Male Pattern Baldness Risk Factors

There is no cure for male pattern baldness, but by knowing and watching out for some common baldness risk factors, you can better understand your chances of balding and, in some cases, take steps to prevent becoming completely bald.

Unfortunately, the two main causes of baldness are genetics and aging, which cannot be changed.

Baldness Risk Factors: Genetics

Genetic predisposition is not only one of the leading causes of baldness, but also one of the most easily identifiable baldness risk factors. Doctors don’t yet understand exactly how baldness is inherited, but many studies have shown that if you have a family history of male pattern baldness–either on your mother’s or your father’s side of the family–it’s likely you will develop it too.

Baldness Risk Factors: Diseases

Doctors have identified several diseases in particular that can be contributing causes of baldness. The following conditions are considered to be baldness risk factors:

  • Anemia, or iron deficiency
  • Diabetes
  • Diminished production of testosterone
  • Low vitamin levels
  • Malnutrition
  • Thyroid disease.

Prevention and early treatment of these conditions may help you avoid the hair loss that can result from them. Taking care of your health and maintaining a proper diet are a good first step.

Baldness Risk Factors: Medical Treatments

It’s not only diseases that can cause hair loss. In some cases, medical treatments and medications can cause you to become bald. Medical interventions that can increase your risk of hair loss include:

  • Chemotherapy, a common cause of temporary hair loss. Typically, hair will grow back after the treatment is complete.
  • Many prescription drugs have hair loss as a common side effect. Remember, however, that not all side effects affect all patients.

If you are concerned about the potential hair loss associated with a particular medical treatment, speak with your doctor.

Baldness Risk Factors: Other Factors

In addition, some lifestyle factors can be causes of baldness. Both high stress and poor diet can increase your risk of developing male pattern baldness, according to some studies.

Resources

Alai, N. and Rockoff, A. (2010). Hair loss in men and women. Retrieved February 23, 2011 from http://www.medicinenet.com/hair_loss/article.htm

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2010). Hair loss. Retrieved February 23, 2011, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hair-loss/DS00278

U.S. National Library of Medicine: Genetics Home Reference. (2011). Androgenetic alopecia. Retrieved February 23, 2011, from http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/androgenetic-alopecia