I have noted that several religious men in my extended family, as well as friends aged 25 to 35 who wear large kippot covering most of their heads, are becoming bald. Does wearing a large kippa most of the day prevent the scalp from breathing and possibly lead to hair loss? If one’s father went bald at a young age, is a man likely to become bald early as well? N.T., Bnei Brak

Veteran Jerusalem dermatologist Dr. Julian Schamroth replies: Although hair loss (alopecia) can be caused by a number of internal disorders, the vast majority of males with hair loss have an inherited gene. In other words, hair loss is a genetic phenomenon. Although it can be a direct, dominant gene passed from father to son, it may also involve multiple recessive genes inherited from grandparents on either side. There is also a gene that causes hair loss in women, although this usually manifests itself at a later age.

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