How do doctors differentiate a genetic cause of hair loss versus other hair loss causes?

Doctor's Answers 2


Androgenetic hair loss is diagnosed primarily by its distinctive pattern (non-scarring, frontal-temporal recession) and duration (several years) in a male. A positive family history is supportive.

In females, as the pattern may not very distinctive, exclusion of underlying chronic illnesses such as thyroid disease, iron deficiency may be needed.

Hope this helps!

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What Is The Most Common Cause of Hair Loss?

Androgenetic alopecia, also known as male pattern baldness or female pattern baldness, is the most common cause of hair loss in both men and women.

It is thought that about 50 percent of Caucasian men aged 50 and above have some degree of hair loss, with this percentage being lower in females.

How to Diagnose the Cause of Hair Loss?

I would start by taking a complete medical history of hair loss, including the

  • Age of onset
  • The severity of hair loss.
  • Family history— a family history of close relatives with patterned hair loss would increase the risk of androgenetic alopecia.

A physical examination would follow where I would examine areas of hair loss for typical distributions seen in male and female pattern baldness, as well as examine the scalp skin.

Androgenetic alopecia is a form of non-scarring alopecia, therefore I would look out for:

  • Redness
  • Scaling
  • Hyperpigmented scalp skin

These symptoms may suggest other possible causes of hair loss.

Symptoms of Androgenetic Alopecia

Using a dermascope to examine the hair and scalp under magnification, some symptoms of androgenetic alopecia are:

  • The majority of follicular units only contain one hair,
  • The hair shaft varies in thickness.

Non-genetic Causes of Hair Loss

In addition, other common but non-genetic causes of hair loss can be further excluded through blood tests, or even biopsy, if necessary.

Do consult your doctor for a proper assessment, diagnosis, and management of the hair loss. Hope this helps!

For more information, read this article for the ultimate guide to Alopecia, or balding and hair loss in Singapore

Should you be seeking treatment for hair loss, you may also read this article on the complete guide to hair loss treatment in Singapore.

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Does the humid weather in Singapore causes hair loss?

Hi,Humid weather per se will not cause hair loss. Hair loss may be due to inflammation, hormonal-genetic factors, traction, poor nutrition, chronic illness, growth cycle abnormalities, etc which are not made worse by humid weather. If you are experiencing significant hair loss, do seek medical help to determine its actual cause so that effective treatment may be given to you. Hope this helps!

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