Despite advances in many areas of society designed to make life easier, the pressures of modern living actually seem to be increasing.
New research by the American Psychological Association has discovered that millennials – those born in the 1980s or 1990s, also known as Generation Y – are more stressed than previous generations. And this stress is taking a visible toll on many, in the form of hair loss.
With the rise of social media, noticing the first signs of hair thinning is arguably easier than ever, but luckily there are solutions available which millennials are reportedly keen to explore.
Hair loss in young adults
Stress and hair loss go hand in hand and, whilst this type of shedding can often be temporary, that is not always the case.
Fairly rapid hair fall from all over the scalp, often around three months after a particularly stressful period and known as Telogen Effluvium, tends to last no longer than six months. However, in men and women with a genetic predisposition it can trigger the permanent hair loss conditions Male Pattern Baldness and, in women, Female Pattern Hair Loss which display as gradual hair thinning which is confined to the top of the scalp and hairline only.
It is a common misnomer that hair loss is associated with ‘old age’ when, in actual fact, it can start any time following puberty. Premature hair loss can also be triggered by a number of factors.
American newspaper the New York Post published a story on this phenomenon, quoting various specialists, from dermatologists to hair stylists. Each confirmed that they were seeing more 20-something patients than previously – both men and women. This is a growing trend that Belgravia’s hair loss specialists have also noticed developing here in the UK over the past few years.
“Over the past 25 years of treating hair loss here at Belgravia we have certainly noticed a downward trend in the age of our patients,” explains Leonora Doclis, senior hair loss specialist at The Belgravia Centre flagship clinic in Central London. “Whilst the number of patients overall has increased across the age groups, many of those are men and women in their early 20s or sometimes even in their late teens. It has always been the case that women tended to start experiencing thinning hair later in life than men but now it is seemingly evening out, with more women coming to see us at an earlier age.”
Doclis adds, “Stress is undoubtedly a factor in many of the cases we see – whether it is telogen effluvium, androgenetic alopecia or alopecia areata. What many people don’t seem to be aware of, however, is that ‘stress’ can refer to the strain put on the inner workings of the body, not just the emotional stress that someone feels when they are sad or overwhelmed which tends to be what many people think of when the word ‘stress’ or ‘feeling stressed’ is mentioned. There are many modern issues that can contribute to physical stress, including having a diet based around convenience foods, which in some cases can cause dietary deficiencies or lead to an excessive sugar intake which has also been linked to thinning hair. Repeatedly staying up late checking social media is not good either – even your follicles need their rest!”
Hair loss solutions
Previous reports on millennials being far more image-conscious than previous generations back up the story’s assertions that this group is also more proactive about getting help with their hair loss. Some could be doing more harm than good with their choices, though…
The Post reports on how Angelo David, a New York-based hairdresser, ‘has seen a “tremendous” number of young and balding clients too: “The new hair extension story is no longer short to long but thin to thick,” he says. “People want full and voluminous hair.” One of his most recent clients, in fact, was a college student just shy of her 20th birthday who had severe hair loss. “She was devastated,” he says, spending roughly $4000 on a customized, couture wig to cover up the issue’.
Hair extensions are notoriously bad for the scalp and, along with tight hairstyles, are a leading cause of the fully-preventable hair loss condition, Traction Alopecia. This is not an advisable way to enhance thinning hair and especially not in the long term. As with any medical issue, it is best to address the issue early – something the Post article makes clear millennials are keen to do.
Anyone from age 16 onwards can be eligible for pharmaceutical hair loss treatment and here at Belgravia we often recommend personalised courses based around formulations of high strength minoxidil. This is applied directly to the scalp, where needed, and can be combined with various additional hair growth boosters to help maximise its effects.
Furthermore, for men aged 18 and over, there is the option of adding a once-a-day tablet of finasteride 1mg into their treatment programme. This helps to prevent the formation of the hormone byproduct DHT which is responsible for pattern hair loss but has no further use in the body following puberty. Left untreated, this DHT binds to the hair follicles around the top of the scalp, slowly crushing them, leading to ever-thinning hair and, in men, this can even cause eventual baldness.
Anyone concerned that they’re starting to look a little thin on top and are living in fear of the next photo tag can get advice, treatment and support from a reputable hair loss clinic. With professional assistance and a bespoke plan, there’s no reason not to go from #hairlosshelp to #hairgoals.
The Belgravia Centre
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.