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"Can stress make your hair fall out?"
History of baldness on both sides of my family, but so far I'm still with a full head of hair (I'm 26). What could make my hair start falling out? Could stress cause it or is it all genetic? What about wearing a hat a lot?
Male pattern hair loss (also known as androgenic alopecia) is a condition that is fairly well understood. It is believed that a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (or DHT) is responsible. Unfortunately, we don't know why DHT does this. We do know that while DHT plays a very important role in male development, it is not as crucial when men become adults. There are also genetic components to the condition that seem to come from the mother's side. Thus, if your mother's brothers and/or your mother's father were bald, you have an increased chance of going bald. While it is possible (though unlikely) that stress or wearing a hat play a role, there have not been any studies to back up these claims. The good news is that we have medications that can help prevent or even help regrow hair when hair loss occurs. One such medication is called finasteride. If your hair is really important to you, then you can consider this medication in the future. When the time comes (hopefully it won't), you should schedule an appointment to see a dermatologist. This is the type of doctor that will be most comfortable with prescribing the medication and will know the latest research in the field. Good luck.
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