Understanding Hair Loss in Teenage Males
Hair loss in teenage males is a rare occurrence, but it does happen. And while most men consider hair loss a bad thing, it can be particularly devastating to a teenager. Sometimes it can be the result of a condition that, unfortunately, can't be treated. It can also be due to things like the emotional wellbeing or physical health of the teenager.
In this post, we will take a look at some of the different causes of teenage hair loss and, where possible, what you can do about it.
Early Male Pattern Baldness
It is uncommon for men to start losing their hair to male pattern baldness before their twenties, and far more common in their thirties. But male pattern baldness can occur in teenagers, with some estimates suggesting that as much as 25% of cases of the condition affect males aged 21 and under.
Also known as androgenetic alopecia, male pattern baldness can be brought on by a variety of factors, such as age, hormones, and even genetics. A range of treatments is available to help this condition, from drugs to shampoos to hair transplants. Most men see it is a natural part of getting older; however, this is understandably not often the case in teenagers. If treatment is not an option, consider therapy to help them come to terms with their condition. Failing that a high-quality wig may give them back their self-esteem.
Also known as the "hair-pulling disorder", Trichotillomania is a mental disorder in the Obsessive-Compulsive class of disorders. As the name suggests, it is characterised by an irresistible urge to pull hair and is not limited to the hair on your scalp.
People with Trichotillomania may also pull hair from their face and other parts of their body, and may not even be aware they are doing it in the moment. It is a rare condition, affecting 1-2% of people. Trichotillomania has no known medical treatments; however, there are many options when it comes to therapy.
On a similar vein to Trichotillomania, stress is also a cause of hair loss in teenagers. With hormones causing massive changes to their bodies, and the pressures of school and social interactions, teenagers can feel very stressed at times, which can lead to hair loss in teenage males.
There is a variety of effective treatments for stress; however, tackling the cause of it may be the best approach.
Traction Alopecia is a kind of hair loss that is a result of pulling of the hair. Unlike Trichotillomania, this is not from intentional pulling, but from the strain placed on hair follicles by certain hairstyles, such as bun, and braids. It can lead to damaged hair and bald patches.
Unfortunately, there is no practical way to prevent this other than to stop using the hairstyle that is causing it. In some cases, such as ponytails, the tension created by the haircut could be relaxed, but in many cases, the hairstyle will have to be abandoned altogether. It may also be possible to go with a short hair cut and a styled wig instead.
Poor diets are responsible for so many of our ills, particularly in younger people and teenagers. An excess of processed foods, together with vitamin and mineral deficiencies, can create brittle hair, which in turn leads to hair loss.
The treatment, as you might expect, is to eat better. Eating healthy foods, such as heaps of vegetables, fruits and healthy grains, through the right diet, hair will become stronger and healthier, making the hair more resistant to other factors that may contribute to hair loss. A balanced diet is vital and reducing the intake of processed foods will help also.
There are instances of some types of medication causing hair loss in some teenagers. With an increasing reliance on medication to treat things like depression, mood disorders, and even acne in teenagers, there is also an increased likelihood of side effects such as hair loss.
Unfortunately, as the only way to stop hair loss, in this case, is to stop taking the medication, the benefits of the medicine will have to be weighed against the reality of hair loss if no alternative is available. If the teenager's mental health begins to suffer as a result of the hair loss, it may be worth considering a hairpiece.
Treating Hair Loss in Teenage Males
Talking to the right people is vital: medical professionals, therapists, even parents. There will not always be a treatment to stop hair loss in teenage males, but there are always other options.
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