The life of a teenage girl is full of personal, social, emotional, and physical changes and challenges. And that’s when everything is going right. But when a teen girl unexpectedly and inexplicably starts to experience hair loss issues, it can be a devastating blow. The last thing any teenager wants or needs is to feel different or be on the receiving end of teasing and bullying because of a problem they may have no control over.
It is estimated that around three percent of all pediatrician visits annually involve a hair loss problem. Teenagers, as well as young children, can experience the thinning, balding, or shedding which we usually associate with pattern baldness in adults.
There are many reasons a teenager could be losing hair, and parents should always consult with a physician if their teen is experiencing excessive shedding or other visible signs of hair loss to determine the underlying cause. The good news is that most hair loss in teenage girls is a temporary condition.
Five of the most common causes of hair loss in teen girls include:
Alopecia Areata is a specific type of baldness that appears in concentrated, rounded areas on the scalp or elsewhere on the body. Sometimes, Alopecia Areata may develop in several locations at once, such as on the crown or sides of the head and on the arms. Approximately one to two percent of Americans experience Alopecia Areata, including teenage girls.
Hairstyle and Product Issues
Teen girls can spend a ton of time – and use a ton of styling products – to get their hair looking just right. All of the chemicals in those products can build up and damage hair follicles if a teen doesn’t do a thorough job washing their hair.
Similarly, many hairstyles popular among girls involve an unnatural and excessive amount of tension to their hair over an extended period. This can lead to a condition called traction alopecia. For example, wearing unnecessarily tight ponytails, pigtails, or braids for long stretches of time can damage follicles and cause hair to fall out.
Unconscious Hair Pulling and Plucking
Another behavioral cause of teenage hair loss, albeit one with a psychological component, is Trichotillomania. This disorder involves a teen pulling their hair until they uproot the follicles, often leaving large areas of thinning hair, damaged follicles, or total baldness. The best course of treatment for this condition is to consult a mental health professional or behavioral therapist.
Poor Diet or Eating Disorder
Body image issues trouble many teen girls, a challenge that sadly can lead to poor eating choices. If a teen is malnourished or has an unhealthy diet, their body will have difficulty getting the macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals required for healthy and robust hair follicles. Sometimes, simply eating a more nutritious diet can take care of the problem, but teen girls struggling with eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia face more significant challenges to their health and well-being.
Hair loss is a side effect of some medications, especially those drugs that alter hormones, such as birth control pills. In fact, some physicians actually prescribe birth control pills for some teen girls who have excessive hair growth on their bodies. Other drugs can cause also cause hair loss, including anticoagulants, beta-blockers, and even high doses of vitamin A.
Concerned About Your Teen’s Hair Loss? Call Us Today For a Personalized Evaluation.
If your teenage daughter is struggling with hair loss, please schedule a personalized hair loss evaluation with the world-renowned experts at the Miami Hair Institute. Please contact our clinic today at 305-925-0222.