Hair Loss at a Young Age
No one wants to lose their hair. Hair loss can lower your self esteem and make you feel old. What you may be surprised to learn is how common hair loss is. Hair loss can happen to anyone, young or old, male or female. In fact, more than 50 percent of the population of the United States will experience hair loss in their lifetime. You may think you are too young to lose your hair, but hair loss at a young age is quite common.
Everyday Hair Loss
You lose hair every day. This is normal. Humans shed 50-150 hairs each day. This is because your hair has 3 different phases:
- 90 percent of your hairs are in the growth phase, which lasts 2-6 years
- 10 percent of your hairs are in the resting phase
- After the resting phase, your hair falls out
On most animals, the hairs in their coat are all in the same phase because they change with the seasons. In humans, each hair is in its own phase. All humans grow and shed hair every day. This is normal. But sometimes humans shed too much hair. Hair loss occurs when the rate of hair loss exceeds the rate of hair growth.
I'm Young. Why am I Losing my Hair?
Hair loss is often associated with growing older, but it can actually happen to anyone. There are many conditions that could temporarily cause you to lose your hair:
- Drug interactions
- Traumatic experiences
- Poor nutrition
- Poor blood flow
- Skin disease
- Pregnancy and child birth
- Kidney failure
- Liver failure
- Scalp infection
- Bleaching your hair and other hair treatments
If you are experiencing hair loss for unexplained reasons, you should see your doctor. It could be a symptom of a serious illness. Beyond illness, there are other reasons you may be losing your hair:
This is often called male pattern baldness. It occurs most often in men, but may also affect women. Some people even start balding in their teens. This condition is hereditary, and can come from your mother's or father's genes. Your genes will determine at what age you will begin balding, how fast you lose your hair, the pattern of hair loss and how bald you will end up. Women usually notice thinning in the sides, crown or front and rarely end up completely bald.
When you have alopecia areata, your hair falls out in smooth, round patches. Doctors are not sure what causes this disease, because the people who have it are usually in good health. It may be that you are genetically predisposed to the condition and something in your environment triggers it. Usually the hair grows back, but it may fall out and grow back several times.
The Relationship Between Race and Hair Loss
Your racial heritage may also have an influence on your hair loss. People of Japanese decent are less likely to bald than white people. If they do go bald, it happens about 10 years later, on average. White people are four times more likely to go bald than black people.
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