The majority of teens experience some degree of hair loss. It can be difficult for them and can have an effect on their self-esteem. Moreover, it can have a wide range of causes and thankfully, most of them can be treated. In boys, generally, it appears as a recession of the hairline in an m, v, or u shape and a gradual balding at the crown. In girls, generally, there is a gradual thinning of the hair.
Types can vary from patchy or pattern hair loss, hair thinning, hairline recession, and complete loss of hair.
Causes of hair loss in teens
Androgenetic alopecia is a genetic form of hair loss referred to as male-pattern baldness or female-pattern baldness. It occurs in a predictable pattern.
It is an autoimmune condition that causes hair to fall out in patches as the immune system attacks its follicles.
It is a lack of proper nutrition and diet that can be caused by not eating enough, eating too much, or not getting the right balance of nutrients. A lack of access to food, dietary imbalances, eating disorders, or digestive conditions are some potential causes. Deficiency in nutrients like vitamin a, e, zinc, vitamin c, iron, niacin, vitamin d, e, biotin, folic acid, and selenium can lead to hair loss.
Read More: 11 Essential and Best Vitamins for Hair Loss
An underproduction or overproduction of thyroid hormones may cause loss or brittle texture. There can be thinning of hair across the scalp.
It is an autoimmune condition caused by the immune system targeting tissues and organs. Initially, there can be thinning followed by losing hair.
Polycystic ovary syndrome
It is a common female health issue that leads to excess levels of androgen or male sex hormones. There can be both growth or loss in this condition.
Acne medications, antibiotics, antidepressants, antifungal treatment, blood pressure medication, and immunosuppressants can lead to hair fall.
Regularly coloring and getting chemical treatments can also lead to loss of hair.
Other causes traction alopecia, trichotillomania, ringworm of the scalp, and telogen effluvium.
Diagnosis of hair loss
A doctor may be able to diagnose the cause of the hair loss with a physical examination and by examining the medical history. Pulling of hair can be done to see how much hair comes out and examine the scalp with a microscope. Certain tests like blood tests, hormone tests, and nutrition tests can help suspect any cause. A small biopsy of the scalp can also be taken.
Treatment of hair loss
Treatment depends on the cause as follows –
- Alopecia acreata – corticosteroids through injections, ointments or oral treatments, other immune-modulating medications
- Genetic – minoxidil, finasteride, spironolactone
- Lupus – avoid the sun, eat an overall healthy diet, limit stress, get plenty of rest
- Malnutrition – correct nutrient deficiencies by proper dietary intake
- Medications – adjust medication dosage, switch medications
- Polycystic ovary syndrome – birth control, metformin, spironolactone, clomiphene, surgery
- Ringworm of the scalp – antifungal medication, medicated shampoo
- Telogen effluvium – eat an overall healthy diet, reduce stress, hair supplements
- Thyroid conditions – thyroid medications
- Traction alopecia – avoid tight ponytails and buns, corticosteroid injections
- Trichotillomania – behavioral therapy, various medications
- Hair treatment, coloring, and styling – avoid further hair treatments
When to see a doctor?
If the teen is losing hair in an excessive amount then contact the doctor. The doctor will determine the cause and tell the suitable treatment. In some cases, an early diagnosis can increase the chances of hair regrowth.
Coping with hair loss
Losing hair as a teenager can be very difficult. The teen may feel like hiding their hair and feel stressed and anxious as it progresses. Hair loss can be caused by stress or anxiety in anyone, namely teenagers. Coping with this loss can be difficult. It may cause poor self-esteem and have a big effect on their confidence, especially at an age when many people start dating and learning.
If the teen is experiencing falling out of the hair, it’s important to remember that losing hair isn’t wrong and doesn’t change the person. If the teen is stressed or depressed, then the doctor can recommend an experienced counselor.
There are many causes of loss of hair in teens and being aware of them at the proper time or initial stage can favor good results. It is common in teens, so contact the doctor for proper treatment.
- teenage hair loss: causes, treatments, and prevention (olivaclinic.com)
- teenage hair loss and thinning: symptoms, causes, treatment (healthline.com)