When Does Hair Loss Start?

Women and men experience different hair loss types. Therefore, the starting periods of hair losses are also different for two genders. Since testosterone is a vital factor which plays an important role in hair loss, men generally tend to experience hair loss situations earlier than women.

When Does Hair Loss Start in Men?

The question of when hair loss begins in men is a frequently asked question. Although there are various answers to this question, my suggestion is to give importance to the care of your hair. Your hair should be rich in keratin to be healthier. When keratin is worn out by water and other independent factors, this causes hair damage. You have to take your hair care seriously to combat hair loss. In this sense, you must ensure that various oils and medicines reach your hair follicles. Your scalp needs moisturizers that maintain the pH balance. However, there may be situations where you cannot prevent shedding. Especially in male pattern hair loss.

Hair loss that starts at an early age is depressing. Even if you want to avoid this, you will have to live with this problem because it is a genetic result. Thanks to the developing technologies, it is possible to obtain a definite result in male hair loss caused by genetics. The closest response to the question of when male pattern hair loss begins is that if the condition is genetic, it starts at the same age in almost every person. If the family elders, such as an uncle, grandfather or father, began to experience this problem, the next generation will have the same problem at the same age. It is important to realize that what is important is to know what to do in the face of this problem.

Hair loss, which is seen in a large part of men, is usually caused by hereditary sensitivity to androgen effects. In normal individuals, up to 200 strands hair loss per day are considered normal. The causes of hair loss vary according to the environment and living standards. First, hair loss starts from the top of the head through the forehead line and then hair dilution occurs. The thinning at the top of the head then proceeds rapidly and ultimately turn into baldness.

Many men experience hair loss during certain periods of their lives, and this increases with age. In the late twenties, about 20% confronted the problem of male genetic (androgenetic alopecia) hair loss. Here the word andro emphasizes androgenic hormones (testosterone and dihydrotestosterone) and is responsible for male pattern hair loss. Genetic part is the baldness genes that pass through the mother or father. Contrary to false belief, the baldness gene does not only come from the mother’s side, but also by the father.

The rate of genetic hair loss in men is 30% in their 30s, 40% in their 40s and 50% in their 50s, on average. In men, hair loss usually begins with an increase in testosterone levels in adolescence and continues with the genetic predisposition. In the white race, hair loss in the temples and regression of the anterior hairline may be observed in 96% of men after puberty. In general, it is not possible to determine the hair loss type, start time and intensity in full. In general, however, the amount of hair loss that starts in the 20s is more severe. In some men, hair loss may occur at later ages, after 30 or 40.

Genetic factors come first among the causes of hair loss. Men take hair loss genes from parents and relatives. These causes cannot be prevented due to genetics. The process can be slowed down by some measures though. Another reason is the DHT hormone. It causes hair to become unhealthy and to fall over time. Yet another factor is the age factor. This factor varies from person to person.

Contrary to suspicions, testosterone hormones, which are responsible for hair loss in people with baldness problems, are not within higher levels but within normal limits. The important point is whether the baldness gene exists in a person. The hair in the armpits and reproductive organs need testosterone to grow, while the hair is affected by dihydrotestosterone. With this dihydrotestosterone effect, the hair growth phase (anagen stage) stops, the hair becomes shorter and gradually becomes weaker and begins to miniaturize. The hair goes into the telogen phase which we call the resting phase by the hormone effect. With daily activities such as brushing, more hair starts to fall out and the loss is accelerated. Less elongation in hair strands and reduction in hair thickness continue over time, while pigmentation of hair decreases and hair colors become lighter. As a result of this process, the hair begins to fall into thin, shiny and colorless quince feathers and disappear over time.

The psychological effect of hair loss is different on men. While some people do not care about hair loss, the slightest thinning of hair and a pinch of hair loss in some can make these people’s business and social life harder for them and make their life unbearable. They require professional psychological support and medical treatment. Today, medical treatment with drugs can prevent hair loss at early ages and sometimes hair loss can be postponed. In case of hair loss that occurs in advanced ages, hair transplantation is necessary to replace the lost hair.

Over the past decade, hair treatments have been dramatically improved, especially with the use of finasteride (a drug that inhibits the formation of dihydrotestosterone from testosterone) and the development of effective hair transplantation. Over the next decades, it is planned to replicate a person’s hair by cloning from his/her own hair and to perform hair transplantation with them. Although there are many promising scientific studies on this subject, it has not reached the desired level yet and clinical applications have not been started.

In Which Periods Hair Loss May Start in Women

Women’s hair may be shed as men’s, regardless of whether in long or short-term. The whole of the hair may begin to become thinner or the hairline may expand day by day. Even the top of the hair may begin to get thinner due to shedding.

The hormone DHT, which is a derivative of the male hormone testosterone, is one of the main enemies of the hair. Under some circumstances, DHT kills the hair strands, resulting in the problem of hair loss. The difference between hair loss in women and male pattern hair loss is the falling of the hair due to shedding and the hair loss in the upper part of the head.

