hair loss in teenagers

What is hair loss?

Hair loss (alopecia) is typically thinning of hairs or complete loss of hair. It often starts at the crown and spreads throughout the scalp. Many factors can result in this condition. They include hormone changes, stress, pregnancy, environmental factors, and genetics. Nevertheless, you can look for an effective hair loss treatment if your scalp is getting empty day by day.

What causes baldness?

Many factors can cause thinning of hairs. However, the common ones include-

  • Genetics

Hair loss can be hereditary. You are likely to suffer from baldness if your parents have such a condition.

  • Hormones

Changes in hormone levels can cause loss of hair. It is common in women after childbirth or during menopause.

  • Age

As we age, our hair becomes more brittle and drier. It elevates the chances of breakage.

  • Medical conditions

Certain medical conditions such as iron deficiency anemia can lead to baldness.

  • Medications

Some medications, such as blood pressure drugs and chemotherapy medicines, can cause hair loss.

  • Illness or stress

A simple cold or a period of high stress can make your hair follicles weak. Weak hair follicles ultimately cause baldness.

  • Poor hair care

Using incorrect hair products or over-styling can damage your hair.

  • Traumatic event

A traumatic event, such as a car accident or emotional stress, can cause temporary baldness. 

  • Hair treatments

Excessive use of hot styling tools, such as hair straighteners or curling tongs can cause hair loss. In such cases, leaving these damaging styles for a while can help your hair loss treatment.

  • Dandruff

Dandruff can block the scalp and lead to thinning of the hair.

What causes hair loss in teenagers?

The causes discussed above are frequent among everyone. However, certain factors are culprits for thinning of hairs in teenagers. They are-

  • Hormonal changes

Hormonal changes in the body can lead to thinning of hairs. It is particularly common during puberty.

  • Trauma to the scalp

Physical trauma to the scalp, such as from a fall or a blow to the head, can cause loss of hair.

  • Infections

An infection, such as scalp psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis can result in baldness over time.

  • Genetics

Hair loss can sometimes be hereditary and passed down from parents to children.

What are the types of hair loss?

There are several types of alopecia. They are as follows-

  • Androgenetic alopecia

Androgenetic alopecia is a hereditary condition characterized by thinning of the scalp hair in an “M” shape pattern. In men, it often leads to baldness. However, women tend to retain their normal hairlines at the cost of thinning.

Finasteride is a hair loss treatment. It can help improve this type of baldness.

  • Alopecia areata

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that results in the sudden loss of hair on the scalp. It is most widespread in adolescents and kids. Alopecia areata is believed to be caused by a malfunction of the immune system. It causes hair follicles to be attacked and destroyed by the body.

  • Trichotillomania

Trichotillomania is a psychological disorder in which sufferers obsessively pull out their hair. They include hair from the scalp, eyebrows, or other body parts. The exact causes of this condition are not clear. However, some believe that genetics and past trauma can be factors.

  • Traction alopecia

Traction alopecia results due to the continuous pulling on the hair. People wearing tight braids or weaves generally suffer from this condition. These hairstyles continuously pull on the roots of the hair and break it off.

What is the best hair loss treatment?

There are multiple treatment options for baldness. Many people go for hair transplants. However, it is expensive and not possible for everybody. There are many other treatment options available that one can choose from depending on their needs.

Finasteride

Finasteride is a drug available in tablet form. You can take it once a day. The medication helps stop the hair loss process and triggers the re-growth of hair. In addition, it is the only FDA-approved drug for alopecia and is very effective.

How do you use finasteride?

Finasteride is available in tablet form. Its usual dose is one pill per day. However, use it at the same time every day. You should follow this schedule for 3 to 6 months or as directed by your doctor.

What are the side effects of this hair loss treatment?

Patients usually experience some side effects in the early stages of treatment. However, they diminish over time or with a reduction in dosage. Some side effects appear immediately, which you should not ignore. In such cases, seek medical help right away. Nevertheless, side effects include-

  • Headache
  • Temporary impotence
  • Low libido
  • Difficulty ejaculating

At what age can finasteride be used?

It is generally not advisable for anyone under 18 years to use this drug. People over 65 years can use this medication. However, if you are concerned about your hair loss, you must discuss finasteride with your doctor before trying it out.

What are the other benefits of using finasteride?

Apart from stopping baldness and helping in hair re-growth, finasteride can also help to improve your overall scalp health. Moreover, it can also reduce the chances of getting a scalp infection and keep the oil glands functioning properly. This, in turn, can reduce dandruff and scalp itchiness.

This hair loss treatment is available only after a thorough medical consultation with your doctor. For this reason, it is not advisable to try out this drug on your own without speaking to your doctor. Using the wrong dosage can have serious side effects. Therefore, it is significant to know what you are doing before starting treatment.

Minoxidil

Minoxidil is another drug used for alopecia treatment. It comes as a lotion for topical application on the scalp. The medication thickens your hair and strengthens them.

How do you use minoxidil?

You need to wash your hair and pat them dry. Then you must use a dropper or a spray bottle to apply the lotion to your scalp. Repeat this every day for at least 4 months. However, you can stop applying it if your hair loss has stopped.

