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Myth: Bald men are more virile. 

May 23rd 2017 by Tony Maleedy.


Sorry bald men, but it’s not true. It was assumed that because the male hormone testosterone causes male pattern hair loss, a balding man must have high levels of it and so must be more virile than a man with a full head of hair. However, it is not so much the level of hormone which causes this type of hair loss but how the hair cells respond to it, and this is genetically determined.

The science bit:

It is not, strictly speaking, the male hormone testosterone that causes male hair loss. For this type of hair loss to occur testosterone has to be converted by an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase (located within the forming hair cells) into a much more potent hormone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT). It is the effect of this hormone which inhibits the growth of new hair cells, resulting in a finer hair (or no hair) being produced. This means that a man can have a very high level of testosterone but if he has not inherited the ability for testosterone to be converted into DHT then no significant hair loss will occur.

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