March 4, 2008, - 1:03 pm

Wanna Find Out If You’ll Go Bald?

By Debbie Schlussel

As I’ve remarked on this site so many times, one of the great things about America is the entrepreneurial spirit of so many brilliant fellow citizens. As in Israel, Americans invent so many new devices to make our life simpler and to give us information we’d never dream of obtaining for future health decisions.

You don’t see any of this in the Islamic world. The only thing they invent are new methods of barbarism. In that, their high tech capacity is limitless, but that’s it.

The latest invention is a DNA test for younger men to determine if they’re going to go bald. I can see why Muslims would never invent this, since Greater Hirsutia doesn’t really have a need. And who needs a test about whether their mustache will grow to Saddam-mustachioed. splendor?

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The DNA test isn’t too expensive, though experts disagree on its reliability in predicting whether men under 40 will hold onto their coiffures or go Kojak.

My question is, what do you do with the info if you’re a guy who learns you’re very likely to go bald? I suppose it means you approach the debate of “nature v. hair implants” early:

Young men who are worried about losing their hair can now take a DNA test that will determine their odds of going bald before 40.

HairDX, an Irvine, Calif.-based company that created the test, says the test searches for a genetic variant that 95% of all bald men share. Men who test positive for the genetic variant are at 60% risk of going bald before 40. The test also identifies whether a man has a less-common variant that means an 85% chance of not going bald by that age.

For $149, men can swab the inside of their cheek and send off the DNA sample to the company, which sends back results three to four weeks later that give all the hairy details about what is in store for their scalp. The test, released in January, is available on the company website and some doctors’ offices.

Decrying 99.9% of hair-loss products on the market as “scams,” company president Andy Goren says the DNA test provides a solid basis for when and how to seek treatment. . . .

Angela Christiano, an associate professor of genetics and development at Columbia University who is skeptical of the test’s reliability, says it is hard to pinpoint the cause of baldness because very few genes connected to hair loss have been identified.

Although HairDX analyzes one genetic variant for hair loss, other still-unknown variants play a vital role in determining baldness, she says.

“Picking one gene is a little arbitrary,” Christiano says. “There’s really nothing else you can look at, though. If we don’t know what the other 10 genes are, it’s hard to know what the contribution of this gene is.”

Spencer Kobren, founder of the American Hair Loss Association, acknowledges that the test isn’t perfect but still gave it the group’s endorsement.

“To me and other physicians, we really think for the first time there may be a good indicator of hair loss, and why not utilize it?” he says.

Kobren says men usually wait until they see signs of balding before taking any action, but knowing they are genetically destined to lose their hair might give them the jump-start they need to keep their locks.

Yet another sign of America’s follicularly obsessed times, but also its ingenuity and ceaseless creative inventions.

And, then, there is always the option of a hair transplant.

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10 Responses

“…Greater Hirsutia …” LOL!

dm60462 on March 4, 2008 at 2:39 pm

Anybody who has this problem, do what I do, and shave your head every morning, like with your beard. That way, the baldness is inconspicuous – in fact, you may even look younger.

Infidel Pride on March 4, 2008 at 4:08 pm

The main factor in causing baldness is heredity, and not much can be done about that. However, in some types of baldness, free radicals also can play a role, and good nutrition (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, limited poultry & salmon) can help some people in this regard. While good nutrition cannot reverse heredity, it can, in some people, reduce or slow the impact of baldness.

c f on March 4, 2008 at 4:22 pm

My dad is bald. my paternal uncles are bald. my paternal grandfather was bald. maternal grandpa had a full head of hair, and my mom has very thick hair. All of my male cousins on my mother’s side are bald. Here I am, at 35, still with a full, thick head of hair. I haven’t practiced the best of nutrition, so I don’t know how I’ve been able to keep my hair.

richardzowie on March 4, 2008 at 6:54 pm

The test is now for women too! I took it and I’m waiting for my results. For me, the test is worth it. Now, I feel that I am actively doing more vs. waiting for something to happen. I have tried to determine if my hair loss is due to stress, vitamin deficiency, etc, and soon I can rule in or rule out genetics. It may not be 100% but at least it will give me a clearer total picture!

ScaredHairless on May 27, 2008 at 2:49 pm

Just come across this page randonmly, who is this woman and why the random attack on muslims in the completely unrelated subject of baldness?

Guest on March 11, 2010 at 6:02 pm

Why are you so racists? I was really interested in the article but can’t get past your extremely racist comments

liz on June 24, 2010 at 7:39 pm

im 15 and very paranoid about the future of my hair, some of my uncles are bald my dad is going bald and my dad dad is bald but my mums dad wasnt. i dont want to go bald but ive got to face the truth will i go bald?

Tommy Savery on May 31, 2011 at 1:23 pm

Why is it necessary to start such an article with a blatantly racist comment? I don’t even understand how you can make such a broad generalization like that. You hardly even have to try to find contributions to society by muslims. http://muslimmatters.org/2010/01/30/cnn-muslim-inventions-that-shaped-the-modern-world/

Someone on March 7, 2012 at 2:47 am

What the hell. What are these random atacks? What a blonde she is! Lol muslims can only invent methods of barbarism. Well at the moment israelis are the barberic ones killing pallestinians…

Persason on July 31, 2012 at 7:45 pm

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