I would buy a wig.

December 12th, 2009, 03:39 AM
I have been through a huge hair loss already to the point where you could see my scalp like a little old lady. I did cut to shoulder; but if it happens again I'll not. I think the shorter cut actaully accentuated the hairloss. At least when it was long, I could put it up and it looked halfway decent. It never looked good down. When it's short, it's always down, so no cutting for me!

My medical problems are such that I could end up having to take another medication similar to the one that caused that hairloss. The thought of that bothers me a lot. But since there's nothing to be done about it, I try not to let it worry me too much. (note the "try" ;))

December 12th, 2009, 04:41 AM
I have one brother with thick hair and one with thin/balding. My dad went mostly bald in his 20s. My mom's dad had *gorgeous* white silky wavy hair all his adult life (into his 90s) and *none* of us got that. Bummer. I expect my hair to thin out some more. :( For sure I can't do anything about it. My hair has always been thin and straight and stringy, it is better in an updo than down.

Rags, your hair is soft and lovely, and didn't look particularly thin to me. Like silk. I've seen it in person and was amazed. Made me think my hair was coarse!

December 12th, 2009, 08:55 AM
I noticed someone worried about surgery on the head... I had a tumor removed from my head, twice. I ended up with a very small scar that is well hidden in my hair unless it peaks out if I french braid and the sectioning hits right there. I was distressed at the time because they shaved a largish patch and I thought I would permanently lose that hair, but it mostly all grew back except right on the scar.

December 12th, 2009, 08:57 AM
I'd have to find something else to obssess over if I were to lose my hair. :cheese:

December 12th, 2009, 08:58 AM
By the way, for the guys worried about balding- I find a bald guy just as sexy as a guy with long hair! Just please, no comb overs. I know it isn't terribly helpful, but I wanted to chime in.

December 12th, 2009, 09:41 AM
DH decided a few months ago that his hair might be thinning and his hairline receding slightly. So we've been giving the 5% minoxidil a go. The generic is fairly inexpensive. And it has made a big difference, even though we weren't sure whether it was thinning before or not. In addition to no longer having slightly see-through hair on top, he's got tons of vellus fuzz around his hairline that's likely to turn into real terminal hairs in the coming months. (Oh, and ignore what you read about it working only if you have a bald spot forming in the back. It works on the whole head, just wasn't tested specifically for that. At least, it does on DH.)

The bottom line is that if you start losing your hair due to androgenic alopecia (male-pattern baldness), there are things you can do about it. There are perscriptions, there's minoxidil, and given that these are, for good or evil, "vanity treatments" that are of an ongoing nature, you can be assured that the drug companies will continue developing new and better ways of combating common forms of hairloss for years to come.