Hair Loss Around the World: The Role of Ethnicity in Hair Loss

Statistics tell us that certain nationalities suffer from more hair loss compared to others. The ethnicities most prone to hair loss are Caucasians, while Asians, Middle Easterners, Inuits, and American Indians have more luck in the hair department.

Genetics

Human skull shape plays an important role in hair loss, or lack thereof. It varies from each person as well as each race, since certain ethnic groups have a predisposed skull shape and characteristics that are more common among people of a race. This plays a role in hair loss, since some skull shapes lead to more bone growth in adult years which then starts the hair loss process at an earlier age than others.

As a case study, let’s take the Inuit people as an example. Inuits have a unique skull shape, with strong hairlines at the front. They also have broad foreheads that oppose bone growth, which means that they are less likely to suffer from hair loss along the crown of the scalp.

Additionally, the Inuits also live in isolated populations which restricts diversities in genetics among their offspring. For this reason, they share similar characteristics that are passed down from one generation to another, including their resistance to hair loss. The Inuits share similar facial features with Native American Indians as well as the Chinese, who have the lowest hair loss rates among Asians.

Diet

The diet of the Inuit people is very high in protein and fat. Much of the diet is comprised of seal, fatty fish such as salmon, and whales. But while protein is necessary for hair growth and prevention of hair loss, primarily because hair is almost completely made up of a special protein called keratin, the Inuit diet helps prevent hair loss because of the quality of fat that they consume instead of the quality of protein.

A diet high in fat is not associated with healthy hair, nor is it associated with good health. The Inuits consume very high levels of omega 3 fatty acids, an essential fatty acid that the body needs for health. Since the human body can’t manufacture its own omega 3, it needs to be derived from a diet. More importantly, omega 3 also benefits hair growth because it reduces dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels, a hormone that increases the prevalence of hair loss.

American Indians, on the other hand, consume saw palmetto in tonic form. Saw palmetto is a fan palm that grows abundantly in North America, and it produces small berries that have DHT- inhibiting characteristics.

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What You Can Do

Do you belong to a racial group that is prone to hair loss, such as the Europeans and North Americans? Don’t worry – your ethnicity doesn’t necessarily determine the life sentence of your hair. You can still do your part to prevent hair loss, especially through the hair care products that you use and your own diet. Use shampoos and conditioners that have been specially formulated to fight against hair loss, and take hair growth vitamins to encourage healthy hair growth from the inside.

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