Have you been suffering from hair loss at a young age? Does it affect your self-confidence and overall mood? Do you often find yourself thinking about the possible causes of your problem? Here, we have the answers for you.
It is often thought that excessive hair loss would only occur through aging. Yet, hair loss can be seen at very young ages, and it can constitute one of the most striking issues for a teenager. Having been immensely shocking even for the adults, the psychological impact of hair loss on adolescents can be highly traumatizing and confidence-wracking.
According to MayoClinic, hair loss can take place either on a temporary or permanent basis. Therefore, not all hair loss episodes have to be alarming or have long-term effects on the teenager. If you are experiencing hair loss much more than 100 hair strands a day, it is important to keep a cold head and analyze the possible reasons for your problem before going off the deep end.
Depending on the determinant of the problem, hair loss may turn out in various ways. The possible signs and symptoms of hair loss may include:
- Continuous loss of hair on the top of the head
- Arising bald spots (circular or irregular)
- Sudden loosening of hair due to a physical or emotional collapse
- Full-body hair loss
- A regressing hairline
But, what are the reasons for hair loss in teenage males? Unfortunately, there are various reasons that teenagers can lose their hair at a young age. Some of them can be the result of stress, malnutrition or side effects of certain medications, whereas other reasons can be rooted in innate/genetic aspects of the problem or dysfunction of the body and hormones. In some cases, early hair loss can be connected with styling habits that may have adverse effects on the growth and health of your hair. Therefore, before looking for numerous treatments out there, the person has to discover the main reason for his hair loss.
Here, we have further elaborated on the possible causes for you:
No matter the age, stress is a common problem for all humankind and it is known to be the underlying cause of numerous diseases. Being the most obvious reasons of all, stress can be caused by the natural transformation of the body and emotions during the adolescence period. In addition to the excessive stress of this transformation, the adolescent might be overwhelmed by the tasks at school or by his other responsibilities that might pave the way for hair loss.
Numerous teenagers use antibiotics, anti-depressants, and acne treatment supplements frequently. Even though these prescriptions are beneficial in tackling those specific problems, they can also create side-effects resulting in hair loss. According to Toppik.com, the hair loss caused by certain medication is expectedly common considering 85% of young adults are struggling with acne problems and 20% of teens are experiencing depression. Therefore, these high figures show that the common health problems of adolescents lead them to use the necessary medication and some of these have the ability to cause hair loss on a few teenagers.
It is today’s reality that most adolescents are fed with substantial but non-nutritious aliments such as fast food. Unfortunately, the delicious taste of hamburgers and pizza fail to provide the necessary protein, vitamin, and minerals that the hair requires. Even though the hair will not fall off immediately after eating such food, a genuine inadequacy of crucial substances -such as protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, iron and biotin- may ultimately cause hair thinning and hair loss.
Yes, fashion may be the cause of hair loss. Have you ever tied up your hair so hard that the bottom of your hair started hurting? The current trends of man bun and braiding styles may loosen the roots of the hair especially if overused. However, this situation is not only limited to man bun or the braiding styles, but any style tightly pulling the hair in a certain way regularly, or overusing chemicals can also accelerate the problem. Having defined as ‘traction alopecia,’ the above-mentioned practices may damage the hair follicles and constitute another reason for your hair loss.
Androgenetic alopecia, or hereditary hair thinning, is a common cause of hair loss in both men and women, and it also occurs in adolescents.
The British Association of Dermatologists defines the symptoms of androgenetic alopecia as having a receding frontal hairline and losing the hair on the top of the head. The hair in the affected areas appears to be thinner and shorter than the hair in the unaltered areas. Unfortunately, this type of hair loss is permanent, and the thinning and shortening of the hair will continue until the hair is absent in the affected areas. However, this does not mean that the teenager will turn bald as soon as the hair loss begins. In fact, the full hair loss can take decades depending on your genetic heritance.
Accordingly, if the family history suggests that the teenager has a good possibility of androgenetic alopecia, it is essential to check up with a doctor as quickly as possible.
Hormonal changes and imbalances constitute another common occasion leading to hair loss. During adolescence, the hormones go through a tremendous change and they influence not only the overall mood of the teenager, but also his hair and skin. These disturbances are often normal, yet hormone levels should be checked in order to probe into the levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), as excessive amounts of it may create disadvantageous effects on the body.
The hair loss in teenage males is also observed to be caused by this particular disease called alopecia areata. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that can be seen at any age, and it prompts the immune system to attack a person’s own body. Subsequently, the hair falls off either in small or large amounts varying from person to person. Luckily, the hair can flourish again at any time as the hair follicles remain unscathed.
Trichotillomania (Hair-pulling Disorder)
Trichotillomania is a mental disorder which occurs when the person cannot fight the impulse to pull out his/her hair from the head, eyelashes, eyebrows, and other body parts. The act of pulling the hair may occur either unconsciously or intentionally. This disorder mostly begins in childhood or during puberty. Even though it is mostly seen in females, if a teenage boy faces the following symptoms, he might want to seek professional help:
- Frequently pulling out the hair from the body parts: most commonly the area around the eyes and from the scalp.
