The number of teens experiencing hair loss is rising rapidly. While many teenage girls still enjoy the long, thick, bouncy locks associated with youth, other teens are in despair as the volume of their hair seems to decrease more and more each day. Some complain that they have barely enough strands left to make a proper pony tail.
Already suffering from embarrassment, these teens worry that they may soon become bald. Fortunately this rarely happens. Most teenage hair loss disorders can be corrected if properly and in a timely manner.
Excessive shedding or thinning in teens is not normal. It is an indication that the body has gone out of balance. The hair growth cycle thrives on balance. Even a minor imbalance can have major effects on hair growth.
Determining the type and cause of the condition is essential in order to correctly treat the problem and restore proper growth. It is important to distinguish whether the teen is experiencing excess shedding, thinning, breakage or bald patches, as each condition is distinct and should be treated accordingly. Some of the more common causes are outlined below.
Birth Control, Vaccinations and Other Medications
Teens often start taking the pill for various reasons including acne, premenstrual cramps, mood swings and pregnancy prevention. Any medication can trigger hair loss, but hormonal medications carry a higher risk as healthy hair growth is intimately connected to a delicately balanced hormonal system. Thinning, shedding or breakage can occur from birth control use.
Oral acne medications that are retinol based can also cause shedding and other undesirable effects to hair. These medications can cause the body to store too much vitamin A and deplete biotin levels. These nutritional deficiencies can cause hair to fall out excessively. Because this type of medication decreases size of sebaceous glands on the skin and scalp, hair can become weak, brittle, dry and prone to breakage.
Stimulant medication for attention deficiency disorder, and other medications used for psychological issues such as anxiety, depression, etc. are known to cause shedding or hair or breakage in some people. It is becoming more common for these types of medications to be prescribed to teens.
There have been reports of hair loss in teens after immunizations, especially HPV vaccination and certain flu shots.
Diet, Nutritional Deficiencies, Eating Disorders
During the teenage years the body demands additional nourishment to support the dramatic changes that are taking place. Unfortunately for many teens the diet is at its worst during this time. Junk food and fast food often replace home cooked nutrient-rich meals. These foods create inflammatory conditions that can hinder the health of the growing teenage body. The hair will not receive any nutrients that are consumed until the rest of the body is nourished first.
Extreme diets that are low in calories and nutrients are often used by teenage girls to lose weight. Nutritional imbalances can be created through typical teenage diets. Poor diet, eating disorders and mal-absorption issues can create imbalances that cause or contribute to hair loss.
These are just a few of the many possible causes of teenage hair loss. Other causes include illness, infection, trauma, extreme stress, environmental or food allergies, autoimmune disorders, over-processing hair, wearing extensions, etc. Learning more about the types and causes of teenage hair loss will help provide effective and lasting solutions.