Test To Predict Hair Loss - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Test To Predict Hair Loss

By Karen Abernathy - bio | email

It's typical for the average person to lose about 100 hairs from their head every day. What if you could find out if you were going to go bald,  before visible hair loss started? 

A new D-N-A test is giving those who want it, the power to see what their future holds.   

Dr. Alan Bauman, MD is a Board-Certified Hair Restoration Physician in Boca Raton, Florida. He says the new test is a major breakthrough.

"This is exciting because it's the first lab test for hair loss." 

And he says it's very simple. It starts with a saliva swab. The sample is then taken back to the lab where the D-N-A is analyzed. Researchers look for a genetic variation on the x-chromosome that's linked to hair loss. 

Tom Mastanduono decided to have the test along with his teenage son. 

"There's something psychological about having your hair. It's not totally getting old." 

It turns out his test results showed he is low risk for hair loss. Low-risk means you have an 80-percent chance of holding onto your hair by age 60. High risk means there's a 60-percent chance of severe hair loss by 40. Tom's 15-year-old son Eric wasn't so lucky with his results. 

"I can see here that I'm high risk. It's a bit shocking to find out at such a young age."

100 million Americans have hair loss -- about 60-million are men and 40-million are women. Doctor Bauman says the gene test puts the power of prevention in the patient's hands. 

"This just gives another piece of information and then you decide with your doctor what you want to do."

Drugs such as Finasteride and Minoxidil can help slow baldness and promote hair growth.

Doctor bauman says the test -- which is available for men and women -- costs less than two-hundred dollars and should be done through a board-certified hair restoration specialist. The results take two to four weeks.

Tom is low risk, but will keep getting hair preservation therapy. And high-risk Eric won't seek preventive treatment, yet.   

"I don't really care, like, right now. It's not of that much importance, because I have a full head of hair and it doesn't really matter that much."

But Eric admits his opinions on his appearance may change in the future.

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