Each person loses an average of 50-100 hair strands a day and this is normal. If you find the hair falling on the combs and clothes, these hairs are caused by normal shedding. However, if you feel weakness in the hair strands and think that this is excessive, it’s time to start taking precautions.

The periods in which hair loss may starts in women are as follows:

  • Menopause

Fifty percent of women who are close to 50 years of age, can usually experience hair loss. In fact, this situation may become more intense after entering the menopause period. Since the hormones support the growth of hair, when the estrogen hormone begins to decrease hair begins to change as well. Thus, the hair loss problem arises.

  • Various diseases

Diseases such as thyroiditis, diabetes, and anemia can also cause sudden hair loss. Apart from these, polycystic ovary syndrome and medical treatment methods of cancer cause shedding.

  • Stress, trauma

After a stressful period or a traumatic event, hair loss may increase.

  • Pregnancy

Hair loss may occur after pregnancy. This can happen when the hormones are trying to reach normal levels after birth. However, if you experience excessive shedding, you should start taking measures.

  • Nutritional changes

The sudden weight loss caused by the nutritional changes may also cause you to lose your hair. When your body cannot get the nutrients it needs, it transmits only enough for vital organs such as the heart and brain. In this case, the food does not reach the hair and hair loss occurs. Therefore, it is imperative to have a diet consisting of protein, iron, vitamin D and calcium-containing foods!

  • Treating your hair harsh

Stretched hair, ponytail hairstyles, and tightly braided hairs are quite exhausting for your hair. Apart from these, processes such as the thermoforming, perm or Brazilian blowout also hurt your hair. This harsh treatment that you applied to your hair, unfortunately, turns to you as a hair loss problem.

When Does Shock Hair Loss Start?

Shock hair loss is a response to trauma during or after hair transplantation operation. Even though it is a medical situation that can be seen in many people after hair transplantation, it might not be seen in some individuals. Generally, in the third week after hair transplantation, 85% of the people who underwent this procedure have shock hair loss. It is not known exactly how long the shocks will last and how much loss will occur. It is generally seen that it continues between 1 – 3 months.

Shock hair loss is a temporary shedding of the hair strands placed in the transplanted area. Anyone who wants to have hair transplantation should be informed about the shock hair loss. Generally, the shock hair loss occurs within a 2-week period but it varies according to the individual. Hair loss after hair transplantation is extremely normal as well as being completely temporary.

Shock hair loss after hair transplantation is a process that occurs only once. The reason for the donor area to be the nape area in hair transplantation is that the hair in this area is not affected by the shedding caused by the male hormone, testosterone. Therefore, the hair follicles taken from the nape will continue to resist the shedding after hair transplantation.

We can talk about hair follicles’ life in a 3-stage cycle. The first stage is growth, the second stage is holding, and the third stage is shedding. This three-stage cycle, which begins from birth, is repeated in the same way throughout our lives. The reason for the shock hair loss after hair transplantation is that the grafts that are planted can initiate a new growth cycle. When the grafts placed in the transplant area adapt to their new places, the shock hair loss process prepares the scalp for quality hair production.

Among the things to be considered during the shock hair loss period are healthy eating, abundant water consumption, to use the shampoo and products as recommended by hair transplantation experts, to stop smoking as well as alcohol and caffeine consumption as much as possible, and to avoid doing severe sports and situations that may cause excessive sweating.

About 1 month after the shedding process ends, new hair starts to grow. New hair, which starts to grow slowly, continues to grow with each passing day. The process of hair transplantation is a process that takes 1 year to give complete results.

When Does Hair Loss Starts in Patients Undergoing Chemotherapy?

In general, chemotherapy-induced hair loss is a condition encountered in 65% of patients. The incidence of hair loss and the intensity of shedding vary depending on the type of treatment, the dose, how many drugs are administered and the frequency of administration.

It is possible to collect hair loss drugs in 4 main groups. Examples of drugs in these groups and the frequency of hair loss can be summarized as follows:

Anti-microtubule medications (paclitaxel, docetaxel): over 80%
Topoisomerase inhibitors (doxorubicin, epirubicin): 60-100%
Alkylating agents (cyclophosphamide): over 60%
Antimetabolites (fluorouracil, carboplatin, cisplatin, methotrexate): 10-50%

Hair loss begins in the 1-3 week period after the first chemotherapy is applied. Most of the time in the 3rd week when washing clearly in the bath, heavy shedding starts and at the end of this week, 90% of the hair will be shed. At the following cures, eyebrows, body hairs, and eyelashes begin to be shed. The hair begins to grow in 2-3 months after the last cure of chemotherapy and 95% of the patients will completely recover within the first year.

Chemotherapy-induced hair loss is one of the most traumatic processes in the treatment of cancer patients. Hair loss can become a factor that negatively affects the personal perspective of the patient in terms of external appearance, sexual identity, and self-confidence. In addition, it creates a situation that disrupts the self-confidence of the individual in his/her social relations with individuals other than his/her own and discards the patient’s right to conceal his illness by constantly reminding that he is an individual who is being treated with cancer.

