“You’re losing your hair. Well it’s hereditary!”
Men and women showing signs of ‘pattern balding’ often hear the above after seeking medical help. However, the phrase ‘It’s genetic’ is not entirely true.
While certain inherited genes may predispose men and women to ‘pattern hair loss’, not everyone with these genes will go bald.
To make matters more interesting, even if someone has hair loss related genes and are thinning, it doesn’t mean that baldness is inevitable.
Sufferers of hair loss can’t change their genes, but they do have some control to turn them ‘on’ or ‘off’.
‘Gene expression’ is the process by which information from a gene is used to maintain conditions in the body for healthy hair growth.
It is ‘Gene regulation’ (turning on or off the relevant gene) that gives the cell control over its structure and function. The amount of gene expression in some genes can have a profound effect on the functions of hair growth.
Good regulation of this gene expression is thus critical to what happens to hair growth for someone with the pattern balding gene.
‘Pattern Hair loss’ can be chronic and progressive. But people don’t have to express the genes associated with hair loss.
Even after people start losing their hair, they can influence their own gene expression to activate the genes associated with hair growth and deactivate the ones associated with hair loss.
What influences gene expression? The short answer is everything!
Toxins, alcohol, tobacco, pharmaceuticals, stress, sleep deprivation, poor diet and lifestyle choices are just a few.
Everything from the air we breathe and the water we drink, to the foods we eat and our mental health affects the way our genes express themselves.
If you want to minimise the risk of ‘pattern hair loss’, you first need to reduce your exposure to all those things what can trigger it, and then optimise your exposure to things that promote a positive gene expression (and new hair regrowth).
If you want to regrow lost hair you need to reverse the chronic conditions that cause hair loss in the first place.
That starts with our scalp environment, diet, lifestyle and even our attitude.
Gene expression – and your ability to change it – is the basis for what makes natural hair growth possible. Predisposition doesn’t mean predetermined.