Many people assume that hair loss is a problem which affects older men and women. But hair loss is not just the preserve of the middle-aged of the elderly - hair falling out and thinning hair can affect men and women of any age.
Thinning hair, hair loss, and other hair-related issues such as Male Pattern Baldness can affect people as young as in their teens and early twenties. Hair falling out and hair loss at a young age is more common than you might think. In fact, an estimated 40% of men will have noticeable hair loss by age 35, and an estimated 40% of women will have visible hair loss by the time they are 40.
While hair loss at a young age can be alarming, it’s important to remember that the earlier thinning hair is noticed, the easier it may be to treat. The solution may be as simple as a minor adjustment in diet or it may be part of a bigger health problem. Regardless, identifying the issue early is crucial when battling hair loss.
What to Look For
Visual cues are a great way to determine if you’re beginning to lose more hair than normal. For men, thinning hair usually starts with either a receding hairline or thinning at the crown of the head. Women on the other hand begin to notice thinning hair around their parting, as it gradually becomes wider. They may also notice that when their hair is pulled back they are able to see more of the scalp than before.
If you notice scalp irritation like dry or flaky skin, discoloration like red skin, or you begin to see small bald patches appear on your scalp, you should go to the doctor immediately so that he or she can assess the situation. This type of hair loss can be a reaction to something else going on with your body.
Causes for Hair Loss in Younger People
Hair loss can happen for all sorts of reasons, for example, it can be related to diet, exercise, illness, stress, disease, or hereditary causes. For younger women, thinning hair is usually a result of poor nutrition, stress, disease, or changes in medications, like birth control. Crash diets, weight loss, and low iron levels are all reasons why you may notice hair falling out or changes to hair growth. Make sure you are eating healthy foods for hair growth and exercising regularly to help yourself avoid this. A poor diet is the easiest thing to change when it comes to preventing hair loss.
Diseases more common to women, such as thyroid disease and lupus, are also culprits that contribute to hair loss. If you notice other symptoms besides thinning hair, consult with a doctor to find out what the issue could be. Oral contraceptives can also contribute to hair loss. The hormones in birth control that suppress ovulation can sometimes cause thinning hair and hair loss. This is more likely to happen if you have androgenetic alopecia, but a hair loss cure is possible if you switch birth control or go off of it all together.
Thinning hair and hair loss in younger men is usually a result of Male Pattern Baldness (androgenetic alopecia), but it can also be brought on by poor nutrition and stress.
The process which causes men to go bald is triggered by an enzyme produced within the body, known as 5-alpha reductase. This enzyme converts the male hormone testosterone into its more potent derivative dihydrotesterone (DHT), and it is this DHT which slows the production of hair and causes the follicles to shrink. Because testosterone levels in the male body are generally at their highest from the late teens to early thirties, it is entirely logical that the condition could manifest itself at any point during this period.
What can be done?
Hair loss at any age can be upsetting, but it can be especially stressful in younger men and women who never expected to struggle with this particular problem at this stage in their lives.
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