47% of women with cancer described this condition as the most traumatic side effect of chemotherapy and 8% stated that they could reject treatment because of this side effect.

Many methods have been tried to prevent hair loss, but most of them have failed. In some cancer patients, the head-cooling method can be applied during treatment. However, this method may cause discomfort and headache in some patients. There are also controversies to suggest because of concerns such as the development of skin metastases in areas where the cold hat is applied during follow-up after treatment. In addition, it is not recommended for patients with hematological cancers, leukemia, myeloma and lymphoma patients because of their application.

Today, there is no proven drug to prevent hair loss. Only a drug named minoxidil is known to accelerate the onset of hair again. Shampoo and lotions containing this substance may be recommended after treatment. However, it cannot prevent hair loss. Chemotherapy due to hair loss cannot be prevented. Yet, with the right approaches, it can be made more comfortable for the patient.

When Hair Loss Starts in Infants

Your hormones are in continuous working to prepare your body for this event during pregnancy and delivery. Since the mother shares everything in her body with her baby, he/she normally takes a part in this event and can be born with these hormones when it is born. Immediately after birth, the hormone levels begin to fall to the level that should be, and your baby’s hair growth will stop there.

This situation is not a concern. Because this does not mean that your baby’s hair will not grow again. The cause of hair loss in infants is the pressure of healthy and strong hair that comes under the hair growing and weakening.

Newborn babies usually start to shed hair after 3-4 weeks. The reason for this is not yet known exactly. However, this hair is replaced by a new one and the new hair is thicker than the first one.

During this time your baby’s hair can grow irregularly. Sometimes even baldness can be seen. As I wrote above, I suggest you not to worry. In time, healthy and strong hair will be replaced. It is considered a normal condition that hair after the shedding has a different color or form. A baby born with black and smooth hair may have brown and wavy hair in time.

In summary, hair loss in babies is a natural condition. If you notice an abnormality in this process, that is, if your baby’s hair continues to fall out after the first 6 months of birth, you should get help from a qualified physician. This may be a medical or nutritional situation. Your doctor will provide you with specific information.

Causes of Hair Loss Starting in the Age of 20s

  • Androgenetic Alopecia

One of the main causes of hair loss at the age of 20s is androgenetic alopecia (AGA), ie, more commonly known as “male pattern baldness”. Male pattern hair loss is the most common and most well-known type of hair loss. Hair is shed from the forehead and the top of the head, and in the later stage, only the hair in the nape area remains. Male pattern hair loss problem which is experienced in one out of every 3 men in the world has started to be seen in earlier ages and more frequently with various external factors.

AGA is a genetic problem. You have the possibility of experiencing it if someone in your family did. Unfortunately, there is no permanent treatment of male pattern hair loss. Depending on the suitability of the patient, treatment methods such as slowing by drug treatment or replacement with hair transplantation are applied.

  • Various Diseases

Some diseases such as ringworm, lupus, hypothyroidism, polycystic ovary, anabolic steroid syndrome, and anemia can cause hair loss. Generally, sudden and intense sheddings occur in disease states. If you suspect such a situation, consult a doctor immediately. Many of these diseases are diseases that can be seen in the age of 20 years. In case of hair loss caused by diseases, hair loss stops shortly after the disease is cured and hair returns to normal state after a certain period of time.

In case of hair loss caused by various diseases, treatment of the disease is essential. Hair transplantation can’t be performed when a treatment is not applied before, or the disease that causes hair loss continues. The reason for this is the possibility that the disease could cause shedding again. First of all, remember that the disease should be treated in the first place.

  • Nutritional Disorders

Hair loss caused by eating disorders is a frequently encountered situation especially with the people in the age of 20s who does not care about his/her diet and replace its meals with junk food. Our hair is heavily affected by the way we eat. The hair follicles that are fed with the blood of capillaries, shrink in time and lose their health if they do not get enough nutrients. The importance you will give to your nutrition will prevent you from experiencing hair loss at the age of 20s, and it will also help to reduce your starting hair loss rate for other reasons.

Hair loss caused by nutritional disorders usually disappears quickly with proper nutrition. What is important here is that people who have hair loss especially in their 20s do not connect this problem with nutrition. The problem of hair loss can be related to nutrition directly, or the nutritional problem could be an accelerant factor.

  • Stress

The negative effects of stress are usually underestimated. However, you should know that stress plays an active role in the onset and progression of many diseases in our body. While the effect of long-term stress (for example, the stress of a student who is going to take the university exam for a period of 1-2 years) can manifest itself on the hair, sudden and intense stresses (like psychological traumas caused by the loss of a close one) may cause sudden hair loss.

When the stress factor disappears, the hair loss stops, but it takes a long time to recover the hair follicles that are shed in the case of sudden long-term and intense stress.

Savaş Ateş

I'm a hair loss expert. The picture was taken 10 years ago :) I have been losing my hair. So I started to learn everything about hair loss and hair transplants. I contacted a lot of hair transplant doctors. We shared our experiences. I'm writing blog posts for people who have the potential of losing their hair. I give some tips about hair transplants and medical issues too.

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