Question: Hi, I'm 17 years old and i have noticed that i have started to lose hair just above my temple area. It is only a small amount and I've tried to compare pictures of the area where I think there is hair loss and can't tell if it is actually being lost or not. I don't smoke and have a healthy diet. I'm not to sure how stressed I am. Is there a way to measure stress?
Also do I need to be worried if i am losing hair above my temple? Its also only on one side of my head as well where I think that there is a bit of hair loss.
And finally I have 2 front cowlicks on my head, do these prevent you from having a receding hair line? because I think I read something about that. Also my dad is partially bold as well. However my grandad is not. How does this affect my chances of becoming bold? Thanks x
Answer: Hi, Neil. There are a lot of different questions here so we'll answer them in order but the upshot is, given your age and the potential hair loss you describe, we don't think you have anything to worry about at present.
Developing a receding hairline: from what you say here, as you cannot tell whether you are losing hair or not, chances are this is not a receding hairline- which occurs in the frontal hairline and temple areas and is caused by Male Pattern Baldness. There may be nothing more than regular shedding as a normal part of the hair growth cycle going on, or you may be experiencing a maturing hairline - neither of these should be of concern.
Stress issues: it's great that you do not smoke and have a healthy diet. You would need to speak to your doctor about measuring stress levels, though if you were stressed enough for it to cause hair loss it's unlikely you wouldn't realise.
Emotional stress - the feeling of being stressed out - would be extremely clear and any forms of physical stress - for instance exhaustion, nutritional imbalances or an underlying illness - would present additional symptoms so you would generally be aware that something was not right.
Hereditary male pattern baldness: we are often asked by young men 'will I go bald like my dad?' and the answer is slightly more complex than yes or no, though it is extremely likely. Male pattern hair loss is inherited from genes that can be passed on from either side of the family - so, your mum or your dad. If either of your parents or close relatives - brothers, uncles, grandfathers - show signs of hair loss then it is probable that you will develop this too, but it is not 100 per cent certain.
The reason for this is that androgenetic alopecia (Male Pattern Baldness) can skip generations. This happens when the relevant balding genes are inherited but they remain dormant, as the the genetic predisposition needs to be active for the symptomatic thinning hair to develop anywhere in the affected areas (along the top of the scalp from the hairline to the crown). If your dad is losing his hair but your grandfather is not, this may be a good example of how the effects of active versus inactive genes display. Continues below...
It is worth noting that a dormant genetic predisposition can become active at any time in the future, following puberty, though for the majority of men this will be in their 30's and 40's onwards. The rate at which hair is lost to this condition is also gradual and differs from person to person so, even if this does happen, it is certainly nothing to worry about and time is very much on your side!
You can explore the various options open to you if you want to try keeping your hair; Male pattern hair loss treatmentis available from 16 years of age for some clinically-proven options and 18 years old for others. Also, if the time comes, a specialist can assess you and provide personalised recommendations as appropriate. Please do bear in mind that treatment cannot be used as a way of preventing baldnessuntil you actually start to show signs of shedding.
Cowlicks and hair loss: we have not heard about cowlicks - also known as hair whorls - meaning someone was less prone to going bald and, unfortunately, this is untrue. Cowlicks are simply areas, usually at the crown or - as in your case - along the hairline, where the hair is confused as to which way to grow so forms a spiral pattern. They affect men and women equally and, though studies by the prominent geneticist Amar Klar have found a correlation between the direction of a person's hair whorls and their dominant hand - in 2003 he discovered of the people who are right handed, at least 90 per cent had clockwise rotating cowlicks - we are unaware of any research into cowlicks and the likelihood of their relevance to any hair loss conditions.
I hope all this information answers your queries, and if you do want to have someone assess you now simply to put your mind at rest, please do contact us to arrange a consultation at one of Belgravia's City of London or Central London hair loss clinics, or fill out the online consultation form on this website.
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