Why Is My Hair Thinning at 20?
Losing your hair while in your 20s can be a stressful and embarrassing experience. If you notice a worrying amount of hair in the shower drain or on the floor, you may wonder what’s causing it and if anything can be done about it.
In most cases, maintaining a balanced diet and removing sources of stress from your life are enough to treat thinning hair and support normal hair growth.
However, it’s even better if you understand the causes of hair thinning so that you can address the issue more effectively.
5 Causes of Hair Loss
Our hair grows in 4 phases: anagen (growth phase), catagen (transition phase), telogen (resting phase), and exogen (shedding phase).
Several factors can alter this cycle and several reasons why you may be experiencing hair thinning. Let’s take a closer look at the most common ones.
1. Poor Nutrition and Diet
This may come as a surprise but eating a healthy, balanced diet not only benefits your general health but also affects hair growth and development.
If you don’t provide your body with enough protein, biotin, vitamins, and other nutrients, it will take its ration of fuel and energy from your hair to sustain your vital organs. This can cause hair thinning, hair loss, and can make your hair look drier, duller, and more prone to breaking.
To address hair thinning, eat a balanced, healthy diet and get enough vitamins and protein. This will give your hair and body the nutrients they need to remain in good health.
2. Medical and Genetic Conditions
If you’re in good health but still have thinning hair, it could be due to a medical condition. Thyroid disorders like hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, fungal infections like ringworm, lupus, and autoimmune diseases like alopecia areata can negatively affect your hair.
If any of these conditions are to blame, there’s a strong chance that your hair will regrow with the appropriate treatment. In such cases, see a trichologist so you can figure out what’s causing it and get help in reversing the damage.
3. Hormonal Changes
Your hair cycle is influenced by hormones. As a result, any hormonal changes will have an impact on your hair growth and might cause hair loss.
If you’ve recently started taking or changed birth control pills, it could be the reason for your hair loss, especially if you’re sensitive to hormonal fluctuations. To remedy this, experiment with different types of pills to find one that will provide you with the benefits of contraception without sacrificing your hair growth and quality.
You may also experience hair thinning post-pregnancy when hair growth levels drop dramatically. Fortunately, hair grows back in time with this type of hair loss.
Stress, whether chronic or acute, can harm your physical and mental health. It can also cause problems with your hair. So, if you’ve noticed your hair thinning and are discovering more loose hair around the house than usual, take a step back and think about what may have happened in the three months leading up to it.
Stress can prematurely push hair from its growth phase to its resting phase, which is a condition called “telogen effluvium,” leaving you with excessive, rapid hair loss that affects your entire scalp.
Hair can start shedding for up to three months after a stressful event, take three to six months for it to start growing again, and 12 to 18 months to fully recover its growth.
The good news is that most stress-related hair loss is reversible with a healthy diet, proper hair care, and targeted treatments.
5. Male Pattern Baldness
Androgenetic alopecia or male pattern baldness (MPB) is hair loss that is experienced by men and women. It’s linked to genetic factors and can be caused by dihydrotestosterone hormones (DHT).
According to the National Health Service (NHS), 25% of men with MPB begin losing hair before they reach the age of 20 or 21. This means that men who are afflicted by it will lose hair more quickly than women, with hair thinning appearing in their early twenties, and occasionally even in their teens!
Unfortunately, there is no cure for MPB. It progresses quickly, from a receding hairline to full baldness, but some treatments can help slow down the process and maintain your hair for as long as possible. Keep in mind that additional factors like stress and a bad diet can exacerbate the problem and speed up the balding process.
Hair loss, for the most part, is curable. If you’re unable to resolve the problem by eating a balanced diet and maintaining a stress-free lifestyle, we recommend consulting a doctor or trichologist who will examine and diagnose the root cause of your hair loss and provide a customized treatment plan for it.