- Feeling a tension before pulling the hair, and a sense of pleasure afterward.
- Apparent hair loss, thinning, shortening and formation of bald areas.
- Grinding the pulled-out hair with teeth or eating it.
- Not being able to control the urge to pull out the hair.
Various other illnesses can also inflict your hair follicles and prompt them to function inadequately. The possible illnesses are listed as thyroid conditions, lupus, anemia, or diabetes. Yet, rather than being paranoid over possible diseases you may have, it is the best to check up with a doctor and ask for detailed tests if you are experiencing symptoms of these diseases.
How to Deal With Hair Loss
It should be noted that a certain amount of stress is inevitable considering the physical and mental alteration of adolescents, in addition to the stress caused by their responsibilities at the school, home and other areas of life. However, there are various ways to reduce the level of stress and demoralization in daily life.
xercising and eating routinely, having a good sleep, cutting on caffeine, avoiding alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs, developing politeness and coping skills, practicing situations that may cause stress beforehand to lessen the stress when the occasion actually occurs, stopping the self-sabotaging voices in your mind, and creating a more positive environment could be ways of reducing stress in adolescents.
Moreover, considering that the family dynamics may constitute one of the greatest sources of stress in teenagers, the parents should acknowledge if their kid is overwhelmed by the home environment they are providing.
Eat Healthy Food
We have mentioned that the harmful consumption habits of teenagers may cause hair loss at a young age in the absence of essential proteins, certain vitamins, and minerals. Even though these do not constitute the main reason for hair loss, a significant level of deficiency can play a great role in the problem you are facing today. In this case, it is essential to identify which substances are insufficiently taken, and this insufficiency should be eliminated with the consumption of necessary foods. Some foods containing the abovementioned substances are listed below:
Protein: eggs, yogurt, cheese, lentils, milk, chicken, turkey, beans…
Vitamin A: sweet potatoes, carrots, fish (tuna), leafy greens, cantaloupe, lettuce, bell peppers, broccoli, and grapefruit…
Vitamin C: broccoli, brussels sprouts, green and red peppers, spinach, cabbage, turnip greens, and other leafy greens, sweet potatoes, tomatoes…
Vitamin D: sunlight, salmon, tuna, mushrooms, dairy products, beef liver…
Vitamin E: sunflower seed, almond, avocado, spinach, kiwi, broccoli, shrimp…
Iron: green vegetables, spinach, silverbeet and broccoli, lentils and beans, nuts and seeds, grains, wheat, dried fruit…
Biotin: liver, egg yolk, nuts, salmon, dairy, avocado, sweet potato, milk, cheese, yogurt…
Take Good Care of Your Hair
We have mentioned that over-styling can cause hair loss if the hair is pulled back tightly, or exposed to harsh hair products for a long time. There are a number of ways to prevent this from happening. Some of these include:
- Benefitting from lower risk hairstyles such as loose man buns. Instead of holding the hair tight and uptight, the hairstyle can be worn low on the head.
- Wearing your natural hair rather than using a lot of relaxers to give it a different shape.
- In place of sticking with a single trend, changing the hairstyle from day to day. If your current hairstyle is the herald of traction alopecia, using a different and less harmful way to wear your hair may lower the risk of hair loss.
- Likewise, if your hairstyle is already causing you pain due to extreme tightness, make sure that you or your stylist discontinue doing it.
- Rather than getting thin braiding styles, go for thicker braids or dreadlocks. Specifically, be sure to have loose braids around your hairline.
- Not keeping your braids for more than 2-3 weeks.
- If you have hair extensions, using them for a short time and disposing of them right away in case they are causing pain.
- Using lower heat on irons and hair dryers, eventually exposing hair to less heat.
- Not using rubber bands or elastic holders for pulling the hair.
- Using a satin pillowcase.
Go to a Dermatologist
If your hair loss is associated with genetics, hormonal imbalance or side effects of certain medication, the best you can do is to check in with your doctor before trying to come up with solutions yourself.
What is the leading cause of hair loss? In most of the cases, the main reason appeared to be androgenetic alopecia, meaning that the leading cause of hair loss is mostly hereditary.
Is baldness inherited from the mother’s father? There is a fifty percent chance that a person can receive the same X chromosome that his grandfather has. As women have two X chromosomes while men only can have one, they end up having two copies of the androgen receptor gene.
Does shaving increase hair growth? This is one of the myths that many people believe. Unfortunately, unlike the common thought, shaving does not help hair growth. The belief derives from the fact that shaved hair comes off darker and sharper, yet the hair growth is determined by hair follicles which are located in more profound places of the scalp. Therefore, as shaving does not reach to those deeper areas, it doesn’t influence neither the hair follicle nor the hair growth.