Most people associate hair loss with older adults, but hair loss can happen to anyone—even teenagers. If you are a teen experiencing hair loss, you are not alone. The following is a closer look at why you might be experiencing hair loss at a young age and what possible treatment options might be recommended for you.
Hair Loss in Teens
There are several notable reasons why teenagers might experience hair loss; the underlying reason behind the hair loss is what will help determine your treatment plan.
The most common reasons for hair loss in teens are: changes in hormones, taking certain medications, poor nutritional diet, over-styling or using certain styling products and underlying medical conditions.
Hormonal changes that occur around puberty can lead to the overproduction of dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, which is the hormone responsible for hair loss. An increase in dihydrotestosterone causes hair follicles to shrink in size, which results in the hair falling from the follicle.
Certain medications can cause hair loss as a side effect, including birth control, beta blockers, anticoagulants and pills with doses of Vitamin A.
Poor nutrition can lead to vitamin and nutrient deficiencies, which reduces the amount of essential nutrients that help maintain healthy hair. These deficiencies can lead to brittle hair and even hair loss. In some cases, poor nutrition is caused by an eating disorder.
Over-styling or using certain styling products, such as wearing tight ponytails, using hair straighteners or curlers, or using high heat on blow dryers everyday can lead to brittle hair that breaks off from the follicle. Over time, this breakage can result in brittle, thin hair.
Finally, some hair loss can be a sign of an underlying medical condition such as: unregulated diabetes, overactive or underactive thyroid glands, and scalp infections, skin disorders, and so on.
Hair Loss in Teens: Treatment Options
The type of treatment available for your hair loss will depend on a number of factors. The primary characteristic that will be focused on is the reason for your hair loss. Once we know what is causing the hair loss; we can work on creating a treatment plan to counteract these effects. For instance, if your hair loss is being caused by over-styling, then recommending that you cease using harsh styling products and implement a regimen to help your hair regain its previous fullness will likely be the next step.
Other treatments may include providing a nutritional diet plan or even nutritional supplements to counteract vitamin deficiencies, testing for hormonal imbalances which can be corrected with medication, or treating the underlying medical condition causing the hair loss.
If you are experiencing hair loss, it’s important that you see your primary physician as soon as possible. The sooner the causes of your hair loss is diagnosed, the sooner you will be able to start a treatment plan to treat it. Talk to your parents today about setting up an appointment if you notice your hair has become thinner or more brittle.