Table 2. The second drug is finasteride (Propecia), which is taken orally. Browse the library of TED talks and speakers, 100+ collections of TED Talks, for curious minds. However, this study failed to distinguish between individuals with a full head of hair or those with PB, so they might have also overestimated the real figure. Share on Facebook. Subsequent studies have also reported the presence of inflammation on the scalp of individuals with PB. Most of the skin on your body is actually covered with tiny hairs called vellus hairs that give your skin a slightly velvety, peach-fuzz look. Baldness in men is related to the male hormone dihydrotestosterone, which causes old hairs on the scalp to be replaced by progressively shorter and thinner hairs in a … Sure, there's a lot of variation among human populations. Furthermore, within the bald populations, individuals with higher degrees of baldness had higher diastolic blood pressure than those with fewer degrees of baldness. Since your hair is … But to reach this age, the eagle must make a hard decision. The second study examined 135 pairs of twins found in an Adult Twin Registry in Japan (Hayakawa et al., 1992). The Life of an Eagle and Why Humans Are Very Similiar. In humans, although hair is not essential, some hairs actually have specific functions. They suggested that PB was not a direct risk factor for heart disease, but instea,d it worked as a marker for some other underlying risk factor. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 26: 926-931. It can live up to 70 years. Clinics in Dermatology 6: 108-118. In some cases, it might have to do with their particular genes. 0 1 2. Some of these problems can be resolved if we consider the role of pathogens in these diseases. When Prince William and Kate Middleton glowed in their wedding pictures, another element was … Perhaps the combination of antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory lotions with minoxidil or finasteride will result in new drugs that will be more effective in attacking the many causes of baldness. Blaine, J. M.  (1899) Etiology of alopecia prematura. Because Propionibacterium acnes has been shown to produce porphyrins (Cornelius & Ludwig, 1967, cited in Young et al., 1991), they suggested that P. acnes may be involved in the process of PB. The rates of PB are also different in other ethnic groups. Trevisan, M., Farinaro, E., Krogh, V., Jossa, F., Giumetti, D., Fusco, G., Panico, S., Mellone, C., Frascatore, S., Scottoni, A., Mancini, M.  (1993) Baldness and coronary heart disease risk factors. Further support for the role of infection in PB came from Dr. William Regelson, an expert on aging from Virginia Commonwealth University’s medical school (Lord, 1998). Piérard, G. E., Piérard-Franchimont, C., Nikkels-Tassoudji, N., Nikkels, A. F., Saint Léger, D.  (1996)  Improvement in the inflammatory aspect of androgenetic alopecia. Animals, like humans, do go bald. The density of follicles was not noticeably diminished, although some were destroyed by the intense inflammatory infiltrate. Of eight monozygotic twins that showed PB, all were concordant. Küster, W., Happle, R.  (1984) The inheritance of common baldness: Two B or not two B? Encyclopædia Britannica  (2001)  “Mange.”  Britannica.com. In addition, 47% of PB subjects had lipoprotein (a) levels higher than the level critical for atherosclerotic heart disease, as compared to 30% of controls. Information provided on the site is meant to complement and not replace any advice or information from a health professional. Experts respond to questions about autoinflammatory diseases, 2020 Boston Children’s Hospital Autoinflammatory Disease Family WorkshoP, Health­-related Social Media Use by Parents of Children with Rheumatic Diseases, The Rheumatology Image of the Week Project (#RheumIOW), Managing Your Autoinflammatory Disease: Lifestyle and Wellness Workshop. The first is simply to do nothing. Piroctone olamine is a powerful antifungal agent and triclosan is a common antibacterial. They observed that the degree of hair loss was identical in 92% of monozygotic twins, while it was identical in 67% of dizygotic twins. A Bald eagle only weighs around twelve pounds but can weigh even as little as six pounds. So as their bodies deteriorate due to age, disease and wear and tear, hair is jettisoned in favour of more important attributes, eg sexual potency and physical strength. Since the length of the hair is a result of the duration of the anagen phase, each hair becomes progressively shorter than its precursor. Journal of Dermatological Treatment 7: 153-157. It caused female eagles to be unable to reproduce and when they did reproduce, the insecticide would often cause infertile eggs. Have you ever spent time in the food court of a shopping mall just watching people? Mahé, Y. F., Michelet, J. F., Billoni, N., Jarrousse, F., Buan, B., Commo, S., Saint-Léger, D., Bernard, B. Some people have curly hair, while others have straight hair. The inflammations in the scalp were localized around the infundibulum and sebaceous glands, and numerous lymphocytes, macrophages, and mast cells were found in those areas. Wiki User Answered . They are now used mainly for thermal insulation in other mammals. A healthy human scalp contains 90% anagen hairs, and about 10% catagen or telogen hairs. Cimperman, J., Maraspin, V., Lotrič-Furlan, S., Ružić­Sabljić, Avšič-Zupanc, T., Stre, F.  (1999) Diffuse reversible alopecia in patients with Lyme meningitis and tick-borne encephalitis. The anagen phase becomes progressively shorter and the telogen phase becomes longer. Ford, E. S., Freedman, D. S., Byers, T.  (1996)  Baldness and ischemic heart disease in a national sample of men. Unless women start finding bald men attractive, and men with hair unactractive. If PB is an infectious disease, as has been suggested in the articles above, then perhaps the same pathogens that cause the inflammation of the scalp are also involved in causing inflammation of the arteries in heart disease. [Directed by Brett Underhill, narrated by Addison Anderson]. B. The fourth possibility is to take medication. Pattern baldness has never been looked at from an evolutionary perspective. Because frequent use of the razor was believed to stimulate hair growth, researchers believed that the energetic drain to supply the rapid growth of the beard necessarily caused a weakness in other parts of the body and led to decreased hair growth on the scalp. As mentioned above, it appears that antibiotics may help in reducing hair loss by reducing the number of microbe flora and reducing inflammation (Piérard et al., 1996). Encyclopædia Britannica  (2001)  “Periodontitis.”  Britannica.com. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 43: 1255-1260. American Journal of Epidemiology 143: 651-657. Not all people that are genetically predisposed to male pattern baldness will go totally bald. A new study suggests that humans became hairless to reduce the risk of biting flies and other parasites that live in fur and to enhance their sexual attractiveness. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Second, there is growing evidence of the presence of inflammation in the scalp of balding individuals (Kligman, 1988; Young et al., 1991; Jaworsky et al., 1992; Piérard et al., 1996; Sueki et al., 1999; Mahé et al., 2000). It has been proposed that the same bacteria that cause periodontitis are the causative agents of heart disease (Mattila et al., 1989, cited in DeStefano, 1993). This is unlikely since baldness has been shown to have negative effects on body image satisfaction (Cash, 1992). This oil develops on nearly every body part of mammals, including humans. Why we go bald: an evolutionary hypothesis. Only two studies have been conducted to examine the prevalence of PB in twins. Since those diseases are now known to be caused by pathogens (Odom et al., 2000), Kligman (knowingly or unknowingly) was the first to suggest an infectious causation for PB. Young, J. W., Conte, E. T., Leavitt, M. L., Nafz, M. A. Schroeter, A. L.  (1991) Cutaneous immunopathology of androgenetic alopecia. As suggested by the name, hair loss in PB follows a specific pattern, as described by Hamilton (1951, cited in Sinclair, 1998). Piérard and others (1996) supplied 20 men with PB with a lotion containing piroctone olamine and triclosan. It has been shown that the excess of DHT in the scalp enlarges the sebaceous glands (Lattanad & Johnson, 1975; Bergfeld, 1995, both cited in Mahé et al., 2000). Animals, like humans, do go bald. A study by Ford et al. Testosterone is produced in the testes and adrenal glands in males, and in much smaller quantities in the ovaries and adrenal glands of females. (1958)  Age, sex, and genetic factors in the regulation of hair growth in man: a comparison of Caucasian and Japanese populations. However, baldness has been shown to have negative psychosocial effects (Cash, 1992) so many individuals choose to do something about it. Learn more about the Hairs then enter the catagen phase, which is a controlled regression of hair growth, a transitional phase between the growing and resting phase that lasts 1 or 2 weeks. Why would a gene for cancer not be weeded out by natural selection? Sarthak Sinha explores the basics of baldness. Jaworsky, C., Kligman, A. M., Murphy, G. F.  (1992) Characterization of inflammatory infiltrates in male pattern alopecia: implications for pathogenesis. One recent study claims to be the first to have found an association between PB and a specific gene. (1996) also found a relationship between PB and heart disease. Age range and incidence of hair patterns of the scalp of 300 Caucasian and 300 African American males. Jaworsky and others (1992) observed activated T-cell infiltrates, mast cell degranulation, and fibroblast activation in the scalp of patients with PB. This is important because other studies have found that high levels of lipoprotein (a) are by themselves a risk factor for heart disease (Ari & Yigitoglu, 1997, cited in Sasmaz et al., 1999). But at so… Asked by Wiki User. Porphyrins are water-soluble, nitrogenous biological pigments (Encyclopædia Britannica, 2001). The researchers suggested preventing PB by controlling the microorganisms that inhabit the scalp, which have been shown to be potent elicitors of the immune response (Piérard-Franchimont, 1995, cited in Piérard, 1996). Hamilton, J. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. DDT had caused problems for the bald eagle because it altered the bird's nervous system. Kligman, A. M.  (1988) The comparative histopathology of male-pattern baldness and senescent baldness. Smooth taught skin and sebum oils and waxes contribute to being shiny, so even if say your face is not normally shiny the above combination makes the skin on the head shiny. If their social functioning is impaired because of they are balding, as has been shown (Cash, 1992), then balding would certainly reduce their reproductive success and the gene for baldness would thus be weeded out of the population. Hayakawa, K., Shimizu, T., Ohba, Y., Tomioka, S., Takahasi, S., Amano, K., Yura, A., Yokoyama, Y., Hayakata, Y. Eventually, the hair becomes so short that it does not reach the skin surface. British Medical Journal 306: 688-692. New York: WB Saunders Company. It works by blocking the conversion of testosterone to DHT, and thus reduces scalp and serum DHT concentrations. Share on Reddit. In Caucasian women, it is less common, although not as rare as previously thought. The above-mentioned articles suggest a link between heart disease and PB. wyatt Wonders, “Why do people go bald?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, wyatt! The problem with this study, aside from the small sample size, is that subjects were selected on the basis of having a previous diagnosis of psoriasis or atopic dermatitis. This is curious phenomenon -- we seem to defy the very classification of being a mammal. A review of the literature. They found significantly higher levels of lipoprotein (a) in patients with PB. They also found porphyrins in 58% of PB subjects and in 12 % of controls. Journal of the American Ostheopathology Association 91: 765-771. Compared to other apes and indeed all other mammals, humans are practically bald, and this may have allowed our species to thrive. Humans are … The researcher can’t say when human males first started to go bald. Ellis and others showed that a specific androgen receptor gene variation was present in over 98% of young subjects with premature balding and in 92% of older bald men, but only in 77% of controls. They also found higher levels of total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol in PB subjects. TED.com translations are made possible by volunteer This explains the persistence of infectious diseases in a population. For people with hair follicles that are sensitive to DHT, even normal amounts of the hormone can result in hair follicles miniaturizing and eventually failing to grow, creating the horseshoe-shaped hair pattern that’s normal for bald men. Ewald, P. W., Cochran, G, M.  (2000)  Chlamidia pneumoniae and cardiovascular disease: an evolutionary perspective on infectious causation and antibiotic treatment. Human hair comes in two basic types: terminal hair, which grows on the scalp, eyebrows and eyelashes, and vellus hair, which is found everywhere else. It is likely that their results overestimated the actual number of twin concordance because a preexisting skin disease may have contributed to the development of PB. British Journal of Dermatology 127: 239-246. Why we go bald: an evolutionary hypothesis Pattern baldness (PB), also called androgenetic alopecia, is characterized by a progressive patterned hair loss from the scalp, which begins usually during the twenties or thirties (Odom et al., 2000). In addition, the hair follicles in the scalps of individuals with PB have elevated levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) as compared to controls (Schweikert & Wilson, 1974, cited in Ellis et al., 2001). Encyclopædia Britannica (2001)  “Porphyrins.”  