Why isn’t the Stud Mullet bald?
Scientific findings continued
Some specific autosomal genes associated with male baldness include the RSPO2 (linked to hair growth in dogs), PGDFA (linked to hair follicle growth), and PRR23B (associated with eyebrow thickness). The most common X chromosome findings include the androgen receptor (AR) which is a well-recognised baldness related gene, as well as EDA2R and OPHN1. However, this X-chromosome analysis is limited in the fact that it was contained SNP’s only, more research is needed as this small sample cannot be representative.
Many of the genes mentioned are associated with hair development and growth, and therefore any impairment can easily lead to hair loss. Genetic variants with higher expressions of these genes instigate the suppression of hair growth causing the expressed baldness phenotype. Possessing a baldness gene does not necessarily mean that the genetically inherited trait is expressed. A carrier or a dormant gene can pass on the gene to his children without being bald himself.
Yet Steven Pinker does not show any signs of baldness
Hereditary hair loss is polygenic, so if several genes are involved, and there is a varying degree of expression, then it makes sense as to why one’s genome doesn’t completely define a person’s phenotype. Furthermore, the phenotype is not entirely down to genetics alone. A person could be genetically determined to become bald yet still show no symptoms due to the environment they were brought up in. Similarly, a man could be bald yet have none of the associate genes. Lifestyle, stress, diet, pollution, and even hair products all contribute to the extent of hair growth.
This is seen in Steven Pinker as he is genetically determined to be bald, so perhaps due to his environmental circumstances, his genotype is not expressed in his phenotype.
Why is there a stigma around male baldness?
Whilst we have some that rock the look, shaving their head from a young age, for many male pattern baldness causes emotional distress. Hair is associated with beauty, and the loss of it is associated with growing old and ‘becoming less attractive’. We see celebrities diverting away from natural aging through receiving botox and hair transplants and so there is a pressure to look a certain way. Many men feel that a woman will not find them attractive if they do not have a full head of hair.
Even if we are meant to be bald, it doesn’t mean we cannot intervene
Not only can we prevent environmental causes of hair loss through not smoking, having a sufficient diet and avoiding stress, we can also visit a hair loss specialist to receive advice. The specialist can establish the nature, extent and pattern of hair loss. Once it is concluded, they can recommend ways to regrow hair. For example, people can use male hair loss treatments and complementary hair growth boosters. And if you really feel you need it, you can receive hair transplants!
So, Steven Pinker successfully manages to avoid hair loss and flaunt his stud mullet!