If you’re experiencing hair loss in your teens, you’re not alone. Although most people who ultimately become bald only begin to experience hair loss in their 30s, up to 25% begin to lose hair before their 22nd birthday.
The issue is more prevalent in men. However, teenage girls may also experience hair thinning that may eventually result in temporary balding.
Causes often range from genetics (the most common cause) to medical conditions such as thyroid issues and untreated diabetes. Medications, such as chemotherapy and hair products, may also cause brittle hair and eventual hair loss.
Thinning Hair in Men – Treatment Tips
Fortunately, you can take steps to slow down the hair loss, treat it, or cover the balding, so you don’t have to endure the trauma associated with thin or absent hair. Consider the following tips;
1. Lifestyle changes
Some of the habits you want to ditch include smoking and stressing behaviors. Recent research shows that there’s a strong link between smoking and hair loss. Extended periods of stress can also lead to hair loss, even if temporarily.
At the same time, you should consider adopting healthy habits such as scalp massage, eating a balanced diet, and regularly checking for diseases that might lead to hair loss.
2. Hair regrowth shampoos
If you’ve not heard about it before, now you know. Hair regrowth shampoos are designed to nourish the hair and encourage hair regrowth.
An excellent example is caffeine shampoos. Studies show that caffeine increases the amount of cell energy by acting against a protein known as phosphodiesterase. Caffeine also increases the protein insulin-like growth factor-1 (GF-1), critical for signaling molecules to promote hair growth. Above all, caffeine reverses dihydrotestosterone (DHT) effects, the primary hormone involved in genetic balding.
3. Prescription and OTC drugs
The FDA recognizes two drugs, one an over-the-counter medication and the other a prescribed drug, for male and female pattern (genetic) baldness.
The first one, Minoxidil (Rogaine), is an OTC drug available as liquid or foam. You’re required to apply it to the scalp twice a day to prevent hair loss or grow new air in bald areas. The second one, Finasteride (Propecia), is a prescription-only pill that you take daily. It may take a full year to see tangible results in both cases.
4. Laser treatment
If the problem is severe, you can consider laser treatment. Laser treatment works by reducing the inflammation in follicles that typically result in hair loss. In many cases, genetic or otherwise, chemical reactions in the follicles keep hair from re-growing.
A 2016 medical review shows that low-level laser therapy, also known as red light therapy, is a safe and effective way to treat inflammation, thus allowing hair regrowth. The procedure irradiates photons into the scalp tissues, which are absorbed by weak cells to encourage hair growth.
5. Hair transplant
Hair transplants are considered the option of last resort and only recommended if the other methods don’t work. There are two transplant procedures to consider, i.e., follicular unit transplantation (FUT) and follicular unit extraction (FUE).
FUT is the older method. It involves removing some skin from the back of the scalp where hair is abundant, extracting follicles from this area, and implanting the potent follicles in the bald area. Meanwhile, FUE involves removing follicles directly from the scalp (without removing the scalp) and implanting them in the bald areas.
6. Cover the bald spot
If you’re not interested in laser treatments of transplants, you only have two other options, cover the balding area or own your new look.
There are two broad ways to attempt to cover your bald spots. First, you can attempt to make your hair look thicker. An excellent strategy here is to find the perfect hairstyle. You may need to work with your barber on this. The other option is to shave it off. No one will ask too many questions about your baldness when you don’t have any hair in the first place.
7. Own and live with it
You can also choose to own it and live with it. This may be a little difficult in the beginning. But it makes your life much easier once you get past the first few months of worrying about what people will say. You may even grow to love the baldness.
A valuable tip to help you own your balding or thinning hair is to identify with celebrities or influential people who’re bald. You’ll feel more secure associating with such people. Trying a new fancy look, such as experimenting with glasses, facial tattoos, or piercings, may also accentuate your look.
It’s a Choice
Thinning hair in men can be cured with laser treatment or a transplant. However, we see many bald people or those with thin hair around us all the time and, unless it’s a medical issue, it doesn’t affect them much. In fact, some people are better looking with thin/bald hair. So, it’s a matter of choice.