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"Boston fans love my red hair, and when it started to thin, I felt like I had to give the people what they want!"

Brian Scalabrine
Boston Celtics 2008 NBA Champion

Hair Loss Isn’t Just Your Mother’s Side of the Family!

We’ve all heard the saying, “If you want to know if you’ll go bald, just look at your mother’s father.” It’s a popular belief that hair loss is solely determined by genetics on the mother’s side of the family. But is there any truth to this age-old myth? Let’s dive in and debunk this misconception once and for all!

Contrary to popular belief, hair loss genes can be inherited from both parents. While it’s true that the inheritance pattern of hair loss may differ between the maternal and paternal sides of the family, it doesn’t mean one side holds exclusive power over the fate of your locks.

The idea that hair loss is solely determined by the mother’s side stems from the fact that genes related to hair loss are found on the X chromosome. Since men inherit their X chromosome from their mothers, it was assumed that maternal genes played a more significant role. However, recent research suggests that genes from both parents contribute to the development of hair loss.

While it’s true that the inheritance pattern may be more apparent on the maternal side, the father’s side should not be overlooked. Studies have shown that a significant proportion of male pattern baldness cases are linked to specific genes inherited from the father’s side of the family. So, don’t forget to consider your father’s hair history as well!

It’s true that genetics can influence your predisposition to hair loss. The primary culprit is a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is derived from testosterone. Individuals with a genetic sensitivity to DHT are more likely to experience hair loss. This sensitivity can be inherited from either parent, not just the mother.

Hair loss is a complex issue influenced by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. While genetics do play a role, it’s not accurate to attribute hair loss solely to your mother’s side of the family. Both parents contribute to the genetic makeup that determines hair loss susceptibility.

So, the next time someone tells you that you’ll only go bald if your maternal grandfather did, kindly remind them that genetics and hair loss are much more intricate than that.

Dr. Matthew Lopresti

Chief Surgeon