Hair loss at any age is alarming, leading to embarrassment and lowered self esteem. But for teens, hair loss can be especially traumatic. Hair loss in teens is often a sign of an underlying issue, like a vitamin deficiency or hormonal imbalance. Fortunately, hair loss in teens is usually temporary and the hair will grow back when the problem is corrected.
What Are Causes of Hair Loss in Male Teenagers?
Commonly prescribed medications for teenagers like antibiotics and those for acne and depression can have the unpleasant side effect of hair loss. With 85% of young adults suffering from acne and 20% of teens experiencing depression, this cause of hair loss is quite common.
2. Alopecia Areata
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks its own hair follicles. Alopecia areata is characterized by round bald patches on the scalp. It’s thought that 1 in 50 people suffer from alopecia areata at some point in their life, and 1 in 1,000 children has alopecia areata at any given moment; making alopecia areata quite common. In most cases, hair loss is not permanent and will eventually grow back.
In this psychological disorder, sufferers compulsively pull out their own hair. Although it may sound unusual, 1% of Americans (around 2.5 million people) experience trichotillomania at some point in their lives, though the condition is most common in children between the ages of 9 and 13. Trichotillomania can affect the scalp, eyebrows, and eyelashes. People with trichotillomania usually need the help of a doctor or mental health professional to stop the behavior and grow back their hair.
4. Traction Alopecia
With more teenage boys wearing their hair in buns and braids, traction alopecia is becoming more common for teenage boys. Traction alopecia occurs when too-tight hairstyles stress and damage hair follicles, resulting in hair loss. Wearing hair in the same style everyday (i.e. a ponytail in the same place) can also cause breakage. Headgear like sports helmets or headphones are further causes of traction alopecia.
5. Poor Eating Habits
Teenagers don’t always have the best eating habits. Eating fast food or processed foods instead of whole, healthy foods rich in essential nutrients can contribute to thinning hair. Crash diets and over-exercising can also cause hair loss.
6. Androgenic Alopecia
Androgenic alopecia, also known as male pattern baldness, can begin in the teen years. In fact, about 25% of cases of male pattern baldness begin before the age of 21. For males, androgenic hair loss is typically categorized by a receding hairline or thinning at the crown. Androgenic hair loss is genetic, but if caught early, can often be treated with some success.
Physical and emotional changes of adolescence, plus school and work-related responsibilities can cause a lot of stress for teenagers. Unfortunately, stress is a major contributing factor for hair thinning.
What Are Teenage Hair Loss Solutions?
1. Talk to a Doctor
If you’re not sure what’s causing your hair loss, speak to your physician. Your doctor can assess whether or not your hair loss is caused by an underlying issue, and can prescribe a treatment.
2. Reduce Stress
Engage in healthy practices that naturally reduce stress. Exercise, meditate, get plenty of sleep, and make sure to leave time in your schedule to have fun.
3. Eat a Healthy Diet
For healthy hair growth, teens should eat a diet rich in proteins, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. Avoid fad diets and cleanses, as these can cause hair to fall out.
If you’re an athlete, make sure that you’re eating enough calories to support your training schedule.
4. Take a Hair Growth Supplement
To fill in any gaps of your diet, take a supplement that supports regular hair growth. Formulated with ingredients necessary to hair growth, Biotin ensures that you have all your nutritional bases covered for healthy hair.
Hair loss can be especially devastating for teenagers. Fortunately, if caught early, most cases of teenage hair loss can be reversed.