Most people believe that hair loss (or alopecia) is the problem that affects elderly men in the first place. But, in practice, any person of any gender and any age can face this problem. For example, according to statistics, about 20% of young men in their 20s suffer from alopecia. The percentage of young women facing hair loss is also significant. More to the point, many specialists claim that the prevalence of this problem has noticeably increased during recent years, and that is associated with the lifestyle and habits of today’s young people. So, in fact, every person of any age or gender should constantly monitor the condition of the hair in order to turn to a doctor on time, in case of need.
When to Seek the Medical Help?
Specialists claim that losing up to 100 hairs per a day is normal. All those hairs lost are replaced with new ones. If you do not notice any changes in the look of your hairdo or any rapid increases in the quantity of hair left on the comb, there is nothing to worry about.
But, in case it seems to you that the hair looks thinner or more sparse, it is highly advisable to have a consultation with a specialist. Other symptoms that require undergoing a medical examination include bald patches, changes in the hairline, hair breaking, itching, redness or irritation of the scalp.
Alopecia can develop both rapidly and gradually. Sure, in the second case, it may be difficult to notice the changes on your own. In such a situation many people start to pay attention to the problem only after hearing observations from their family or friends.
Why Do Young People Go Bald?
There is an extensive range of factors that can cause or contribute to hair loss:
- In many cases, losing hair at young age is a family trait. Such changes progress gradually and develop in compliance with certain patterns. As a rule, men notice bald patches or changes in the hairline, and women realize that the hair along the crown is getting thinner or more sparse.
- Skin diseases. For example, hair loss can be caused by ringworm or alopecia areata.
- Hormonal changes. Women may suffer from problems with hair growth, due to hormonal changes that occur during and after the pregnancy and childbirth. That is a very common situation.
- Coexisting diseases. The relation may be not so obvious, but problems with hair growth can be associated with thyroid problems, anemia and other health conditions. In such a case the hair will grow again, when the original problem is solved.
- Severe stress. If a person has to overcome a very stressful event, there is a risk that he/she will face temporary hair loss during the next several months.
- Certain medicines and dietary supplements. Hair loss can be a side effect of the use of medicines for heart diseases, arterial hypertension, arthritis, oncological diseases, depression and other conditions.
- Radiation treatment. That is a frequent side effect.
- Improper hair treatment. That problem has gotten worse in recent years. Today, people pay much attention to the look of the hair and, as a result, apply all sorts of styling products on a frequent basis. That affects the condition of the hair day by day. As a result, it gets thinner and more scarce. Sure, varied styling appliances, especially those that heat hair, do serious damage as well, so, it is advisable to avoid using them on a frequent basis. Also, one should take into account that applying such tools to the wet hair literally boils water in the hair shaft, hence, it is safer to postpone styling until the hair dries out.
- Restricted diets. First of all, nowadays, many young people use rigid diets from time to time in order to keep themselves slender. Certainly, the lack of nutrients, especially protein, makes a negative impact on the state of one’s health in general, as well as on the condition of the hair in particular. Naturally, vegetarian diets can also lead to hair loss, in case they do not provide the sufficient supply of vitamins, minerals and other nutritive substances. If one cannot get the adequate nutrition from foods only, a doctor may recommend special dietary supplements in order to normalize the situation.
How to Prevent Loss of Hair at Young Age?
If alopecia is caused by hereditary factors, it cannot be prevented, as a rule. But there is good chance that the process can be slowed down and even reversed to certain extent. If one has a family history of early alopecia, it is advisable to turn for medical help after noticing the very first signs of the problem.
Here are some tips that can help to reduce the risk of hair loss:
- Avoid or minimize the use of styling techniques that can make a negative impact on the hair health. In the first place, it is crucial to give preference to gentle styling instead of applying curling irons, hot rollers and other heating tools. Secondly, it is better to limit the amount of gels, lacquers, mousses and other styling products that can make the hairs heavier and, as a result, increase the load on their roots. Besides, it is preferable to substitute fine-tooth combs with coarse-tooth ones. You can also apply detanglers to decrease the risk of tugging. In addition, it is advisable to avoid wearing tight tails and braids, as well using accessories that can tear hairs, like rubber bands.
- Protect the hair from the sunlight. You can apply special protective products or wear hats.
- Make sure your diet is balanced and complete. If you need to stick to some food restrictions, ask a doctor to recommend the corresponding dietary supplement.
- Avoid smoking. According to studies, smoking can encourage hair loss in men.
- Ask your doctor whether the medications and supplements you are taking can cause problems with hair growth. Sure, you should never give up any medicines without getting an approval from a specialist, instead a doctor may recommend an alternative or help you fix the problem in some other way.
As you can see, in the overwhelming majority of cases, hair loss can be successfully prevented, slowed down or reversed, the main point is to take all the precautions and to turn for medical help on time.