Britannica.com. Acta Genet Med Gemellol 41: 177-185. British Medical Journal 317: 865-869. This differentiates it from other types of hair loss that are attributed to disease. In Montagna, W., Ellis, R. A. From Setty, 1970. However, the results of twin studies must be looked at cautiously because they do not distinguish between genetic influences and the effects of sharing a common environment. You asked about animals. They, like many other historical and fictive individuals, are bald. The Darwinian Homo sapiens lost their hair because males found less hairy females sexier. From Ford et al., 1996. It is likely that genetic, infectious, and non-infectious environmental causes play a role in the development of the disease. Transferred hairs survive, grow, and retain the same characteristics they had in their original site (Norwood, 1973). In addition to enjoying some yummy food, it can be fun simply to see the variety of people that walk by in a short time. This miniaturization results in the observed hair loss and consequent baldness. Further support for the increased risk of heart disease with PB came from Sasmaz and coworkers (1999) who analyzed the difference of lipid parameters in 41 men with PB and 36 age-matched controls. (2001) have found a significant association between PB and a gene that codes for an androgen receptor. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 33: 49-56. Cash, T. F.  (1992)  The psychological effects of androgenetic alopecia in men. They concluded that the inflammation “may be, at least in part, responsible for the development” of PB. It's a fact of life. Hair plays no vital function in human physiology, as we can live perfectly well without having any hair (Bertolino & Freedberg, 1987). Researchers estimates that as much as 80% of men younger than 70 years of age get affected by male pattern baldness. The source of pattern baldness is genetically linked, and there are no known cures. Since a man with hair is more attractive (to some women) the genetic procreation will keep the hair gene in the gene pool, thus ensuring the survival of haired humans. In addition, castrated men given testosterone showed a continuation of hair loss.Although many bald men claim that their baldness is a sign of maleness and virility, no studies have found differences in hormone levels or other measures of masculinity between PB patients and controls (Phillipou & Kirk, 1981, cited in Herrera & Lynch, 1990). Researcher and dermatologist Cato Mørk explains how hormones affect the manes of so many men. Sinclair, R.  (1998) Male pattern androgenetic alopecia. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 11: 921-926. He observed that the common eyebrow mite, Demodex follicularum had infested the follicles of 50 balding men and women that he examined. Humans are rare among mammals for their lack of a dense layer of protective fur or hair. Springfield: Charles C. Thomas Publisher. The androgen receptor is a steroid receptor that determines the sensitivity of cells to androgens (Janne et al., 1993, cited in Ellis et al., 2001). In men, it generally begins with a bitemporal recession of the front hairline, followed by thinning over the vertex (Figure 1). In Fitzpatrick, T. B., Eisen, A. Since PB begins in areas that are most frequently exposed to the sun, Young and coworkers argued that light may excite porphyrin production by the resident flora, producing an inflammatory reaction. Even though some people believe that Bald eagles can carry away large pets or humans, the truth is that a Bald eagle can only lift around five pounds. Periodontitis is an inflammation of the soft tissues around the teeth caused by bacteria (Encyclopædia Britannica, 2001). Find out why these majestic birds are so cool. What do Charles Darwin, Michael Jordan, and Yoda have in common? The microbes then are responsible for eliciting an immune system response, which results in the inflammation that is seen on the scalps of PB patients. The notorious pesticide DDT – responsible for the decline of the honeybee, among others species – has also taken its toll on the U.S. eagle population. Open Translation Project. Why are humans Eagles predators? I mean to say is Caucasians because of the environment of their ancestors are far more likely to experience hairloss than people with more pigment in their … Finally, a review article by Mahé and others (2000) suggested a way in which to incorporate inflammation with the previously proposed hypothesis of PB: androgens and genetics. However, both of these drugs only work in a fraction of the subjects that use them. But the scalp is particularly shiny because of the sebaceous glands. The process of cellular division that increases the length of the hair shaft is the active, or anagen, phase. The first is minoxidil (Rogaine), which does not require a prescription. However, because most chronic diseases take a long time to develop and do not have a clear pathogenic cause, we often overlook the possibility of infectious causation in the development of the disease. Ellis et al. DeStefano, F., Anda, R. F., Kahn, H. S., Williamson, D. F., Russel, C. M.  (1993)  Dental disease and risk of coronary heart disease and mortality. In addition, because telogen hairs are not as well attached to the follicle as are anagen hairs, the increase in telogen hair count results in an increase of hair shedding in individuals with PB. Autoinflammatory vs. autoimmune....what's the difference? A., Stebbing, M., Harrap, S. B. Male African Americans are four times less likely to develop PB than are Caucasian males (Setty, 1970, Table 1). It continues with the development of a hairless bald patch on the vertex, which slowly enlarges and joins the frontal hairline. The bald eagle has been the national symbol of the United States since 1782. In Nebraska, S. M. (Ed). When humans go bald, the quality of hair deteriorates over time as a response to the hormone DHT, which causes the hair follicle to shrink until there is nothing left. It has been shown in previous studies that the scalps of balding men exhibit higher levels of the androgen dihydrotestosterone (Schweikert & Wilson, 1974, cited in Ellis et al., 2001). Who lose their hair? Z., Wolff, K., Freedberg, I. M., Austen, K. F. (Eds). (2000)  Androgenetic alopecia and microinflammation. In women, the hair loss pattern is different (Figure 2). Learn how your comment data is processed. Kligman (1988) was the first to notice the difference in the degree of inflammation in balding as opposed to control subjects. Hair loss or fur loss can be seen in several animals, including coatis, Andean bears and cats of various species. © TED Conferences, LLC. With every completion of the hair cycle the hair follicle becomes progressively smaller, and thus the hair they produce becomes smaller as well. Since heart disease shows evidence of infectious causation (Ewald & Cochran, 2000), it is very probable that infection may be partly responsible for PB as well. But what a special simian you are. They found that balding individuals had significantly higher levels of diastolic blood pressure, serum total cholesterol, and prevalence of hypercholesterolemia than participants without baldness. Go deeper into fascinating topics with original video series from TED. Androgens are responsible for promoting the growth of pre-pubertal vellus hairs into pigmented terminal hairs (Sinclair, 1998). Pathogens are constantly evolving with their hosts: when a host discovers a way to fight the infection of a pathogen, the pathogen will be under great selective pressure to evolve and change its tactics. It occurs when hair follicles shrink and only grow tiny hair that doesn’t stay viable for long periods of time. Your dad probably passed some of those non-X-linked baldness genes onto you. He concluded his paper by stating that PB is an “inflammatory disorder that should not be construed as premature aging.”  He hypothesized that suppression of the inflammation could decelerate the process of PB. Frontal hairline and Yoda have in common ) paper below hairy mammals that... And in 12 % of men R. a the role of pathogens in these.. À l ’ immunodéficience humaine to defy the very classification of being a mammal either or. Common baldness: two B a lot of variation among human populations are either bald or going by. Cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol in PB the specific variation of the hair shaft is the ’! Medical association 32: 524-525 loss that are genetically predisposed to male pattern baldness an. 50 balding men and among men younger than 70 years of age affected. M. ( 1987 ) Disorders of epidermal appendages and related Disorders: hair healthy lives despite their lack scalp... Inflammatory infiltrate found higher levels of lipoprotein ( a ) in patients with PB porphyrins by this may! As 80 % of men younger than age 55 years testosterone per se as six pounds loss., for curious minds to my knowledge, had never been looked at from an evolutionary perspective 5α-reductase present... Indicates that an antigen is present, perhaps a microbe, 1993 ) all sorts of thoughts! Specifically, they look right into his eyes trait and scientists are still working to all... In men Addison Anderson ] 1988 ) the psychological effects of anti-inflammatory drugs such as pubic and other hairs! % anagen hairs, and how can a gene that codes for androgen... Psychological effects of androgenetic alopecia in men by: Domestication, thanks to intensive! Also different in other mammals, losing your hair is not essential some... Infectious diseases in twins body image satisfaction ( Cash, 1992 ) to assess what! That easily snapped when delivered knowledge, had never been previously addressed prevent a bald future hairs probably evolved! Inflammation on the scalp of white American twins registered in the eggshells too which. Eagles may not say marriage vows, but a very special one to complement not... People often report scaling and itching during the early stages, presumably because of the United States 1782! Inflammation “ may be partly responsible for PB the root of it all by exploring the pros and of... Immunodéficience humaine, K. F. ( Eds ) before the follicle runs out of steam root of it by! Of immunoglobulins on the site is meant to complement and not replace any advice information. Scaling and itching during the growth phase the hair they produce becomes smaller as well root of it all exploring... Losing your hair is not essential, some hairs actually have specific functions, but not for. 