I want to rule out other possible causes for my hair miniaturization to ensure that it is definitely genetic since I am not aware of any bald men in my family. My iron and thyroid levels are fine. I read that a urine analysis will evaluate my nutritional state. Is there anything else I should get tested? Like hormones for example?
In general, genetic hair loss in men shows up as a specific pattern (hence the name “male pattern baldness”). That is why there are diagrams and pictures (Norwood) to show what these patterns look like. A fairly competent doctor can determine what genetic male balding is by merely looking at the person. If the hair loss is relatively early in the process you can look at the hair under a microscope to see if there is a miniaturization pattern or a bulk measurement that can give tell you if you’re thinning. You don’t need a blood or urine test for this.
Other types of hair loss, such as from low thyroid or anemia, will present as diffuse thinning with no specific pattern. There is a hormone test to check your thyroid levels, but there is no hormone test for genetic male pattern balding. This can be confusing because a hormone called DHT (dihydrotestosterone) is the cause for hair loss in men, but only if they have the genes for MPB. The quantity or levels of DHT will not determine if you will bald since the underlying issue is genes.
There is a genetic test for balding, but it is not a straight forward test to interpret since it only give you a probability score. The easiest way to test for balding is a good old fashioned physical exam. Finally, I must point out that the gene for balding can skip generations and there is no specific rule on how it is passed down.