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5 Ways To Stop Teen Hair Loss In Its Tracks
Bald spots, receding hair lines, and Mr. Clean are terms commonly associated with men nearing the geriatric section of society. But the stereotype relating old age to hair loss isn’t necessarily true: According to the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, a small percentage of the 56 million people in the world experiencing hair loss will start losing hair before the age of 20. Don’t fret—most teen hair loss cases are linked to conditional triggers that can be reversed. Less commonly, teen hair loss is caused by early onset of classic male pattern baldness or female hair loss. The following five tips can help eliminate the cause of teen hair loss and all of the embarrassment that comes with it.
1.) Stock up on protein and iron. The root cause of many non-genetic hair loss cases is a nutrient deficiency. Protein and iron are both necessary components for hair growth, and a lack of either will show up on your scalp. It can also worsen the quality of existing hair, making it weak and prone to breakage. Protein is easily obtained from animal sources—but even if you don’t eat meat, getting your necessary protein intake is possible. Consume foods like tofu, peanut butter, seeds, and dark leafy greens. Aim for roughly 56 grams of protein per day, depending on your frame and activity levels. Iron is required for muscle usage, and when your muscles don’t get enough iron they’ll take it from another source—like your hair. An average person should consume around 15 grams of iron per day from sources like red meat, beans, dried fruit, and iron-enriched cereals.
2.) Decrease your stress levels. It’s easier said than done, but bringing your stress levels down from a rolling boil to a low simmer can make a positive impact on your hairline. Stress-related hair loss is called telogen effluvium, and can affect men and women of any age. Emotional or physical stress pushes the hairs into a resting phase. If the stress continues, the hairs become too dormant and will fall out within a few months. Your first steps toward releasing stress should be natural, like making a lifestyle change or taking up yoga. Prescription medication can be of help to people dealing with severe stress—talk to your health practitioner to learn the best ways to cope with stress.
3.) Over-styling. Aggressive styling methods can damage existing hair, leading to a condition called traction alopecia. Be wary of how you treat your hair when it’s wet—hair is ultra-fragile at this time. Only use a wide-tooth comb on wet hair, and avoid putting it into a tight ponytail or updo. If you use heated tools on your hair (a blow dryer, curling iron, or flat iron), use them sparingly and in conjunction with a heat protectant product. Even young men can be guilty of over-styling through the use of damaging pomades and rough towel-drying.
4.) Examine your medication. There are a number of medications frequently used by teens that list hair loss as a possible side effect. Lithobid, a drug commonly used for mood stabilization, can cause severe and sudden hair loss in some patients due to lithium levels. Accutane and other acne medications may have the same side effects. If you or your teen is on a medication that you believe may be causing hair loss, speak to your doctor or pharmacist immediately. Fortunately, going off of the medication will usually result in normal hair re-growth.
5.) Check for psychological problems. While stress alone can result in teen hair loss, some teens manifest their stress in a different way. Trichotillomania is a condition characterized by the irresistible urge to pull out hair from the scalp, eyebrows, arms, legs, and any other part of the body with hair. The act of pulling out hair is a way for people to deal with psychological issues like anxiety, depression, and loneliness. Trichotillomania is a strange but serious condition that requires treatment from a medical professional.
If you believe you or your teen’s hair loss is not caused by any of these possibilities, he or she may be experiencing the early stages of genetic hair loss. Hair Loss Specialists is dedicated to providing people with hair loss useful information on getting their hair back. In addition to permanent hair transplant surgery, our doctors offer non-surgical treatments like Rogaine, Propecia, Laser Comb, and more. Browse our directory to find a hair loss expert in your area, or contact us now to book a consultation!