Home > Hair Loss Basics > Hair Loss in Adolescence

Hair Loss in Adolescence

By: Jennie Kermode - Updated: 8 Jul 2011 | comments*Discuss
Hair Loss Adolescence Teenager Young

Adolescence is a difficult time for anybody, a time when it's particularly important to feel confident and have a good self-image. Unfortunately, it's also the time when certain types of hair loss conditions can kick in. Losing hair at this age can lead to social exclusion and intense stress. It can also be difficult to treat because hormone-based remedies can't safely be used when the body is still developing. So what can be done to make it easier?

Male Pattern Baldness

Adolescent hair loss can occur for a variety of reasons but perhaps the most devastating is Male Pattern Baldness. Everyone with this condition begins to lose hair from the onset of puberty but in some people it happens more quickly than it does for others. It can be particularly hard for young people because not only do they have to face the fact that their hair won't grow back, they have to deal with the fact that they'll be visibly different from their peer group for many years to come.

Because the particular kind of thinning involved in male pattern baldness is associated with Ageing, it can make teenagers look much older than their peers, which is often socially awkward. Rather than holding on to thinning hair in this situation it is often better to shave it off one the problem becomes apparent – a shaved head looks much less unusual. Parents can discreetly explain the situation to teachers if they anticipate that this may break school rules.

Stress-Related Hair Loss

Because the hormonal balance of the body changes so much during puberty, young people are particularly vulnerable to Stress-Related Hair Loss, with Alopecia Areata common among girls. They also have a lot of stress to contend with due to pressures at school and the difficulties of shifting family relationships. The good thing about this form of hair loss is that it is usually temporary but that doesn't make it any less upsetting at the time.

Unless it is very severe, hair loss of this type is usually best dealt with by careful styling. If some patches of hair are still strong and well-rooted in the scalp, fashionable Hair Extensions can cover thin patches or bald spots without being an obvious disguise. Efforts should be made to reduce general stress levels where possible, to alleviate the problem.

Medical Hair Loss

Hair loss triggered by chemotherapy or other medication is proportionally more common among adolescents than older people. This can be a short or long-term problem but it's especially difficult to deal with if the sufferer is also struggling with major health problems. Time spent in hospital can weaken relationships with friends and make it harder to find real support even if people are generally sympathetic. Hair loss can worsen the sense of isolation and difference caused by illness.

Despite the host of other problems that need to be dealt with in this situation, it's important not to neglect hair loss. If friends and relatives want to offer general support, suggest they do so by buying clothes chosen by the young person in question, to help boost self-image. Be open-minded about the young person's choices when it comes to Wigs And Other Head Coverings.

How Families Can Help

Watching a teenager losing their hair can be distressing for parents, too. It's important for parents not to project their own stress onto a young person who must find their own way of dealing with it. Too much fuss made by parents can be embarrassing and it can also make it harder to set the problem aside and enjoy life.

Families can help by making it clear that they're ready to be supportive, then standing back and giving the affected person space. Teenagers need to develop independent ways of coping and integrate hair loss issues into their own style. It is, however, important to monitor their approach to it as young people can be particularly vulnerable to quacks selling dubious remedies over the internet. Apart from the fact they're unlikely to work, these may actually be dangerous.

One other area where young people facing hair loss issues often need help is with bullying. Parents should check school bullying policies and speak to teachers if they have any concerns – even teachers themselves can sometimes make hurtful jokes if they don't realise the issue is serious. Just don't let hair loss become the centre of your family life. The best way to deal with it is to be aware of all the better things life still has to offer.

Help With Self-Esteem

Discover more self-esteem tips when dealing with hair loss in our article Bald And Proud.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • cam
    Re: One-sided Hair Loss
    Im a 29 year old woman and also have less hair on the right side of my head, It has been like this for years, that side also grows slower than…
    30 July 2019
  • Dani
    Re: Hair Integration Pieces
    Hi. I am desperately trying to find a intergrated mesh hair system that can be attached with either tapes or micro links that my…
    8 June 2019
  • haze
    Re: Starting to Wear a Wig
    Due to rapid hair loss I am thinking of getting a wig ,what type would people recommend,thank you
    22 February 2019
  • haze
    Re: Starting to Wear a Wig
    I am rapidly losing my hair and am thinking about getting a wig ,what sort would eolee recommend please .
    22 February 2019
  • Suzy
    Re: Poisoning and Hair Loss
    Happend to drink an 6 mounth old, not opend nutrition drink.. I don´t know if thats what cause my hair loss. The hair loss is in one…
    7 November 2018
  • Rylee
    Re: Can Head Lice and Parasites Cause Hair Loss?
    I keep seeing little brown bugs crawling up my shirt and I can’t stand it! My parents keep telling me it’s…
    24 October 2018
  • Lynda
    Re: How Often Should You Wash Your Wig?
    My wig gets rubbedd by coat collars etc and is getting to feel (and look like)a brillo pad on the bottom of shouder…
    20 October 2018
  • Tallulah
    Re: Infrared and UV Light Treatments
    I lost about a third of my hair during a period of stress. Would ultraviolet light treatment restimulate hair growth for me;…
    18 October 2018
  • minku
    Re: One-sided Hair Loss
    Sir i am loosing my hairs on right side on my temple area . So i want to know about the treatment option available and i am 21 years old.…
    13 September 2018
  • Cath
    Re: One-sided Hair Loss
    I have fybromyalgia and my hair is very thin on the right side, I tend to sleep on my right side, is there any connection ?
    8 September 2018