Puberty and Hair Loss: Are They Related?
Become a teenager is hard enough. It’s exciting and challenging to enter high school, meet new people, and start thinking about the future. But when a teen’s body starts going through hormonal changes, things can get tricky.
Unfortunately, for some young men and women, puberty will also mean a period of temporary hair loss. You may be surprised to learn that hair loss during puberty is normal. If you’re a teen, it’s important for you to know this hair loss is normal, as well as temporary.
How Much Hair Loss is Normal for Teen?
Humans actually shed up to one hundred strands of hair a day. It’s part of our body’s natural hair growth cycle. If your hair is falling out, you may wonder how much is too much or if it is unusual. If you have darker hair, your hair loss will be more noticeable if you look at the shower drain or on your hairbrush.
How can you make sure that your hair loss is normal? Well, one way is to take a selfie on your phone with your hair in a ponytail. Document your hair once, in the same style, every week and examine what it looks like over the next month. If there are noticeable thin areas in the pic, you will want to ask your parents to schedule a doctor appointment.
Mental Health and Thinning Hair
If a teen suffers from stress, depression, anxiety or an eating disorder, there may be more than one factor at play with hair loss. Your primary care physician can screen you for any of these disorders. One disorder that you may not be aware of is called trichotillomania. This is a disorder where a person pulls out their hair, sometimes even unconsciously, compulsively. A person with anxiety or an eating disorder is more likely to have this disorder as well. This is why mental health screening is important for teens experiencing hair loss, as well as physical screening.
What Health Conditions Can Cause Hair Loss?
There are also conditions and diseases that can cause hair loss at any age. Thyroid disorders, which are particularly chaotic during hormonal changes, can cause hair loss when they’ve gone un-diagnosed for several years. A more likely cause can be severe anemia, which frequently afflicts young women who don’t absorb enough iron from their diets.
If you have another health condition and you’re taking medication for it, you may want to check the warnings from the drug manufacturer. Certain types of birth control cause hormonal changes that can cause hair loss. Other medications can also cause different types of hair loss. Speak with your doctor if you’re worried that you are experiencing this type of side effect from a medication you are on. Often, he or she will be able to offer you an alternative that is just as effective.
Most hair loss that is experienced when you’re a teen is temporary. It will grow back within a year or so as the body adjusts to these hormonal changes. If you or your teen wants to be daring, you can explore a few fun ways to make the hair loss less noticeable. Girls may want to experiment with hats, hair bands or fake hair extensions, while guys may want to cut their hair short until it grows back properly. Whatever you choose, realize this is just a phase your body is going through. Nothing last forever. While you’re waiting for your hair to grow back, try to relax and concentrate on the things that really matter to you, like music or your favorite class.