Hair loss is a common problem that can significantly impact a person's appearance and self-confidence. Although it is most commonly associated with aging, hair loss can affect people at any age.
Hair loss is a natural process that occurs in both men and women. Generally, it is a normal and healthy part of the aging process and is nothing to be concerned about. There are many different causes of hair loss, including genetics, hormones, and stress.
If you are concerned about hair loss, there are treatments that can help. However, it is important to remember that hair loss is natural and nothing to be ashamed of. Embracing your age means accepting the physical changes you experience, including hair loss.
Hair Loss in Your Teens
Hair loss in your teens can be a difficult and emotionally distressing experience. If you're experiencing hair loss at this early age, it's important to know that you're not alone—many people lose hair during their teenage years. There are many possible causes for hair loss, including medical conditions, stress, and hormonal changes.
One of the most common causes of hair loss in teens is stress. When you're under a lot of stress, your body goes into survival mode and diverts all its resources to more critical functions, like keeping your heart beating and your lungs breathing. The lack of resources can lead to a condition called telogen effluvium, which is when your hair follicles go into a resting state and stop growing new hair.
Hormonal changes and imbalances are also common causes of hair loss in teens. When your body goes through puberty, your hormone levels fluctuate wildly. This can cause your hair follicles to shrink, leading to thinning hair.
Hair loss could also be a symptom of more serious conditions in teens and even younger children, such as alopecia, lupus, diabetes, thyroid disease, and polycystic ovary syndrome.
If your children are experiencing hair loss, talk to your doctor or a dermatologist to discuss diagnosis and treatment options.
Hair Loss in Young Adults (20 to 30 years old)
For some people, hair loss may begin to occur in their 20s. In fact, hair loss is a growing problem in young adults, with 16% of young males between 18 to 29 and 53% of middle-aged men experiencing male pattern baldness. Young women also experience some form of hair loss in their 20s, with 12% of women recognizing female pattern baldness by age 29.
Young men may begin to display a widow’s peak or thinning of the hair on the top of the head. Once in their 30s, the receding hairline becomes more apparent, with encroaching hair loss from the bald spot.
If you are experiencing sudden hair loss at this age, the first step is to speak with your doctor to rule out underlying medical causes. If no related medical conditions are discovered, you can still mitigate shedding and improve hair growth with lifestyle changes, topical medications, laser therapy, and even surgery.
Hair Loss in Your 30s and 40s
Hair loss becomes more common the older we get. As we age, our hair follicles begin to shrink, leading to thinner, weaker hair.
Around 40% of men will start to see some hair loss by the time they turn 35. And by the time they reach 50, that number jumps to 65%. At this stage, the hairline recedes further, and hair becomes more sparse and thinner at the top of the head.
If the onset of hair loss is quite sudden, it could be cause for concern—there may be underlying health issues, such as hormonal imbalance, thyroid problems, and other hormonal disorders. A common symptom of these conditions is hair loss in men and women.
Other possible causes of hair loss include certain medical conditions, such as alopecia areata, scalp infections, and psoriasis. Additionally, hair loss can be a side effect of certain medications, such as those used to manage cancer symptoms or high blood pressure.
Hair Loss in Your 50s and Beyond
Hair loss is a common problem for those older than 50. In senior adults, it often manifests first as graying and thinning of the hair. Hair follicles also slowly die out, and for many men, hair loss becomes more apparent and often leads to baldness.
There are many causes of hair loss in seniors, including medical conditions, nutritional deficiencies, and even certain medications, but it is considered a natural part of the aging process.
About 55% of women aged 70 suffer from female pattern baldness, which some physicians consider an inherited condition.
The Bottom Line
While hair loss can be distressing, it's important to remember that it is often a natural part of aging. You can use various treatments to help you manage your symptoms, reduce hair loss, and promote hair growth.
If you're concerned about sudden hair loss, regardless of age, talk to your doctor, discuss the underlying cause, and determine the best treatment options for you.