Since the past year, I have been suffering from hair loss quite frequently. Having tried several different remedies, I wanted to understand if hair loss was a common condition, especially in teenage females like me.
So here I am, talking about the potential causes of hair loss in 18-year-olds, but most importantly, answering the golden question: is hair loss in 18-year-olds normal.
So, is it normal for an 18-year-old female to lose hair frequently? Yes. It can stem from a lot of factors, such as hormones, inadequate nutrition, medications, over-styling and other medical conditions.
What exactly are the factors that may possibly cause hair loss?
Hormones are the main cause of hair loss in teenage females. As young girls grow up into teenagers and then into adults, several changes in their body occur, especially in their hormones. Dihydrotesterone (DHT) is the main hormone responsible for hair loss. DHT’s main function is to shorten the hair follicles, thus resulting in it to eventually fall out. Therefore, imbalance in the DHT hormone is a major factor that causes hair loss in female teenagers.
Some medicines like birth control pills are used by teenage females to manage their acne and reduce excessive hair growth. Since these pills function to alter hormones, they have a high chance of causing hair loss. Additionally, other medications that may potentially cause hair loss are anticoagulants, beta blocker and high doses of vitamin A.
Nutrition plays an essential role when it comes to taking care of your body in general, especially hair. For example, teenagers in America tend to consume a diet with high amounts of starch and fats. Consequently, they face vitamin and nutrient deficiencies. The few amounts of nutrients gained from the diet are stored in the body, rather than hair. Furthermore, some teenagers may have eating disorders, which results in poor nutrition and thus influencing loss of hair.
Teenagers often use hair or heat products, alongside straighteners, blow dryers and curling rods daily to keep up with the hairstyle trends, which damage their hair. When teenagers put their hair into high ponytails and braids, it may be too tight. This might result in bald patches and shortened strands.
Other medical conditions:
Sometimes, deep-rooted medical conditions such as scalp infection, unregulated diabetes, overactive or underactive thyroid, skin-disorders, compulsive hair-pulling (also known as trichotillomania) could be a major factor behind hair loss.
Now that we have covered the basic causes of hair loss in 18 year olds, let’s dive right into the early symptoms of hair loss.
Hair conditions that could lead to hair loss:
- A balding or a patch where the hair has noticeably been thinning could be an underlying hair condition that leads to hair loss. This is known as a thinning crown, which lets the scalp become more and more visible and the hair strains to become thin and wispy, especially if the thinning continues on.
- However, if the teen is complaining that her scalp is itchy or tender, it may be a case of ringworm or impetigo. In the case of ringworm, they may potentially be redness and scaling present on the bald patch, alongside having short, bent hair strands.
- With alopecia areata, the 18 year old might experience a completely bald patch and there should be no scarring, scaling or redness. Neither should there be any itchiness present.
- If the teen has patches present in the front part of the scalp or the side, which are not entirely bald, is formed irregularly and have hair strands that differ in length, she may potentially be experiencing trichotillomania (compulsive hair-pulling).
- Initially, when hair loss starts, hair strands still regrow. However, as it continues, the hair strands growing are thin and wispy, eventually becoming really short.
Should you see a doctor?:
- If the condition worsens and you see a loss of hair significantly or thinning, experience an itchy, tender scalp, it might be a good idea for you to take a visit to the doctors.
- If you feel unwell in general and additionally, have hair loss, you should consider taking a trip to the doctors.
- Furthermore, if you feel yourself getting more and more stressed about your condition, you should pay a visit to the doctors since stress can increase hair loss.
- Finally, if you are considering taking any medication to reduce hair loss, you should see a doctor beforehand to understand if medications are the best option for you or should you opt for alternative methods.
To conclude, it can be said that hair loss is indeed very common in 18 year old females. Hormones, inadequate nutrition, medications, over-styling and other medical conditions are some factors that could lead to this condition.
Some underlying hair conditions could also result in hair loss, such as thinning crown in 18 year old females, itchy or tender scalp, alongside being flaky, bald patches, a significant amount of hair strands on the pillow or in the drain after showering, and thin and wispy growth of hair strands.
You should consider seeing a doctor if your condition worsens significantly and you notice hair loss and thinning coming out of nowhere.
Furthermore, if you generally feel under the weather and on top of this, have hair loss, you might want to take a visit to the doctor. Feeling stressed and anxious about hair loss may be potentially another reason why you should visit the doctors, as stress can lead to increased hair loss and has the possibility to worsen your condition.
Doctors can also help you identify the exact condition and advise you the best possible treatment option available for you to prevent your condition from worsening.