Hair loss affects millions of men and women world wide every year. And while there have been many technological breakthroughs within the industry on how to stop or reverse hair loss, the exact cause of male and female pattern baldness is still up to debate among leading scientists and medical experts around the world. One such theory is the Gravity Hair Loss Theory, theorized by Doctor Emin Tuncay Ustuner, a plastic surgeon in Ankara, Turkey. Here’s everything you need to know about this new piece of information that may be the cause of your hair loss.

Hair Loss and Age

There are many factors in the loss of hair, but age is one of the big ones. The average head has about 100,000 individual strands of hair, and losing these strands on a gradual basis is normal. But as we age, hair loses thickness as well as strength, and many men and women develop the most common type of hair loss: male/female pattern baldness.

Everything to Know About the Gravity Theory

The theory that gravity is partly responsible for hair loss, comes down to age and DHT. Ustuner believes that gravity pulls down the skin on the scalp, causing hair loss. The theory is that fat tissue under the skin is able to stay well hydrated when young, alleviating some of the pressure off of hair follicles, but as we age, the skin and fat underneath the scalp becomes thinner and less hydrated, adding that pressure onto the hair follicles. The follicles then have to work harder against the pressure, requiring more hormones for normal growth, therefore, DHT is formed.

It is now widely accepted that DHT is the main cause of male and female pattern baldness, causing hair follicles to become thin and weak. However, in other areas of the body, DHT is very much needed for hair growth as well as promoting thickening of hair follicles. It basically affects your scalp and nothing else. But that’s the big question that needs to be asked.

Why does DHT affect scalp hair negatively, while promoting hair growth everywhere else?

The answer as Dr. Ustuner believes, is that when the body requires more hormones for normal growth, it creates a buildup of DHT levels in the scalp, but not in the bloodstream, causing further erosion of the subcutaneous fat. In response to the rising levels of DHT, the hair growth cycle accelerates, but not enough to overcome the increased pressure, resulting in the hair follicle becoming smaller and smaller and eventually leading to complete hair loss.

Ustuner explains that if gravity is the culprit of hair loss and that the pressure created by the weight of the scalp is the main cause of balding, then baldness should happen at the top of the head, which is exactly what happens. Male pattern baldness starts from the top of the scalp, creating that U shape. He also points out that the ears help resist the effects that gravity takes on your scalp, lessening hair loss on the sides of the head.

The Critics

Dr. Ustuner acknowledges the skepticism of this theory, understanding that the simplicity of an extremely complicated problem is a disadvantage in and of itself. And while he notes that many genetic factors contribute to pattern baldness, the increase of DHT levels in the scalp is in no way a genetic occurrence, nor is it truly understood.

The gravity hair loss theory hasn’t been proven yet, but if true, it could mean taking a different look on what we know about hair loss and how to prevent it. Dedicated scientists and medical professionals are hard at work trying to understand everything there is to know about hair loss, and hopefully one day, a cure will arise from the time spent on this complicated problem.

Who knows, maybe that day is closer than we think!