Hair fall is now a very common condition that is seen among 90 percent of the total population. Hair fall can be both normal and extreme. 50 to 100 hair fall per day is considered as normal hair fall. This is completely a natural process of shedding of the hair at the end of the entire cycle of hair growth. Old hairs fall out to give room to the new hairs. This type of hair fall is standard and do not give rise to any critical condition.
But there are certain conditions of excessive hair fall where more than 50 to 100 hairs fall out which may also give rise to conditions like hair thinning or balding. Such conditions need to be treated with appropriate medications before it is too late.
We commonly know that balding is most common in older men, but most of us are completely unaware that even teen boys and girls may also experience remarkable hair loss. There can be numerous reasons that can cause hair loss which is treatable or sometimes self-resolving. Usually, teenagers do not experience male pattern baldness but they may encounter with symptoms like hair thinning, balding or shedding. Such hair loss can viciously disturb the teen’s self-esteem, confidence and social life. Boys and girls of age ranging 13 to 19 may experience acute hair loss due to a variety of reasons.
Causes of hair loss in teenagers:
- Alopecia Areata- It is a specific type of baldness that occurs in concentrated rounded areas. It may occur on the scalp or on other portions of the body at once. For instance, hair loss might be seen simultaneously on the crown, sides of the head and arms. It is estimated that about 1-2 percent of the Americans deal with Alopecia Areata which involves teenagers. For individuals who are affected by this condition has termed the treatment for Alopecia Areata a favourable one.
- Androgenetic alopecia- Androgenetic alopecia is the most common cause of hair loss that affects to an estimated population of 2/3rd of the males in America. But this is more prevalent among men who are above 50 years of age with male pattern baldness. However, in rare instances, it may still affect the teenagers, females in particular. Female pattern baldness is mostly seen during the final teenage stages and during the early to mid-twenties.
- Female pattern baldness- Female pattern baldness is a specific type of Androgenetic Alopecia that may affect the teenage girls following puberty. This is such a condition that is identified easily by its exhibiting features like the widening of the partitions and making the scalp even more visible. However, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and taking nutritional foods can help girls to deal with female pattern baldness.
- Traction Alopecia- Traction Alopecia is also a cause of hair thinning or shedding of hair among most of the teenagers. This hair fall is even more noticed when an unnatural amount of tension is applied to the hair for a prolonged period of time. However, it is one of the few causes of hair loss in teens, especially among girls. Sometimes Unintentional tugging and pulling of hairs can also result in traction alopecia that can be significantly reversed by just tracking down the reason and stopping such activities. This may give rise to bald patches and thin of hair.
- Unintentional hair pulling and plucking- Pulling hair unintentionally or plucking is often seen as bad habits among teenagers. It may also occur as a result of excessive hair styling and this is not just delimited to hairs on the scalp but may also include eyebrows and eyelashes. Unconscious hair pulling and plucking is often the result of two different behaviours- styling and Trichotillomania. Trichotillomania occurs when a teenage boy or girl pulls their hair until it is uprooted leaving large balding areas behind or even thinning of the hairs. The best available treatment for such conditions is consulting with a mental health professional or behavioural therapist to help the kids get rid of their condition.
- Medications- side effects of some medicines that are used to treat a variety of health conditions among most of the teenagers may also cause hair fall at an alarming rate. Thyroid disorders, acne medications and contraceptive medicines are some such common examples that include hair loss as its side effect.
- Poor diet- Some nutritional deficiencies can highly affect the skin and the hairs. Deficiency of vitamins, minerals, micronutrients is very important for the growth of the hairs. However, eating nutritious foods may not be able to get back the lost hairs but will definitely improve the condition of the hair and also will increase the longevity of the existing hair. So to ensure most beautiful hair individuals of any age the teenagers are encouraged to take plenty of foods and water.
- Hair growth interruption– Often teenager body may endure stress due to some major surgery or traumatic life occurrence and that may interrupt the hair growth cycle temporarily. However, once the tremendous hair falls are noticed then it can be stopped by undergoing appropriate treatment.
- Health problems- Extreme Hair loss or conditions like alopecia areata may occur when the immune system attacks the hair follicles. Often doctors cannot entirely identify such condition or the exact way to treat such condition. However, the condition is generally temporary and some medications can totally cure the acute hair fall. Other health conditions like ringworm of the scalp, a fungal infection may also cause hair fall, especially among teenage boys. Medications alone can treat these health issues.
- Hormonal changes- During puberty, hormones may fluctuate remarkably than at any other stages of life. This rapid changing of the hormonal levels can not only impact the mood of the teenagers but may also affect their hair and skin. Fluctuations in hormonal level can occur both in boys and girls.
- Other causes- Other causes may include the use of excessive chemical containing hair products such as hair dyes, hair straighteners or tying the hair tightly for styling like cornrows. To prevent hairs to shed off it is important to switch to natural products and maintaining the hair is very important.
How to prevent hair loss in teenage boys and girls?
The best way to address such hair loss issues is by choosing a dermatologist or some professional hair specialist who can diagnose the condition and then treat it from the root.
However, certain precautions may also help to treat such condition-
- Taking a well-balanced diet at an optimal caloric intake.
- Eating foods that contain more omega 3s.
- Maintaining a proper hygiene of the scalp and the hair.
- Be gentle while washing or brushing the hair.
- The scalp must be nourished with coconut or castor oil massages.
- Using chemical hair products and heat styling of hair must also be limited.
- The nutritional deficiencies must be compensated by taking appropriate nutritional foods.
- Abnormal hormonal fluctuations must be controlled with medications after consulting with the surgeon.
- Reduce stress from the life of teenagers.
It has been seen that most of the hair loss issues in teenagers can be resolved by just following the simple steps. However, for complicated issues consulting with a specialist, the experienced surgeon is mandatory.