Researchers in Europe suspect that a gene passed down from mothers may be ultimately responsible for the development of male pattern baldness. Among the many esteemed scientists participating in the research is German genomics professor Markus Nöthen who believes he and his team have identified a specific gene variation that may explain some instances of male pattern baldness.
The X chromosome, which is passed down by men’s mothers, contains the gene variation. Consequently, a man may get clues as to the likelihood of his losing hair from looking at the men on the maternal side of the family.
It is common for people to assume that if a man’s father had male pattern baldness, his chances went up exponentially. But studies have shown that many times it is the genes from Mom’s family that are really to blame. Of course there are other factors that influence whether or not a man will have male pattern baldness, but genetics are at the top of the list of risk factors.
These German studies have shown that looking at a man’s maternal grandfather will very often indicate whether or not he will develop hair loss. Of course paternal genetics cannot be ruled out entirely, but it is more likely that male pattern baldness is determined by maternal genetics.
Other psychological factors can come into play here as well. High levels of stress in a man’s life will exacerbate any tendencies he may have to male pattern baldness, and it is important to try to keep stress levels as low as possible.
So don’t just go and blame Dad for your male pattern baldness; it could be that genes passed down from your mother’s side of the family are the real culprit.