B1 Intermediate US 49 Folder Collection
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Graham Flanagan: Look at that beautiful bald man.
He's oozing swagger and confidence.
He owns it.
But it wasn't always like this.
This is Rob. He's 33.
This is also Rob.
He started to lose his hair when he was about 20.
So, what happened?
Why did Rob go bald,
and what does it mean?
There's something about being bald and owning it.
I mean, look at all these bald icons.
Michael Jordan, Jason Statham,
his sidekick, The Rock.
But losing your hair is not something
you aspire to.
Commercial: If you're concerned
about your thinning hair,
call Hair Club for Men
and receive our free brochure.
Flanagan: In fact, there's an entire industry
built around fighting it.
Man: And remember:
I'm not only the Hair Club president,
but I'm also a client.
Flanagan: I asked a dermatologist
about why some men lose their hair
and if going bald is my destiny as well.
Jennifer Chwalek: So, when we say "baldness,"
we're usually referring to male-pattern baldness,
or androgenetic alopecia.
The hair follicle is slowly, over time,
becoming smaller and smaller,
to the point when it stops producing a full hair.
Testosterone is becoming converted
to dihydrotestosterone in the hair follicle
by an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase,
and when it attaches to the androgen receptor
in the hair follicle,
it causes the follicle to produce a smaller hair.
Flanagan: So, I want to show you
my friend Rob here.
Rob started losing his hair in his early 20s,
and, as you can see,
there's little to...well, there's none left.
So what is going on with Rob?
Chwalek: Well, Rob has what we call
androgenetic alopecia,
or male-pattern baldness.
This is due to several genes.
And some of the genes are early expressing,
and some susceptible individuals,
they start to lose their hair very young,
usually by age 30.
Flanagan: The fact that Rob is bald,
does that make him any less virile?
Chwalek: No. So,
it's a myth that hair loss or balding
is associated with virility in men.
Men who go bald don't have
abnormal levels of testosterone.
It's really that the hair follicle
becomes sensitized to the effects
of testosterone or androgens,
and it starts to create a smaller hair,
and eventually it stops producing hair.
Flanagan: So, what role do genetics play,
and is it true that baldness is inherited
from your mom's side?
Chwalek: The genetics of male-pattern thinning
and baldness is complicated.
We know that the androgen receptor gene
is on the X chromosome, which is inherited
from your maternal side, typically.
So, there are some studies showing
that having a brother
who expresses male-pattern baldness
might be more predictive than if your father
has male-pattern thinning.
Flanagan: Let's talk about me.
Chwalek: Mm-hmm.
Flanagan: I'm 37.
I've still got some hair.
Chwalek: Yeah.
Flanagan: But can you tell me what's going on?
Am I gonna go bald?
Chwalek: Well, do you have a family history
of any thinning?
Flanagan: Yes, I do, on my dad's side.
My dad, pretty much bald, his brother is bald.
I have a brother who has a very thick head of hair.
Chwalek: Do you think your hair has been thinning?
Flanagan: I think it might be, like,
in the front a little bit.
I don't really know what's going up top there.
Chwalek: Yeah, maybe a little.
Flanagan: Really?
Chwalek: Maybe a little.
So, androgenetic alopecia
is actually not an uncommon trait.
About 40% of the population
has some degree of thinning,
usually between the ages of, like, 20 to 40.
Flanagan: My wife, Janet,
she really likes my blond hair,
and if it were to go, that could be a problem.
So, how long do you think I've got
to keep some semblance of this?
Chwalek: I think you probably have a while to go.
I think you're gonna be OK.
The men who tend to go bald-bald
tend to do so by age 30, usually.
Flanagan: Based on what you see, my age,
what I've described about my family,
you don't expect my hair to just fall out
in the next, like, five years?
Chwalek: No, it would be unusual,
but you may notice, you know,
as you get a little bit older,
it may continue to thin slightly.
Flanagan: OK, that's a relief.
That's great!
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Why Some Men Go Bald

49 Folder Collection
Helena published on January 9, 2020
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