Is hair loss hereditary?

POSTED: 24 June 2014

Lots of people ask Crown Clinic's surgeon Asim Shahmalak if hair loss is hereditary.

You only have to look at the experience of the royal family to see that the answer is, in most cases, yes.

From Prince Philip, to Prince Charles and now to Prince William each new generation of the Windsors is experiencing hair loss.

There are even signs that Prince William's younger brother, Prince Harry, is thinning arond the crown.

It was previously thought that hair loss was more likely to be hereditary on the mother's side of the family.

Even here, this doesn't look good for Princes Harry and William - because their maternal grandfather, Earl Spencer, was also bald.

Now most hair transplant experts such as our surgeon Asim Shahmalak believe that the baldness gene can be passed down on both sides of the family.

That is not to say that if your father is bald, you will be, too. It's just that it is far more likely to happen.

It's not just the royals who reflect this trend. Look at Wayne Rooney and his father Wayne Senior - both had a very similar pattern of hair loss before Wayne Junior decided to address the problem by having two FUE (follicular unit extraction)  hair transplants.

Dr Shahmalak said: "Around half the men in the UK will experience some kind of hair loss by their forties. It's true that if you are father is bald, there is a good chance that your hair will recede too, often in a similar way to your father.

"Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Prince Wiliam have all experienced similar hair loss. Grey hair is also hereditary and can be passed down the generations.

"It was previously thought that baldness was a hereditary condition inherited from the maternal grandfather.

"However, it is more likely that both parents contribute to the likelihood of their offspring developing the condition, Androgenetic Alopecia. As such, is extremely difficult to say for sure whose genes will most affect your hair loss condition."

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