Lifestyle and Hair Loss in Identical Twins

Genetics have traditionally been thought to weigh heavily in hair loss in men and women. However, a study presented at the ASPS meeting in Denver in September by Dr. Bahman Guyuron demonstrated that external factors and lifestyle choices also significantly impact hair loss, particularly in women.

The study looked at 84 sets of female identical twins. Surprisingly, the strongest determinant was not genetic, but rather the marital status of the women.  Women who were divorced or widowed exhibited more hair loss than women who were married. Those with heavy alcohol consumption also had significantly higher hair loss in the front of the head.  However, those who had a couple of alcoholic drinks a week had significantly more hair in the temporal region of the head. Additionally, heavy smokers experienced more hair loss in the temporal area of the head.

A second study evaluated 66 male identical twins.  While the male study showed a stronger genetic link for hair loss in the front of the head, smoking, heavy consumption of alcohol, heavy sun exposure and dandruff resulted in more hair loss elsewhere on the head.  Additionally, hypertension, lack of exercise, and higher levels of testosterone also had a significant impact on hair loss.

Clearly, the genetic component of hair loss in identical twins would be expected to result in similar hair growth patterns, but as this study indicates, external factors such as stress and unhealthy lifestyle seem to also play a significant role.

Over the past 20 years, Dr. Ringler of the Hair Restoration Institute, located at the Center for Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery, has been conducting numerous clinical studies on hair loss and improving the growth and quality of your hair.  Our new product line of Hair Prescriptives® will be available exclusively in our office in early 2012.

If you would like to learn more about the causes and treatment for hair loss, link here for more information.

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