Hair loss and baldness are usually seen in adults. But it can also be seen in teenage girls and boys. Losing hair at an early age can hurt the self-esteem of the child. As hair loss can affect the emotional and phycological well-being of teenagers. Hair loss in teenagers can be due to stress, genetics, nutritional deficiency, or hormonal changes during puberty. Prolonged hair loss in teenagers requires medical attention.
We have around 10,000 strands of hair on our scalps; losing 50 to 100 of them a day is considered normal. According to the American Hair Loss Association, about 1 out of every 1,000 children has alopecia areata. If a teenager notices hairline receding or hair thinning on the scalp, this can be an early sign of male pattern baldness. It is also referred to as adolescent androgenetic alopecia. Hair loss is not common in teenage girls or boys. Studies conclude that hereditary hair fall in teenage girls is less likely than it is in teenage boys. Hair fall can be reversed if the treatment is started as soon as you notice it. Hair loss treatment enhances and stimulates hair regrowth.
What are the symptoms?
- Early Signs of teenage hair loss in male children:
- Brittle hair
- Bald patches on the scalp
- Receding hairline to form the characteristic 'M' pattern on the scalp.
- Early signs in teenage girls:
- Hair thinning at the part area
- Bulk hair loss when combing or after a bath
What are the causes of teenage hair fall?
There are many different factors responsible for thinning and hair fall.
- During their teenage years, boys may experience receding hair fall and finally permanent hair loss. Reasons for hair loss in teenage males:
- Androgenic alopecia
- Male pattern baldness
- Alopecia areata: Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease. This starts in childhood and teenagers. Along with hair loss, some teenagers may notice pitting nails.
- Puberty: Puberty causes fluctuation in hormone levels that can disturb the hair growth cycle.
- Genetics: As genes play an important role in height, colour, and other physical characteristics, it also plays a crucial role in hair growth and hair fall. Male pattern baldness and female pattern baldness are genetic forms of alopecia. In male teenagers, the receding of the hairline develops as an ‘M’ pattern, gradual hair loss, and patchy spots on the scalp. Girls often experience midline part hairline thinning.
- High level of DHT: This is the byproduct of testosterone.
- The major contributing factors for hair loss in teenage girls:
- Thyroid hormonal imbalance: The thyroid maintains metabolism in the human body. Underproduction or overproduction of thyroid hormone affects body temperature and causes rapid hair fall.
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome: PCOS is a female reproductive disorder. Ovary has a painful cyst on its surface. This leads to excessive male sex hormones. It leads to irregular and painful menstruation. The patient also experiences hair fall and thinning. Treating the hormonal balance in your body promotes hair regrowth.
- Alopecia areata
- Tight hairstyles, such as tying hair in tight ponytails.
- Female pattern baldness
- A common reason for both teenage girls and boys:
- Hair coloring and styling products: Hair colouring looks good but in the long run it will increase hair damage. Chemical hair treatment cause breakage of hair and perks greying of hair. Hair straightening devices heat hair and trigger hair fall.
- Dandruff: Hair fall also increases due to dandruff. Teenagers with oily scalps often have dandruff in summer due to sweat.
- Infection of the scalp:
- Stress: Stress due to exams, competition, or social relationships
- Sleep disturbance: Inadequate rest
- Dehydration: Dehydration triggers hair loss in teens
- Prolonged exposure to the sun
- Nutritional deficiency: Deficiency in essential nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, zinc, iron, vitamin E, biotin, niacin, and folic acid are contributing factors for hair loss
- Smoking or alcohol consumption
- Systemic disease:
- Lupus: An autoimmune disorder.
- Trichotillomania: This is a psychological hair-pulling disease typically seen at a younger age
- Scalp ringworm: A fungal infection that causes itching scalp and hair loss
- Some medicine side effects: Drugs like antidepressants, gout, blood pressure, and anticonvulsants are also responsible for hair fall in teenagers
- Chemotherapy or radiotherapy: teens with cancer also have hair fall.
