• Question: why do some people go bald

    Asked by Anonymous to Stewart, Miriam, Marton, Laura, Kathryn, David on 13 Nov 2018.
    • Photo: Stewart Martin-Haugh

      Stewart Martin-Haugh answered on 13 Nov 2018:

      I don’t know too much about this, but let me tell you what I know.

      There are two types of baldness: male and female-pattern baldness. Neither is fully understood, but male-pattern baldness is much more common.

      It is thought to be partially inherited from your parents, but it’s not fully understood. It’s not an easy one like red hair or blue eyes.

      A story I really like: When Patrick Stewart played Jean-Luc Picard on Star Trek, a journalist asked the show’s creator (Gene Roddenberry) about baldness. The journalist asked: “Surely they would have cured baldness by the 24th century,” to which Roddenberry replied, “In the 24th century, they wouldn’t care.”

    • Photo: Miriam Hogg

      Miriam Hogg answered on 15 Nov 2018:

      It is mostly about your DNA, as Stewart said some people have the gene for male pattern baldness. However you can also get bald patches if you wear very tight caps or hats which can damage your hair through friction. You can also lose hair from chronic (long term) stress, although we aren’t sure why. Finally you can go bald when your very old as your hair follicles stop making new hair (maybe to save energy, I’m not completely sure)