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Why is my hair falling out as a teenager? 6 reasons why

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Most people will experience some type of hair loss in later life. But if you notice your hair falling out in your teens, you're probably wondering what's causing it.

While many people experience hair loss in mid to later life, the reality is that your hair can fall out at any age and it can be caused by numerous factors.

Here, we run through some of the most common causes of hair loss in teenagers and explain what you can do to try and prevent your hair from falling out.

Why is my hair falling out as a teenager? 6 causes of hair loss in teens

Here are the most common causes of hair loss in teenagers:

1. Genetics (androgenetic alopecia)

Genetics are the number one cause of hair loss in teenagers. The condition is known as androgenetic alopecia or male or female-pattern baldness.

In men, hair recedes in an M or V shape, while in women, female-pattern baldness manifests as thinning hair. Unfortunately, there's not a lot you can do about androgenetic alopecia, and if you notice that your older relatives suffer from hair loss, there's a chance you will too from a young age.

Though the majority of people experience androgenetic alopecia later in life, teenagers can also experience hair loss caused by genetic factors.

2. Autoimmune condition (alopecia areata)

Another potential cause of hair loss in teenagers is an autoimmune condition called alopecia areata. In this condition, your body mistakes healthy cells for dangerous, foreign cells, attacking them in the process.

Alopecia areata occurs when your body's immune system attacks hair on your scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes, or body, causing the hair to fall out.

Research shows that approximately 2% of the population is affected by alopecia areata, with most experiencing symptoms before the age of 30.

3. Thyroid issues

Teenagers who suffer from thyroid issues may also experience hair loss. This is because a thyroid problem can result in an under or overproduction of thyroid hormones, resulting in dry or brittle hair that may fall out.

If you experience thyroid issues, you are likely to notice thinning hair first, before your hair falls out. If the condition is treated, your hair is likely to grow back.

4. Chemotherapy

If a teenager is undergoing chemotherapy to treat cancer, hair loss is to be expected. This is because the radiation in the treatment attacks all healthy cells, including hair cells, causing them to die and fall out.

5. Poor diet or malnutrition

Following a poor diet can also cause hair loss in some teenagers. Teens who have eating disorders or those who don't eat whole, healthy foods can be at risk of malnutrition, which may cause hair to fall out in some cases.

Specifically, deficiencies in key vitamins (A, E, C, and D) can result in hair loss, as can biotin or folic acid deficiency. Therefore, supplementing your diet with the correct nutrients can combat hair loss.

6. Some medications

Another potential cause of hair loss in teenagers is medication. Some teens on antidepressants or a few other medications may experience hair loss as a side effect.

If you think your medication is causing your hair to fall out, you should contact your doctor. Your doctor may be able to prescribe you an alternate medication that doesn't result in hair loss.

How to stop your hair from falling out as a teenager?

Ascertaining the cause of your hair loss is a crucial first step to preventing it from falling out during your teenage years. If you don't know what is causing your hair to fall out, you can't stop it. So, here are some steps to take:

  • Step 1: Consider the potential causes of hair loss and which may relate to your circumstances.

  • Step 2: Book a consultation with a doctor to diagnose the cause of your hair loss and discuss treatment plans.

  • Step 3: With the doctor's advice, take any medication or necessary steps to combat hair loss in the long run.

  • Step 4: Monitor your progress and schedule a follow-up appointment with your doctor if you're not seeing the desired results.

If you experience hair loss as a teenager for genetic reasons, your doctor might advise you to take Finasteride or Minoxidil, which are clinically proven to help treat male or female pattern baldness. However, you should not begin taking any type of hair loss medication without your doctor's advice or recommendation.

Conclusion

Even though most people experience hair loss in middle age, you might notice your hair falling out during your teenage years.

Any of the above six factors can cause hair loss in teens, so please contact your doctor to diagnose the cause of your hair loss, before proceeding with any type of treatment plan.

FAQ

Q1: Why is my hair falling out as a teenage male?

As a teenage male, you might be experiencing hair loss because of genetics, alopecia areata, thyroid issues, chemotherapy, poor diet, or a medication you're taking. You should consult your doctor for a diagnosis before beginning any form of treatment.

Q2: Why is my hair falling out as a teenage girl?

Teenage girls may experience hair loss for all the same reasons as teenage boys, as listed above.

Q3: What should I do if I notice my hair falling out as a teenager?

If you notice your hair falling out in your teenage years, book an appointment with your doctor. They will help diagnose the cause of your hair loss and recommend the best course of treatment for your circumstances.

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