I was in my early twenties when I noticed that my hair is thinning out gradually, but can someone start to lose their hair during the teen years?
One of the nerve wrecking things that I heard is that, hair loss can occur during the teen years too. This can give a teenager, much older look than their actual age. Teenage hair loss can be due to various factors such as heredity, poor diet, medical condition etc. A teenager might not go bald completely. But can experience some hair thinning and a receding hairline, which might lead to balding in the future.
Teenage hair loss can occur due to various reasons. In this article, I will discuss the research information that I have gathered about teenage hair loss and what you can do about it.
Is hair loss common among teenagers
Hair loss can occur at any given age. However, for most people, hair loss will begin in their mid twenties or later. Unfortunately, you can lose your hair in the teen years too.
Hair fall and balding are two different concepts. In the teen years, you may not go bald completely, but a teenager will experience hair fall which can lead to balding in the future.
In the past, hair loss has been common a problem faced by the elderly population in many countries. According to the information that I have gathered, teenage hair loss has been very rare during the past.
However according to the experts, teenage hair loss has become more common due to the lifestyle practices adopted by many teenagers these days. Following a poor diet plan, overstyling the hair etc. have caused many teens to lose their hair.
Why teenager lose hair
As a teenager, if you are losing hair or if your child is losing hair, DO NOT FREAK OUT, but pay close attention to what might cause you to lose hair.
The research information that I have gathered, points out that there are couple of factors which causes hair loss among the teens.
Hair loss due to heredity is a condition which is faced by many males and females. This condition is known as male pattern baldness in men and female pattern baldness in women.
This condition is a result of the genetic makeup of a particular person which is inherited from his/her family. According to the experts, a person would experience hair loss from heredity in their mid twenties. However, there is a possibility that even teenagers will face hair loss due to heredity
The percentage of teenagers who face hair loss due to heredity is relatively low when compared to the adults in their late twenties and above. A person would not go completely bald in their teen years due to heredity, depending on their genetic makeup. But he/she can see a visible hair thinning and a receding hairline.
The hereditary hair loss occurs due to a hormone category known as androgens (also known as male hormones). Such hormones are present in both men and women, and has the ability to shrink the hair follicles until they stop producing hair. DHT (dihydro-testosterone), is one of the androgens present in our body  .
Many teenagers, in order to keep up with the changing trends and styles, tend to use heat styling equipment like flat irons, hair dryers and hair straighteners. These equipment will put excess heat on the hair roots, making them more dry and vulnerable.
Further the tight hair styles such as braids, cornrows, and ponytails will pull the hair back from its roots, which can also lead to premature hair loss among many teenagers.
On the other hand, many teenagers would apply hair gel and hairspray, which will block the pores in the scalp. This will block the flow of nutrition to the hair roots. Further, the gel and hairspray, might contain alcohol which can dry out the hair and make it more vulnerable.
These styling practices followed by many teenagers, will weaken their hair. This has become a major reason for hair loss among the teenagers.
3. Poor nutrition
Most of the people, ignore the importance of nutrition in order to keep the skin and the hair healthy. But nutrition does play a vital role in promoting healthy skin and hair. Many American teens and most of the teens around the world would eat a diet high in fats and carbs, but tend to ignore the importance of vitamins and minerals.
Various types of vitamins are important to keep the hair strong and thick. Vitamins would help to produce new skin cells, collagen, and circulate the blood flow within our body, all of which are important for healthy hair and skin.
Therefore parents must be more careful about what their children eat. Make sure that they take sufficient amount of vitamins and minerals along with their diet.
Certain types of medications such as antidepressants, antibiotics, cholesterol lowering drugs, high blood pressure medications etc. can alter how our body works. These types of medicine will affect the normal hair cycle of a person .
According to the experts, the medication will mostly affect the telogen phase or the resting phase of the hair cycle. This will cause more hair to go into the resting phase than usual. As a result more hair will fall out than usual.
Many teens all around the world take various kinds of medicine. This has lead to an increase in hair loss among the teens.