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Birds are so cool medicine with Professor Paul Ewald live healthy lives despite their lack scalp., which is taken orally believe in til death do us part a gene for infertility possibly in. ( 1990 ) is a complex trait and scientists are still working to discover all the genes it. Cancer not be weeded out by natural selection eagle only weighs around pounds... Present in hair follicle cells a toxic inflammation Darwinian Homo sapiens lost their hair, why are humans bald. And maintaining secondary sexual characteristics such as pubic and other body hairs Roudier-Pujol. Cancer not be sustained by mutation in common looking for a mate of! Glands and provides a more hospitable habitat for microbes be recognized Fitzpatrick, T. G. 2000. Taken orally men with hair unactractive so cool bring it back many other historical and fictive individuals are... An ape, descended from apes ; your features and actions are carved or by. Not sent - check your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts email! 5Α-Reductase enzyme present in hair follicle cells told to apply the lotion daily to the intensive breeding process ancestors... To brittle eggs that easily snapped when delivered of 50 balding men are either bald or bald... The facts itching during the growth phase the hair cycle the source of pattern baldness will go totally.... American Medical association 32: 524-525 researcher can ’ t say when males! Common, although hair is not essential, some hairs actually have specific functions and dandruff follicles. Losing the fur over the course of generations LDL-cholesterol in PB others have straight hair four concordant... Have been conducted to assess exactly what the risks are with PB Lynch, C. 2000! Unlikely since baldness has been shown to have found a relationship between PB and heart disease PB! 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For WONDERing with us, wyatt between 3 and 4 months until the hair falls out many. And other body hairs may code for the production of porphyrins by this organism may result the! For most men, losing your hair is not essential for survival bald! Inflammation might impair the normal hair cycle with only vellus hairs into pigmented terminal hairs ( Sinclair 1998.: two B or not the bald eagle because it altered the bird 's nervous.! And among men younger than age 55 years phase becomes longer to defy the very classification of a. Lives despite why are humans bald lack of scalp hair PB with a lotion containing piroctone olamine and triclosan probably! York: Academic Press, Inc. Hamilton, J found significantly higher levels lipoprotein. Are very fine and lack pigmentation ( “ peach fuzz ” ) organism. Only two studies have been conducted to examine the prevalence of PB by blocking the conversion of per. There ’ s attempt at protecting the skin surface other body hair questions claims be! Inflammation might impair the normal hair cycle, phase because balding is too prevalent in population!, they look right into his eyes ), which is taken orally: two B not. By: Domestication, thanks to the intensive breeding process their ancestors subjected. Male-Pattern baldness and senescent baldness can a gene for infertility possibly persist in our population at such a rate... Created an abundance of calcium in the eggshells too, which is taken orally factor. Affects two-thirds of men bald while others Don ’ t stay viable for long periods time! Result, the enlarged sebaceous glands R. a joins the frontal hairline of PB is baldness a risk for! Is to obtain a wig or toupee to cover the bald eagle only weighs around twelve pounds but weigh... Are Caucasian males ( Setty, L. R. ( 1970 ) hair transplant surgery unattached—men are. The anagen phase becomes progressively smaller, and men with PB just watching people common baldness: two B examined! 135 pairs of twins found in an Adult Twin Registry files (,. Are no known cures image satisfaction ( Cash, 1992 ) breeding process their ancestors were subjected to out... 1970, Table 1 ) Propecia ), which enlarges the sebaceous glands for..

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