Those teenage years are precious. It’s a phase for goal-setting, heartbreaks, petty mistakes, and self-discovery. It’s also a vulnerable stage. It is a stage when girls and boys journey to young adulthood, finding their own place under the sun. It is a stage when they start being conscious about their weight, acne, skin, and yes, hair.
What could be worse than a bad haircut or bad hair color? How about hair loss in both men and women–excessive hair fall, hair thinning, and finding bald spots on your head? While hair loss is commonly associated with older men and women, it does not mean than teenage boys and girls are immune. Hair loss in young men and women is not uncommon. Young Men’s Health cited that about 16% of boys aged 15 to 17 have male pattern baldness, the most common cause of hair loss among men. Female pattern hair loss is also seen as a major cause for hair loss in teenage girls, which can start as early as 13.
Hair loss at young age redefines not only physical attributes but also the emotional and social psyche of hair loss sufferers. After all, how can you explain signs of hair loss just when all of your friends are still playing video games and your girlfriends are busy experimenting with their first set of make-up?
Fortunately, most cases of hair loss in young people are treatable or self-resolving. For a start, let’s look at the top causes of hair loss among teens and maybe we can eliminate the impending problem now.
How do I fit in this size zero jeans? How can I have a body like Kendall Jenner’s? Or how can I have abs like Channing’s or biceps like Captain America’s? Teenagers are conscious of their bodies. Sometimes, they resort to extreme means to look like a Victoria’s Secret angel or fit in spandex superhero suits. Extreme dieting, which can lead to serious health problems, are among the rapid hair loss causes in young men and women.
California-based dermatologist Paradi Mirmirani said a well-rounded diet is necessary for hair health. Protein, vitamin E, vitamin D, and iron are especially important. It is common to shed hair after losing 15 pounds or more, but if you’re perfectly healthy and your weight stabilizes, hair will likely grow back.
Acne and acne marks are teens’ worst nightmare. Some take oral acne medications. While these may cure acne and control acne-producing glands, hair growth may take a hit. Medications reduce the size of sebaceous glands, resulting to reduced production of sebum, which is necessary for hair health. Without adequate sebum, hair becomes fragile, dry, and prone to breakage and hair fall.
Pulling Hair Back
Pony tails are the easiest solution to a bad hair day. Cheerleaders, dance team members, and ball players pull their hair back a lot. While this is the most comfortable hairdo, traction can loosen the hairs from its roots, causing it to fall out. Prolonged traction can cause permanent hair loss in teenage girls. If your teen has no choice but to pull her hair back during physical activities, tell her to let her hair down the rest of the time.
Too Much Salon Treatment
Heat and chemicals from salon treatments are what can cause hair loss in young men and women today. Heat from the blow dryer or hair straightener can damage hair. Chemicals from hair color and other cosmetic products can also rid the hair of its natural moisture, causing it to break or fall off. Even too much shampoo and conditioner reduce the hair’s natural oil.
Teens are always in a hurry. They are always late for school or appointments. So it is a habit for them to brush their hair while it is still dripping wet. This can cause excessive hair fall. Hair is very flexible when damp so don’t brush too hard. It is also recommended to use a wide-toothed comb before a brush. It is also not okay to blow dry your hair immediately after you stepped out of the shower.
Teenage years are the years when most physical developments happen. They grow taller and hairier. Adam’s apple begins to show for boys while girls grow breasts. But more than that, hormonal changes also affect hair health. During this time, the body needs extra support. Teens are advised to get enough sleep, eat right, exercise regularly, and take supplements when necessary.
Lack of Sleep
Most teens don’t give much importance to bedtime anymore. They can stay up all night watching their favorite TV series or playing on their mobile device. Not enough z’s can cause hair thinning or may trigger teens to go bald in the long run. Lack of sleep goes against the natural dynamics of the body, which may cause sleeping disorders that may also result in hair loss.
Too Much Stress
Teens often stress about the simplest things—homework, disagreements among friends, strict teachers, crushes, or even disbandment of their favorite boy band. Stress can cause sleepless nights and skipped meals. Sleep disorders and rapid weight loss can in turn cause you to lose hair.
Birth Control Pills
If for whatever reason, your teenage children are taking birth control pills (which are not only for the sole purpose of birth control), be mindful of these medications’ side effects on hair. The American Hair Loss Association warned that birth control pills that contain progestin, a synthetic version of the female hormone progesterone, that shrink hair follicles. Speak to your doctor so you help your teens find the best birth control pill. Medication may also cause hair loss.
It runs in the family
When baldness runs in the family, there’s not much you can do. Young men’s hair health usually has its roots in genetics. If you start losing hair before you are 20, it is best to consult reliable hair loss experts to address the problem immediately. If the condition cannot be reverted, trusted hair restoration in the Philippines is a good solution.
Hair loss at a young age can affect teenagers’ self-esteem. They become less confident and assured. They also don’t feel comfortable around people. Puberty and young adulthood are vulnerable stages as it is, don’t make it harder for your teenage children by taking these reminders for granted.