Male pattern baldness is the most common type of hair loss in men and affects about half of men over 50 to varying extents. This type of baldness is specific to males, so why do we show it in the app for females as well?
Our products BABYGlimpse and DNAPassport measure 284 genetic markers that have been associated with hair loss in males and report back a male pattern baldness "score" in the app. A higher score indicates the presence of more genetic markers associated with hair loss. Although the value of this score has not been associated with female-specific hair loss, females carrying these genetic markers may pass them on to male children. Men with more male pattern baldness-associated genetic markers may experience thinning hair later in life.
However, as with many traits, it's important to remember that both genetic and environmental factors play a role in whether a person experiences hair loss.
- Richards, JB et al. Male-pattern baldness susceptibility locus at 20p11. Nature Genetics 40(11):1282-4 (2008). doi: 10.1038/ng.255.
- Liu, F et al. Prediction of male-pattern baldness from genotypes. Eur J Hum Genet 24(6):895-902 (2016). doi: 10.1038/ejhg.2015.220.
- Hagenaars SP et al. Genetic prediction of male pattern baldness. PLoS Genetics 14;13(2):e1006594 (2017). doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1006594.