There are several known causes of hair loss—some of them verified, some not. True enough, myths also circulate when it comes to matters such as hair loss. One persistent myth says baldness comes from the mother’s side of the family. Although a lot of experts already debunked the notion, this begs the question as to why there exists such as a myth, to begin with.
Although pattern baldness is a normal process of aging, men also tremble at the sight of a receding hairline, all the more, of an open patch on the top of their heads. Androgenetic alopecia or pattern baldness tends to run in the family. However, despite its strong polygenic nature, baldness is often thought of to be passed on by the mother’s side of the family.
A group of researchers at the University of Bonn studied 95 families with two or more balding male members. Researchers discovered that many of the brothers possess a common variant of the androgen-receptor gene on the X chromosome that men inherit from their mothers. This variant is believed to increase the effects of androgens, thus increasing the production of dihydrotestosterone or DHT (a testosterone metabolite).
DHT has always been known to cause androgenetic alopecia. The genetic tendency causes the hair follicles in the scalp to be sensitive to DHT formation as it blocks the bloodstream that carry the food and oxygen to the follicles. Thus, it is said that hair loss is usually inherited from the mother’s side of the family although the father’s side contributes as well but to a lesser degree.
To say the contrary, the genetic predisposition is found on the non-sex-related chromosomes or somatic chromosomes. This would rule out the myth, in effect. Therefore, the genetic tendency can come from either side of the family, or in a word, polygenic. More so, the baldness gene is dominant; hence, it only takes one gene on one chromosome to express the trait despite that there seem to be a lot of genes that influence the process.