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Can hair gel or badly treated hair cause hair loss?

QUESTION: Hello, I am a 20 year old University student in Toronto, and I have been using hair-gel for over last 3-years. I had wonderful, thick hair and I did not spike it during my highschool years. However, in university I underwent a style change and started using faux-hawks and spikes. I had a bad habit of spiking my hair and sleeping with the gel on. I talked to my hair-dresser and he informed me that such kind of mismangement results in hair-loss and it breaks the hair-root. He said that gel does not destroy hair, rather the act of me sleeping on spiked gel hair destroys the hair follicle and root and hence hair loss and hair root destruction. Since, he was a barber, I thought I should ask someone like you. I am male, and 20years old with no family history of male pattern-baldness. I am a student of biology in university and isn’t hair loss genetic? I.e. it has to be in your family members. Both my mom and Dad and most people in their family have thick and nice hair right into their 50’s and 60’s. How come I am loosing hair so early at age 20? I suspect its my mismanagement rather than male-pattern baldness that is to blame. Is this possible? Any medical opinion will be appreciated. Thanks

ANSWER:  Hi,
There are two possibilities. First is that the gel causing the hair to shed, in which case it will grow back.
The second possibility is that you have early male pattern baldness in which case the hair will not grow back.
An easy way to find out which applies to you is to do a genetics test for the genes causing MPB. This is now available through my office,
Dr. Robert Jones

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Dr. Jonathan Huber

Dr. Huber completed his training in medical and surgical hair restoration under the direct guidance of Dr. Robert Jones, one of the world’s most influential, experienced, and trusted hair restoration surgeons.

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