What Causes Hair Loss In Teenage Girls And How To Stop It?

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Hair loss in teenage girls is not a common occurrence. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) states that losing about 50 to 100 strands of hair per day is a natural occurrence (1). However, it is not the same for teenagers. The most common causes for hair loss during teenage include genetic factors, underlying medical reasons, or hormonal imbalances. It should be noted that most of the causes of hair loss or baldness in teens are temporary and will go away either on their own or with the help of treatment. Read on to know more about the causes, treatment, and prevention of hair loss in teen girls.

In This Article

Natural Ways To Prevent Hair Loss In Teenage Girls

Healthy diet and hair hygiene can help you have healthy hair. The following measures may help prevent excessive hair loss:

  • Eating a well-balanced diet could help keep the hair roots healthy. Foods rich in vitamins, minerals, iron, and protein may help strengthen hair.
  • Be gentle when combing, brushing, or washing hair. Use a gentle shampoo and conditioner. Harsh hair-care products may damage the hair by causing split ends and breakage.
  • Gentle massage with nourishing oils, such as coconut oil, may help in hair restructuring and strengthening.
Gently massage your hair with nourishing oils

Image: Shutterstock

  • Use hairstyling treatments, flat irons and curlers sparingly to avoid long-term damage to your hair.
  • Try drying hair naturally and limit the use of blow dryers at high heat. It may help prevent hair damage and hairfall.
  • Do not pull hair too tight in braids, ponytails, or pigtails. These may strain the roots of the hair, thus causing hair to fall.
  • Managing stress may also prevent excess hair fall, also called Telogen Effluvium.

protip_icon Quick tip
Wait till your hair dries before brushing it. Brushing or combing wet hair makes it more susceptible to breakage.

Possible Causes Of Excessive Hair Loss In Female Teenagers

Some of the common causes of hair loss in teenage girls could be:

    1. Adolescent androgenic alopecia: This occurs due to high levels of androgen hormones, including testosteroneiXA vital male hormone required for the development of male genital organs and secondary sexual characteristics , which is produced by adrenal glands in females. The condition occurs due to a genetic predisposition. The defective genes cause a surge in the production of androgensiXGroup of hormones responsible for male reproductive system development at puberty causing follicle damage. The increased level of hormones impact the hair-growing capability of the hair follicle, thus eventually causing hair loss (2) (3).

Zeyara Khan, a blogger, shares about her hair loss journey before she was diagnosed with androgenetic alopecia. Recalling her experiences, she writes, “Around 14, I started losing my hair… At some point, my hair loss became apparent to me. I could see hair loss patches in the frontal area and crown. Once I noticed the hair loss, I went to see a doctor. The doctor did not find any specific problem and told me it probably was teenage stress and would grow back naturally… At age 16, I accepted whatever genetic or hormonal reasons caused my hair loss and baldness. I had to accept the bald patches and the fact that the hair may never regrow or regenerate again… Twelve years later, in my 30s, I thought it might be time to see a specialist… This doctor diagnosed me with hereditary hair loss, “androgenetic alopecia,” so-called female pattern hair loss (i).”

  1. Infection: Certain fungal infections such as tinea capitisiXA common fungal infection affecting the skin and hair of the scalp or scalp ringworm may cause hair loss in children and adults. The symptoms include hair loss in patches, bald spots, and itchy or red scalp (4).
  1. Trichotillomania: It is a psychological disorder in which there is a strong urge to pull one’s hair. It occurs in adolescence and adults (5). A joint study by researchers from The University of Chicago, US, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, US, and The University of Cambridge & Cambridgeshire/Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, U.K , surveyed 10,169 adults aged 18 to 69 years, revealed that the average age of onset for females with Trichotillomania was 14.8 years.
  1. Traction alopecia: The hair loss pattern occurs when hair is pulled tightly. Tight buns, braids, ponytails, and other similar hairstyles may lead to the condition (6).
Traction alopecia can cause hair loss in teenage girls

Image: Shutterstock

  1. Medical conditions: Certain hormonal conditions such as thyroid issues, uncontrolled diabetes, and polycystic ovary syndromeiXA condition where ovaries produce an unusually high level of male hormones, leading to a combination of symptoms may cause hair loss among teenage girls (7).
  1. Drugs or medications: According to Harvard Health Publishing, hair loss can be a side effect of medications such as beta-blockers, amphetamines, heparin, and warfarin. Cancer-related medications may cause excessive hair fall (8).
  1. Poor nutrition: Unhealthy dieting and eating disorders (such as Bulimia Nervosa) during adolescence could be responsible for hair loss. It also affects weight (9).
  1. Rapid weight loss: Losing weight rapidly due to dieting, disease, poor nutrition, or other factors is considered physical stress or shock to the body. Sometimes, it may cause temporary hair fall, termed telogen effluvium (10) (11).
  1. Lack of sleep: There is a direct correlation between hair loss and lack of sleep. Inadequate sleep can put the body under extreme stress and produce more stress hormones, which, in turn, disrupt the normal and healthy hair growth cycle, causing hair loss. Additionally, releasing cortisol hormones due to the stress induced by insufficient sleep can produce more sebaceous oil in hair’s roots, causing them to thin and resulting in greasy hair (12).
  1. Dehydration: Teenage girls may also experience hair loss due to dehydration, especially severe dehydration, which could be caused by certain diseases and conditions, such as anorexia nervosa. Hair loss may also occur due to the body’s inability to take up essential nutrients when dehydrated (13).
  1. Others: Stress, interruption in the normal hair growth cycle, and using chemicals in hair products may damage hair and result in hair loss.
Using hair products with chemicals can cause hair loss in teenage girls

Image: IStock

protip_icon Did you know?
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune conditioniXAcquired immune disorders where the body's immune system misidentifies its healthy cells as foreign and targets them that may affect teenagers and causes cycles of hair loss and regrowth (18).

