New Test for Hair Loss

December 7, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Bald may be beautiful for men, but like it or not, it's a double standard for women.When Danielle Ducharme was in her late teens, she started to notice there was a lot less of her beautiful locks. Now 25, she asks herself: how long until I go bald?

"It's horrifying. I go to bed at night sometimes thinking, you know, crying myself to sleep, you know. Imagine having to wear wigs for the rest of your life."

A new DNA test called "Hair DX" can help women like Danielle learn about their hair through their genes.

The test is just a simple swab on both cheeks. Three weeks later, the results will let a person know if they are at risk of significant hair loss before the age of 40. "The biggest benefit of this genetic test is that we can predict something into the future. So if we know that a person will be losing her hair we can treat it early to stop further progression," said hair transplant expert Dr. Robert Leonard.

Doctor Robert Leonard said a person generally doesn't notice she's losing her hair until 50-percent has already fallen out. "So if we catch this before they really notice too much thinning, we can treat it early, keep the hair on their head and not have to worry about it so much."

Danielle hopes others take advantage of this test, helping women hold onto their hair and in some cases, their self-esteem.

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