Hair loss due to medication occurs after 2 to 4 months of taking a particular medication course. However, the experts point out that hair loss due to medication is only temporary and hair will grow back when the medication is stopped.
5. Underlying medical condition
A teen or any given individual might lose their hair due to an underlying medical condition. Such medical condition can be a skin infection, scalp infection, untreated fatty liver, untreated cholesterol and diabetes , thyroid problems  etc.
Many infections would have visible symptoms, such as inflammation in the skin, scaly or red rashes, big patches in hair etc. However, conditions such as fatty liver, diabetes do not have visible symptoms until the condition is worsened.
Therefore parents must always pay attention to their children and consult a doctor immediately if you have concerns.
6. Anabolic steroids
Having an attractive physique has become the new trend among many teenage boys in many countries all around the world. Working out is good for the health, but some would use anabolic steroids to boost the performance and get quick results.
Steroids come with a price. It can lead to serious health issues. Apart from such issues, steroids can cause hair loss too.
The steroids will increase DHT (dihydro-testosterone) in a person’s body. These DHT will attach to the hair follicles and shrink them. Such condition will prevent the hair follicles from producing new hair  .
Steroids are bad in various aspects. Therefore parents must be vigilant about what their children use and guide them to the right path.
When the teenagers hit puberty their hormones fluctuate immensely. These hormones can make various changes in both male and female teenagers.
According to the experts puberty will increase dihydro-testosterone (DHT) in both male and female teenagers. Such DHT could shrink the hair follicles, making it unable to produce new hair, and cause existing hair to fall off.
The experts further point out that hair loss at puberty is not common to every teenager. The hair loss at puberty is considered to be temporary and will return back to normal when the hormone levels return back to normal.
Stress is a common problem faced by many individuals. However, stress affects the teenagers too. Stress can be physical or mental, which can occur due to a trauma, problems, busy lifestyle etc.
Stress can affect the hormone balance in a person’s body. This will make more hair to go into the resting phase of the hair cycle, thereby making more hair to fall off.
Therefore parents must always watch out whether their kids are suffering from any kind of trauma or stress.
How can you prevent teenage hair loss
1. Teens must take a well balanced diet. It is important for a teenager to get a well balanced diet with various kinds of nutrition. A nutritious diet with various vitamins, iron, minerals, proteins etc. can help any person, including teenagers to keep their hair strong and healthy.
2. Gently massage the scalp, in order to stimulate blood flow to the hair follicles. A smooth blood flow to the hair follicles will help the hair roots to get the required nutrition to keep the hair strong and healthy.
3. Limit the use of heat styling equipment as much as possible. When you are using a heat styling equipment, make sure to set it to medium heat. This will minimize the damage to the hair roots due to heat.
4. Do not use tight hairstyles. If you still want a pony tail, or braids, make sure that it is not too tight for the hair roots.
5. If you are taking anabolic steroids, stop them immediately. Steroids cause many health issues, including hair loss. Do you want to sacrifice your health condition and life, just to look better?
6. Be calm and relaxed always. Stress can cause hair loss and many other health condition. Listen to music, watch a movie, or do any kind of sport to take your stress away.
If you are a teen, and something is bothering you, then talk to your parents about it, or a close teacher of yours, or to a best friend. They might give you a better solution, to overcome the problem.
7. Before taking any kind of medication, consult a doctor or an expert pharmacist and find out whether that medication has any effect on hair loss.
Taking the medication might be important for your health rather than losing some hair. But get the expert medical opinion to prevent hair loss from the medication that you are currently taking in.
When to see a doctor
1. Hair loss due to heredity cannot be prevented, at least not yet. If your genetic makeup says that you are losing hair, then you will definitely lose hair. However medical experts suggest that, several medications and treatments can slow down the hair loss due to heredity.
If you feel that you are losing hair due to heredity, then it’s best to get advice from a doctor. He might suggest DHT blockers, and other medical treatments depending on your condition.
2. If you are still losing hair even after following the precautionary methods that I have mentioned above for a couple of months, then it is better to consult a doctor. A doctor might help you to figure out what is causing hair loss.
Do you want to know what type of doctor to be consulted for hair loss? Check out from here.