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 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.
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 strengthening hair.
- 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 dryer 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.
Possible Causes Of Excessive Hair Loss In Female Teenagers
Some of the common causes of hair loss in teenage girls could be:
- Adolescent androgenic alopecia: This occurs due to high levels of androgen hormones, including testosterone, 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 androgens at puberty. The increased level of hormones impact the hair-growing capability of the hair follicle, thus eventually causing hair loss (2) (3).
- Infection: Certain fungal infections such as tinea capitis 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).
- 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).
- 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).
- Medical conditions: Certain hormonal conditions such as thyroid disease, uncontrolled diabetes, and polycystic ovary syndrome may cause hair loss among teenage girls (7).
- 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).
- Poor nutrition: Unhealthy dieting and eating disorders (such as Bulimia Nervosa) during adolescence could be responsible for hair loss. It also affects weight (9).
- Others: Stress, interruption in the normal hair growth cycle, and using chemicals in hair products may damage hair and result in hair loss.
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:
- 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.
- Iron supplements: If the hair loss is due to deficiency of iron in the body, the doctor may prescribe iron supplements (10).
- Antifungal therapy: When the hair loss is due to fungal infections, the doctor may prescribe anti-fungal shampoo or anti-fungal medicines (11).
- Hair transplantation: Hair loss is often treatable through medications. But in severe cases, the doctor may recommend hair transplantation. 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Does biotin help hair loss in teenagers?
Biotin is vital in maintaining hair health and enabling hair re-growth (12). 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 (12).
|9 – 13 years||20mcg||20mcg|
|14- 18 years||25mcg||25mcg|
Hairloss in teenagers is not very common and may occur due to various reasons such as genetic causes, infections, psychological reasons, 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, good hair care, avoiding harsh chemicals, and heat treatment are some important ways to prevent hair loss in teenagers.
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; National Organization for Rare Disorders
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
9. A. O. Morelli; Common Nutritional Challenges for Teenagers: Eating Disorders and Unhealthy Dieting; Rhode Island Student Assistance Services
10. Treating female pattern hair loss; Harvard Health Publishing
11. M. D. Andrews and M. Burns; Common Tinea Infections in Children; American Family Physician (2008)
12. What is Biotin?; Food Insight