Baldness in Teens

As a specialist exclusively treating hair-loss patients, I am astonished by the number of teenage boys presenting with the beginning signs of male pattern baldness. Since we have not been tracking this group historically, we are not aware if the problem always existed and was simply ignored due to lack of awareness, or if occurrences increased for any reason in recent years.

Baldness in Teens

As a specialist exclusively treating hair-loss patients, I am astonished by the number of teenage boys presenting with the beginning signs of male pattern baldness. Since we have not been tracking this group historically, we are not aware if the problem always existed and was simply ignored due to lack of awareness, or if occurrences increased for any reason in recent years.

The question posed is what to do for these patients, since the FDA has not authorized medication trials for patients under the age of 18, who may not yet have completed their sexual development. Some physicians are prescribing Propecia® for boys 16 and older, but I prefer to be conservative in this regard.

Instead, I examine the patient closely, and order a complete blood workup to determine if there is any hormonal imbalance or any medical problem that could be at the source. In most cases, I feel that the best approach may be to simply observe the patient every six months to see if the problem remains the same or worsens.

If indicated, I might advise the use of 5% Minoxidil solution to “bridge the gap” until the patient reaches the age of 18, when Propecia®, the most effective non- surgical treatment for hair loss on the market today, can be started.

As for transplantation, my preference is to wait at least until the age of 20, since there is a certain psychological maturity required to understanding the procedure, as well as a commitment that is necessary for future transplantation as the male pattern baldness progresses.


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