Scientists find a new cause of hair loss in men

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Male pattern hair loss, also known as androgenetic alopecia, is a common condition that many men experience, and it’s often linked to genetics.

To understand this condition better, researchers from the University Hospital of Bonn and the Transdisciplinary Research Unit “Life & Health” of the University of Bonn have dived deeper into our genetic makeup, exploring not only the common but also the rare genetic variations that might contribute to hair loss.

A Closer Look at Our Genes

Traditionally, the study of male pattern hair loss has focused on common genetic variants, identifying over 350 genetic locations, with significant emphasis on the androgen receptor gene, inherited from mothers.

However, the exploration of rare genetic variations, those found in less than one percent of the population, has been largely overlooked, mainly due to the challenges associated with their analysis.

These rare variants require detailed and meticulous study, capturing genetic sequences base by base.

Unearthing New Findings

The research team meticulously analyzed the genetic sequences of 72,469 men from the UK Biobank project, exploring rare genetic variants in their pursuit of understanding male pattern hair loss better.

Their research unveiled associations between hair loss and five significant genes: EDA2R, WNT10A, HEPH, CEPT1, and EIF3F.

Two of these genes, EDA2R and WNT10A, had already been considered in previous studies focusing on common variants. Still, this study provides reinforced evidence of their roles in hair loss.

HEPH, interestingly, had never been considered as a candidate gene before, but this study suggests it might play a role.

CEPT1 and EIF3F are new entries to the list, never having been associated with male pattern hair loss before, bringing new possibilities and areas of study in understanding genetic predisposition to hair loss.

Subheading 3: Beyond the Known: Implications and Hope

The findings also imply that genes known to cause rare inherited diseases affecting both skin and hair might also contribute to the development of male-pattern hair loss.

This broadens our understanding of how various genes could be interlinked, suggesting a more intricate genetic interplay in the occurrence of hair loss in men.

This exploration into the rare genetic variations related to hair loss provides a richer and more nuanced understanding of male pattern hair loss, potentially paving the way for improved treatment strategies and more reliable risk prediction.

The discovery of these new genetic associations offers fresh perspectives and opens up new avenues for research, bringing hope to those dealing with hair loss.


Understanding the myriad genetic influences on male pattern hair loss is like piecing together a complex puzzle.

This groundbreaking research by the team from the University Hospital of Bonn adds crucial pieces to this puzzle, expanding our knowledge on how both common and rare genetic variants play a role in hair loss.

These findings enrich our comprehension of the genetic intricacies involved in hair loss, holding the promise of enhanced treatment, better risk prediction, and hopefully, more effective solutions for those affected by this common condition in the future.

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The research findings can be found in Nature Communications.

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