DNA test for baldness

Instead of worrying whether the family genes will make you bald at some point in life, you can now take a DNA test that will tell you what the odds are of going bald before forty.

The test, created by HairDX, a company based in Irvine, California searches for a genetic variant that is shared by 95 percent of all bald men. If you test positive for the genetic variant, then you have a 60 percent chance of going bald before you turn forty. The DNA test also tells you whether you have a less common variant (85%) of not going bald by that age.

The DNA test, costing $149 involves a simple swab inside the cheek which is sent off to the company and results are sent back in three to four weeks. Released in January, the test is available on the company website and a few doctors’ offices. Andy Goren, President, HairDX says that 99.9% of hair-loss products available in the market are ‘scams’ that do not work. The DNA test provides a scientific basis, which will then point you in the direction of the necessary treatment.

However, Angela Christiano, an associate professor of genetics and development at Columbia University doubts the reliability of the DNA test, saying it is hard to pinpoint the cause of hair loss as there are very few genes connected to it. She said that while HairDX analyzes only one genetic variant for baldness, there are other unknown variants that play an important role.