- Food allergies
- Side effects of surgery
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Poor nutrition: Eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia can contribute to hair loss
- Poor hair care
- Poor immunity in a teenager.
What is the treatment available for teenage boys and girls?
The best treatment depends on the type of cause. Hair loss could occur due to many reasons. Finding the appropriate cause for hair fall in teenagers will help expedite proper treatment.
- If the hair loss is due to nutrient deficiencies, consuming prescribed nutrient supplements will help treat it
- If there is hormonal imbalance:
- DHT blockers: DHT shampoos are available that wash away DHT from hair receptors. This is the best shampoo for teenage hair loss.
- Finasteride: DHT levels are controlled by this drug. This will block DHT within and prevent more hair loss.
- If the hair fall is due to genetics, Minoxidil will help control it.
- In case of hair fall due to medication, consult the doctor and get the dosage adjusted
- Underlying diseases like PCOS, thyroid conditions, ringworm, and trichotillomania should be addressed first to solve hair fall in teenagers.
- A new hairstyle with a wig can also help
- PRP treatment: Platelet-rich plasma is a non-surgical procedure. It is the safest and most effective treatment. The patient's blood is collected and spun in a centrifuge machine. This centrifuge machine then separates platelet-rich plasma. This is then injected into the scalp to stimulate hair growth. Treatment is beneficial for both adults and teenagers.
- Laser treatment
Coping with hair loss at a younger age is difficult. To get a proper diagnosis and rule out potential medical conditions, early diagnosis is effective. Treatment for hair loss is available but it takes some time to conclude which treatment is right for the child.
At UNCOVER, along with advanced technology, we have the most experienced, reliable, and best dermatologists. Our experienced and knowledgeable team is committed to providing personalized, accessible, cost-effective, and tailored aesthetic treatment with advanced, and safe technology.
- What causes hair loss in teenagers? Reasons for hair loss in teenagers can be hereditary, hormonal imbalance, stress, or nutrient deficiencies.
- What triggers hair fall in teenage girls? Teenage girls experience hair loss due to tight hairstyles or lack of a healthy diet.
- What is the role of testosterone in teenagers? Testosterone is essential to boost muscle growth, and sex drive, stimulate red blood cell production, and maintain excessive body fat levels.
- Does testosterone have any role in hair growth? Testosterone is produced in both males and females. High or low levels of testosterone can result in hair loss.
- What is the role of DHT (dihydrotestosterone) in hair fall?DHT is a male steroid hormone and helps in the development of male sex characteristics, such as body hair, broad shoulders, and a deep voice. DHT promotes hair growth; however, when it binds to hair follicle receptors on the scalp, it may interrupt the natural hair growth cycle and cause hair loss. If the hair follicle binds more with DHT, it can elevate hair thinning.
- Does DHT affect females? Yes, it also affects girls and women but after middle age, particularly in the menopause stage. Hair loss in middle age is usually referred to as female pattern baldness.
- What is the test for diagnosing the cause of hair fall in teenagers? Proper diagnosis by a doctor can determine the cause of hair fall in teenagers.
- Physical examination
- Medical history
- Blood test: hormonal test
- How can hair loss in teenagers be stopped? Hair fall in teenagers can be reduced by:
- Have a balanced diet: Watch eating habits. Healthy food can be beneficial for overall health. Doctors suggest food rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, zinc, and iron should be consumed.
- Avoid hair treatments like hair straightening, hair color or hair sprays
- Relieve stress with breathing exercises
- Adequate sleep
- Stay hydrated: Drink at least 2 to 3 liters of water a day.
- Regular hair massage: Regular scalp massage strengthens hair follicles. The use of coconut oil shows better results.
- Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol
- What is the cost of PRP treatment? The treatment is based on the underlying cause. The PRP treatment prices start from Rs 5,000.
Regular oiling of the scalp stimulates the hair follicle and promotes hair growth.
Consult your doctor, if you face constant hair fall. At UNCOVER, specialist dermatologists will discuss your treatment options and focus on your needs.