Does Male Pattern Baldness Cause Rapid Hair Thinning Within Weeks?'

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Question: I’m 17 yo boy and want to check is male pattern balding usually something that progresses rapidly in weeks, like hair thinning all over but worse on hairline and crown? Mine has come on practically over night and so much hair full in matter of weeks that I’d say I’ve lost about 40-50% of my hair, and I’m still losing more fast. I have been to the doctors because I’ve lost stone and a half over 5 months without trying and have couple of deficiencies, but they aren’t helping.

Teen Teenage Hair Loss AdviceAnswer: Hi, David. Your age and the speed at which you say your hair loss is accelerating, as well as the areas it is affecting, suggest that this is most likely temporary and connected to your health problems.

Whilst Male Pattern Baldness is a permanent genetic condition which does indeed cause hair thinning, this is confined to the top of the scalp only. It can cause men with an inherited sensitivity to a testosterone byproduct called DHT to develop a thinning crown and/or a receding hairline, as well as thinning along the top of the head, any time following puberty. However in this case the shedding is a gradual process which, although the rate of hairloss is unique to each person, can take months or even years to become noticeable, let alone problematic.

Rapidly thinning hair which comes on fairly suddenly and presents all over the scalp - not just in areas around the top of the head - is often caused by a temporary hair loss condition called Telogen Effluvium. It tends to become noticeable up to three months after the body is placed under significant strain. This is commonly due to an underlying health issue, illness, rapid weight loss and/or dietary deficiencies. It tends to clear up of its own accord in up to six months once the problem has been identified and managed properly.  If there are further complications, it can become chronic and last for more than six months, though this is still considered a temporary form of hair loss.

It is worth noting that these temporary conditions can trigger male pattern baldness in genetically-predisposed individuals, though this is not always the case, so it is important to get a confirmed diagnosis in order to deal with your hair loss in the correct manner.

There are telogen effluvium treatment courses that can help to accelerate the hair growth process, though it is important that the underlying issue that has triggered your hair loss condition is also dealt with. Topical applications of high strength minoxidil to help promote regrowth are available to suitable candidates from 16 years of age. An experienced specialist at a reputable hair loss clinic will be able to provide you with a diagnosis, prognosis and recommendations for treatments tailored to your specific medical and shedding profile, so that you know what is going on and have the necessary professional advice on your options and how to proceed.

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