Don’t worry, he isn’t the only one. Around 50 million men are affected by androgenetic alopecia (baldness). That’s a lot of dads. In fact, baldness can affect some women as well – it just isn’t as common. But what exactly causes the Androgenetic alopecia?
It begins with hormones. Hormones are like the messengers in the body. They carry instructions from one part to the next and make sure everything is functioning properly.
If all your blood vessels were like a big highway system, then the hormones would be the delivery cars driving from one stop to the next, and bringing instructions along with them!
The hormones that contribute to your dad’s shiny head are called androgens. Androgens are a specific type of hormone that carry instructions about hair growth to the hair follicles, which are little pockets under our skin where hairs are made.
When hair follicles function properly, they grow each strand of hair for 2 to 6 years, wait a few months, and then let the strand fall out and start the process all over again.
When too much androgen hangs around, however, the hair follicles get overwhelmed and start to produce strands that are shorter and thinner in much briefer cycles. The space between the cycles gets longer too.
This leads to thinner and shorter hair – the kind of hair that begins to characterize baldness! Thinning can lead to bald patches and sometimes even complete hair loss.
Thanks for the great question from Connor, 8, and Parker, 6, from Watkinsville, GA!
By The Great Isabel Yates @isabel.grey.art, a superstar high school student in Raleigh, North Carolina. Isabel is committed to answering your burning questions! Just ask!
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