What are the side effects of minoxidil?

Minoxidil is a topical treatment and is usually safe to use. However, you should not use this hair loss treatment on broken skin or open wounds. You should also avoid this product if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. In addition, it can lead to some side effects such as burning sensation and itchiness.

Start this treatment only after having a thorough medical consultation with your doctor. Moreover, you should know that it could take a long time to see results.

What are the other benefits of using minoxidil?

Minoxidil helps improve blood circulation on your scalp, which can help with hair growth. The anti-inflammatory properties can also reduce scalp itchiness and dandruff. In addition, it can also help to retain the natural color of your hair.

This drug is available over the counter and does not require a prescription. However, it is significant to speak to your doctor before starting this treatment.

At what age can minoxidil be used?

People under 18 years should not use minoxidil. People over this age can use this hair loss treatment. Additionally, if you have a family history of baldness or experienced hair loss after childbirth, you can use this drug.

Though these medicines have been effective, many people prefer going for surgical options of hair transplant or implants. They are more effective than these drugs. Moreover, one can be sure about their performance without any doubt.

Hair transplant surgery

Hair transplant surgery is a medical procedure to restore hair loss. During the procedure, doctors remove hairs from body parts, where there are many hair follicles. These parts are known as donor areas. Furthermore, the removed hairs are placed or fixed to bald or balding areas on the head. Experts may perform hair transplantation using various methods and techniques. However, they may vary according to the person’s needs and preferences.

How is a hair transplant done?

In general terms, doctors perform a hair transplant in the following way-

  • The hair from donor areas is removed gradually and transplanted to the bald area.
  • Under this hair loss treatment, tiny incisions are made in the scalp with extremely fine blades or needles. It puts off the risk of damage to the hair follicles. 
  • The follicles are inserted into these incisions, and held in place with stitches or surgical tape.

Who can go for hair transplant surgery?

Doctors use a few general guidelines before recommending hair transplant surgery for people. Patients who are good candidates for surgery typically have-

  • A good amount of donor hair, available on their scalp
  • A history of stable hair loss patterns
  • Good overall health

In addition to these general guidelines, patients should discuss their hair restoration options with a doctor. It will help determine if surgery is the best choice for them.

The decision to have a hair transplant surgery or not, depends on your age and how much donor hair you have available. However, other factors could influence your decision, such as your occupation and lifestyle habits.

What are the risks of this hair loss treatment?

There are a few risks associated with hair transplant surgery. They may include the following-

  • Infection caused by bacteria or fungus
  • Poorly fitted systems that lead to scalp irritation
  • Damage to your hair due to the tightness of the system or by rubbing against the synthetic hair
  • Hair loss due to tension on the scalp by the weight of the hair system
  • Scarring caused by the surgery

Hair systems

Hair systems are a kind of hair substitution method. They comprise a mesh cap lined with synthetic or human hair. Moreover, hair systems are designed to cover the entire head. You can put them on in various different ways.

What are the benefits of hair systems?

There are many benefits to using hair systems. However, some of them are-

  • They are a stylish and instant way to get the appearance of a full head of hair.
  • Different types of people wear them, from cancer patients to people who have lost their hair through alopecia, chemotherapy, or other conditions.
  • You can wear this hair loss treatment for many years before needing replacement.

In addition, wearing a hair system does not mean you have to completely cut your hair short. You can still have a full head of hair even if you are wearing a hair system.

What are the risks of hair systems?

There are a few risks associated with hair systems. They include-

  • Allergic reaction to the synthetic or human hair used in the system
  • Infection caused by bacteria or fungus
  • Poorly fitted systems that lead to scalp irritation
  • Damage to your hair due to the tightness of the system or by rubbing against the synthetic hair
  • Hair loss due to tension on the scalp by the weight of the hair system

What are the essential dietary changes for alopecia treatment?

A few dietary changes can help improve hair health. In addition, they can also assist in bringing successful results in your hair loss treatment.

  • Eat plenty of protein

Hair comprises keratin, which is a protein. A diet high in protein help to ensure that your hair is receiving the nutrients it needs.

  • Eat plenty of zinc

Zinc is vital for hair strength and growth. Good sources of zinc include lean meat, eggs, poultry, whole grains, cereals, seafood, and nuts.

  • Avoid unbalanced diets

Avoid crash diets. They can affect the number of nutrients you are ingesting.

  • Reduce your caffeine intake

Consuming excessive amounts of caffeine can cause thinning of hairs.

  • Drink plenty of water

Dehydration can lead to dry, brittle hair. For that reason, sip in at least 8 glasses of water per day.

  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are a fine source of antioxidants. They can guard the hair from damage.

How can you prevent loss of hair?

You can do various things to help prevent hair loss. However, some of the simple and easy ones are-

  • Have a balanced diet with ample protein and vitamins
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Keep your scalp healthy by using a good quality shampoo and conditioner
  • High-quality products can help maintain your scalp health and support your hair loss treatment.
  • Avoid excessive styling and use of heated appliances
  • Consider a hair transplant if you are experiencing severe hair loss

Hair loss can be a distressing experience. However, you can overcome the condition with the right information and advice. Consult your doctor for more about baldness and its treatment methods.