Question: Hi I’m a 16 year old female. My hair used to always be super thick soft and silky until about when I started high school. I was undergoing a lot of stress that year and I noticed I was losing more hairs. I used to never be able to notice any hairs coming out but then I started to notice 5-10 hairs come out at different times throughout the day. People brushed it off and said it might be from stress and everything would go back to normal. But then it remained that way for a whole year. I have still been stressed with relationships and school work and have noticed a slight increase in hair loss. Just in the shower I lost about 40 hairs. My hair has gotten noticeably thinner compared to a couple years ago. I am thinking of trying minoxidil but it says you should be 18 and I’m only 16. I’m really worried this hair loss will continue. Please help.
Answer: Hi, Niki. We would recommend you have a professional consultation about your hair loss so that your scalp can be assessed.
This will not only put your mind at rest but, if there is a problem that is causing you to experience thinning hair, a specialist will pick up on this. At 16 years of age you are able to start hair loss treatment including various non-pharmaceutical hair growth boosters. This would only be an option if you are found to have a hair loss condition, however, If this is the case then recommendations for a course tailored to your medical profile and hair growth needs would be provided following your consultation.
From what you say here, however, it sounds like there may not be an actual hair loss condition at play, and if there is it is likely to be temporary. It is normal for everyone to lose around 100 hairs per day so what you describe is well within the normal hair loss range and does not sound like anything to be concerned about. At certain times of the year, and at different points in our hair growth cycle, we naturally shed more hair than usual. It is only when there is sustained hair loss above the normal range over a period of around three months or more - or where there is sudden, excessive hair fall - that it tends to become an issue.
If you are experiencing stress-related hair loss - something which appears to be becoming increasingly common earlier on in life for both men and women, thanks to the strain modern lifestyles can place on the body - then this will appear as shedding from all over the scalp. It should start to become noticeable around three months after being triggered and will likely rectify itself within up to six months if it is Telogen Effluvium. If it has become Chronic, it will last for at least six months but, again, can clear up naturally once the pressures and stresses that caused the hairloss are under control.
It does not necessarily have to just be emotional stress - or 'feeling stressed' - that can be involved; it can also be physical stress caused to the body by a dietary deficiency or an underlying illness. Issues with iron levels are a common cause of thinning hair in women so it could be worth speaking to your doctor for a full check up, especially if you have any other symptoms.
If either of these hair loss conditions are present and confirmed via a professional diagnosis, then treatment is available and is based around recommended formulations of high strength minoxidil. These liquids are applied directly to the scalp. Minoxidil encourages hair growth and can be used from 16 years of age if the client is deemed medically suited.
We cannot diagnose you or assure you one way or the other for sure without examining you so, whether you choose to visit a hair loss clinic in person or have an online consultation where you upload photos, we definitely recommend this as the best first step.
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.
View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world's largest gallery of hair growth photos and demonstrates the level of success that so many of Belgravia's patients achieve.