Teenage boys may not act like it all the time, but they care a lot about their appearance. They want to look cool, fit in, and be attractive to those who they find attractive. It can be hard enough to do that with all of the usual hormonal changes, acne, and awkwardness of the teenage years. But add unexpected and unexplained hair loss into the life of a teenage boy and it can make for a troubling and traumatic time.
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 teen boy could be losing their hair, and parents should always consult with a doctor if their teenager 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 boys is temporary and usually resolves itself over time or by addressing the underlying cause.
Here are five common causes for hair loss in teenage boys:
Many drugs prescribed for teens, such as acne medication, antibiotics, or antidepressants, can cause hair loss. With an estimated 85 percent of American teens suffering from acne and about 20 percent struggling with depression, medication-related hair loss in teenagers is a common issue.
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. An estimated one in 50 people suffer from alopecia areata at some point in their life, and one in every 1,000 experience alopecia areata.
This is a psychological condition in which an individual compulsively pulls out their own hair. Approximately one percent of Americans (around 2.5 million people) deal with trichotillomania at some point in their lives, though it is most common in children between the ages of nine and 13. With the help of mental health professionals, most people with trichotillomania will stop this destructive behavior, allowing their hair to grow back.
As many boys grow their hair longer, they may put their hair in ponytails, buns, or braids. But those styles involve an unnatural and excessive amount of tension on the hair. That constant stress on the follicles can lead to a condition called traction alopecia that causes hair to fall out. Wearing hair in the same style every day (i.e., a ponytail in the same place) can also cause breakage.
Poor Diet/Eating Disorders
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 some teen boys (not just teen girls) struggle with eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia that involve more significant challenges to their health and well-being.
Concerned About Your Teen’s Hair Loss? Call Us Today For a Personalized Evaluation.
If your teenage son is struggling with hair loss, 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.