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Lifestyle Factors That May Worsen Male Pattern Hair Loss: Twin Study

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Male pattern hair loss is the number 1 cause of hair loss in men. And, while this is a hereditary condition driven by your genetics, there may also be some lifestyle or environmental factors that can ultimately make your overall hair loss worse or better.

Since it can be difficult to measure just how lifestyle factors impact a genetic condition in individuals, twin studies are ideal for helping to sus out just how your lifestyle choices affect your genetic predisposition towards hair loss. Since, with identical twins, we know that the genetic makeup is the same, scientists can better measure how differences in lifestyle choices impact the (genetically) same head of hair.

In one study, 92 pairs of male twins were asked to complete an extensive lifestyle questionnaire while pictures of their hair and scalp were used to assess the extent of hair loss in different regions of the scalp.

Below, we will review what this interesting hair loss twin study reveals about how life choices can impact your hair.

Factors correlated with increased frontal hair loss

In this study, they found 2 factors that were correlated with increased frontal hair loss as compared to their twin. Frontal hair loss would be hair loss from what is commonly referred to as the “hairline”, generally in the front and center of the head.

  • Increased smoking duration
  • Presence of dandruff

Factors correlated with increased temporal hair loss

Temporal hair loss refers to hair loss from the temple area of the scalp at the sides of the hairline. In this study, 3 factors were found to correlate with increased temporal hair loss between the twin sets.

  • Increased exercise duration
  • Consuming more than 4 alcoholic drinks weekly
  • Spending more money on hair loss products

Factors associated with increased vertex hair loss

The vertex of the head is the portion of the scalp at the top back of the head. This is commonly also referred to as the crown of the head, and can be a common area where bald spots develop with male pattern hair loss.

In this study, researchers found 5 factors that were associated with increased hair loss from the vertex region.

  • Abstinence from consuming alcohol
  • Drinking more than 4 alcoholic drinks per week
  • Increased smoking duration
  • Increased exercise duration
  • Increased stress duration

Factors associated with increased overall hair thinning

Overall thinning has to do with hair becoming finer and thinner diffusely over the entire scalp, not necessarily confined to one portion of the head.

In this study, there were 5 factors that were significantly associated with increased overall thinning as compared to the twin counterpart.

  • A lower body mass index (BMI)
  • Having more children
  • Consuming more caffeine
  • Having a history of skin disease
  • Abstinence from consuming alcohol

Factors associated with decreased temporal hair loss

There were also a few factors that were associated with a decrease in hair loss from the temples. In the study, 3 factors were associated with more hair on the temples as compared to their twin.

  • Daily hat use
  • Increased body mass index (BMI)
  • Higher testosterone levels

Male pattern hair loss factors in twin studies: Bottom line

This is definitely an interesting study to look into to try and figure out how daily life choices can impact hereditary hair loss.

Some of the associations are commonly known as negatively impacting hair loss, including excessive alcohol use, higher stress levels, and smoking. So, if you are dealing with male pattern hair loss, you may find comfort in knowing that the progression is not entirely out of your control, and that you may be able to impact your hair (or avoid making things worse) by making healthier life choices.

However, some of the connections here are more surprising. Abstaining from alcohol altogether was shown to be associated with increased thinning in certain regions, and increased exercise duration was also a reported association. It is not fully clear why these connections came together, or just how extreme the exercise duration was in this particular study. In general, less alcohol use and regular exercise are good for your overall health, and likely for your hair health as well, so take this one study with a grain of salt.

Strut Health prescription hair loss medications online

While it appears that healthier lifestyle choices may be able to prevent hair loss exacerbations when you are already dealing with male pattern hair loss, it is unlikely that good choices alone will halt a genetic process in its tracks.

Many men opt for a multi-pronged approach that includes healthy lifestyle choices along with prescription medications that can help reduce DHT levels. DHT is a hormonal byproduct of testosterone which is a known culprit in the follicular damage that occurs with male pattern hair loss.

Finasteride and Dutasteride are prescription medications that are commonly used to help reduce DHT levels in men that are dealing with male pattern hair loss. At Strut, we offer oral and topical Finasteride or Dutasteride formulations that can be customized to fit your hair loss needs. Our customized topical formulations can also include Minoxidil, Biotin, and Tretinoin to provide a well-rounded approach to patterned hair loss that may provide more benefits than just one medication used alone.

If you are interested in seeing if a prescription hair loss treatment is a good route for you, simply choose your preferred medication and application, and complete a free questionnaire and image-based telemedicine consultation in under 15 minutes. Our U.S. licensed doctors will review your information and develop a hair treatment regimen tailored to you, if appropriate. Once your treatment regimen is developed and approved, it will be put together at a U.S. licensed compounding pharmacy and shipped to your front door.

If you have any questions or need dosage adjustments on future refills, simply contact our team and doctors with your free and unlimited follow-ups.

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