One in seven men has a genetic profile that will dramatically raise his chances of going bald at a young age, according to research that could lead to new ways of predicting and preventing hair loss.
Men who inherit two particular genetic variants are seven times more likely to develop male pattern baldness by their 40s than those who carry neither, a British-led team has found.
The discovery will allow young men to discover with much greater accuracy whether and when they are likely to lose their hair.
“Early prediction before hair loss starts may lead to some interesting therapies that are more effective than treating late-stage hair loss,” Professor Tim Spector, of King’s College London, who led the study, said in a news release. “It will encourage pharmaceutical companies to produce preventive lotions that might stimulate hair follicles before it’s too late.”
The findings are published in the journal Nature Genetics.
In a related study, Swedish researchers have found a gene in stem cells which can re-grow hair follicles on mice.
In a lab setting, the researchers were able to re-grow hair on dead eight-week-old mice, The Sun reported.
The team said the new hair follicles stayed healthy and continued to grow for up to 14 months.
They hope the new technique will eventually help millions of bald men.