While some of these causes may be corrected by taking the measures mentioned above, some might need medical attention.

When To See A Doctor?

When natural ways to prevent hair loss do not bring a change, then it is good to see a doctor to identify the underlying cause of excessive hair loss. Based on the medical diagnosis, the doctor may recommend a treatment.

Treatments For Hair Loss In Teenage Girls

Some of the common treatments doctors use to stop hair loss in teenage girls are:

  1. Medications: According to Harvard Health Publishing, minoxidil helps in producing new fine hair growth. However, it may not work for all women. If it works in your case, your doctor may recommend you to use it continuously for a given period.
protip_icon Quick fact
Discontinuing Minoxidil often starts the hair loss again (14).

The doctor may prescribe anti-androgens to treat androgenic alopecia as well as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in females as their body makes more androgens (14).

Doctor may prescribe anti androgens for androgenic alopecia and PCOS

Image: IStock

  1. Iron supplements: If the hair loss is due to deficiency of iron in the body, the doctor may prescribe iron supplements (14).
  1. Antifungal therapy: When the hair loss is due to fungal infections, the doctor may prescribe anti-fungal shampoo or anti-fungal medicines (15).
  1. Hair transplantation: Hair loss is often treatable through medications. But in severe cases, the doctor may recommend a hair transplant treatment. These procedures are surgical and invasive. Therefore, it may be used as a last resort, and when the benefits of the procedure outweigh the problems caused by hair loss. For this, you may have to wait for some years until the doctor thinks it is right to do the transplant.
Hair transplantation can help for severe cases of hairfall

Image: Shutterstock

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does biotin help hair loss in teenagers?

Biotin is vital in maintaining hair health and enabling hair re-growth (16). Therefore, it helps reduce hair loss in teenagers.

2. How much biotin should I give my teen for hair loss?

It is essential to consult your teen’s healthcare provider before deciding the safe dosage of biotin for them. The following doses may be usually recommended (16).

AgeMale Female
9 – 13 years20mcg20mcg
14- 18 years25mcg25mcg

3. Which vitamin deficiencies cause hair loss?

The body’s deficiencies of biotin, riboflavin, vitamin B, and folate are associated with hair loss (17).

Hair Loss in teenage girls is not very common and may occur due to various reasons such as genetics, scalp disorders, infections, psychological reasons, nutritional deficiencies, or due to some medications. The good news is that hair loss during teenage is temporary and treatable. However, hair loss may cause self-esteem and self-confidence issues that may lead to bullying at school. Talk to your teenager and get them the necessary help. Ensuring proper nutrition, using good hair care products, avoiding harsh chemicals, and heat treatment are some important ways to prevent hair loss in teenagers.

Infographic: How To Prevent Hair Loss In Teenage Girls Naturally?

As soon as your daughter becomes a teenager, you may notice a sudden hair fall. Various genetic and environmental factors, such as stress and hormone imbalances, can bring on teenagers’ hair loss. Check out the infographic below for all-natural strategies to stop teenage hair loss.

natural ways to prevent hair loss in teen girls (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Key Pointers

  • Excessive hair loss in teenage girls mainly occurs due to hormonal imbalances or genetic factors.
  • Common medical causes of excessive hair loss include fungal infections, adolescent androgenic alopecia, or traction alopecia.
  • Eating a well-balanced diet, using gentle shampoo and conditioner, and taking proper care of one’s hair can help prevent hair loss.
  • Consulting a doctor is essential if no changes are seen, even after trying natural remedies for prevention.
Hair Loss In Teenage Girls_illustration

Image: Stable Diffusion/MomJunction Design Team

Personal Experience: Source


MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.

1. Do you have hair loss or hair shedding?; American Academy of Dermatology Association
2. Androgenetic alopecia; U.S. National Library of Medicine
3. M. Rodrigues et al.; Androgenic alopecia: an entity to consider in adolescence; BMJ Journals
4. Types of Hair Loss; NYU Langone Health
5. Trichotillomania; Healthdirect Australia
6. L. Xu, K. X. Liu, and M. M. Senna; A Practical Approach to the Diagnosis and Management of Hair Loss in Children and Adolescents; Frontiers in Medicine Dermatology (2017)
7. Hair loss; Skin, Hair & Nails
8. Hair Loss: What Is It?; Harvard Health Publishing
9. A. O. Morelli; Common Nutritional Challenges for Teenagers: Eating Disorders and Unhealthy Dieting; Rhode Island Student Assistance Services
10. Hair Loss in Women; Cleveland Clinic
11. Telogen Effluvium; Cleveland Clinic
12. Beauty Sleep; Sleep Doctor Holdings
13. Anorexia Nervosa; National Eating Disorders
14. Treating female pattern hair loss; Harvard Health Publishing
15. M. D. Andrews and M. Burns; Common Tinea Infections in Children; American Family Physician (2008)
16. What is Biotin?; Food Insight
17. Hind M. Almohanna et al.; The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss: A Review; PubMed Central
18. Hair Loss Types: Alopecia Areata Causes; American Academy of Dermatology Association

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