In one of the most startling hair loss stories of the past few years, two school teachers from Birmingham have been jailed for cruelty to a 10-year-old pupil who was so worried about beatings that his hair fell out.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Mohammed Siddique, 60 and his son Mohammed Waqar had beaten their victim with a plastic stick and given him back-handed slaps on four separate occasions when he was a student at the Sparkbrook Islamic Centre in Birmingham.
Following sentencing at Birmingham Crown Court, the men were each jailed for a year.
The boy’s lawyer read a statement which said that the events had had a “great effect on him, causing him to lose hair as he was getting very stressed.”
Stress is a well-established cause of shedding and can trigger or exacerbate many hair loss conditions.
It is becoming increasingly common for teenagers to develop stress-related hair loss, often as a result of exam pressure, disruptions in family life or as a result of illness. Given the shock and anxiety this boy would undoubtedly have experienced as a result of the reported abuse, his hair loss is sadly unsurprising.
Whilst constant pressure and on-going lower-level stress can cause diffusely thinning hair all over the scalp from a temporary condition called Telogen Effluvium or the more severe Chronic Telogen Effluvium, these are unlikely to have caused the boy's shedding in this instance.
A more feasible reason for the youngster’s hair loss is Alopecia Areata, a surprisingly common condition which counts shock and trauma as two of its many triggers.
Affecting up to two per cent of the population during the course of their lifetime, Alopecia Areata falls into the category of autoimmune disorders it is one of a number of conditions where the body’s immune system confuses healthy cells with foreign bodies and attacks them. These disorders can manifest themselves in any number of ways (common examples of autoimmune diseases include Multiple Sclerosis and Rheumatoid Arthritis); Alopecia Areata is evidenced by the sudden appearance of rounded bald patches on the scalp where the hair has fallen out. It often begins in childhood though certainly not in every case and in around 70 per cent of cases hair will grow back on its own within a year.
For people aged 16 and over, there are a number of treatments available that may help to speed up regrowth. Minoxidil is one of the more effective Alopecia Areata treatment options and has been seen to produce promising regrowth results in less severe cases (treatment for Alopecia Totalis and Universalis - the more extreme versions of AA is currently limited and generally far less successful).
The first port of call for anyone under the age of 16 who is losing their hair - whether from suspected Alopecia Areata or for any other reason - should always be their GP.
The Belgravia Centre is a world-renowned group of a hair loss clinic in Central London, UK. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation from anywhere in the world for home-use treatment.
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