Is Extreme Hair Loss at 15 Due to Using Straightening Irons?'

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Question: I'm 15 and I've lost almost half of my hair. I am facing extreme hairfall. I guess because I had been using straightening iron a lot but I haven't been using it for almost a year. And I have tried oiling. Hair masks, everything. Please help. My hair comes out even if i slightly pull my hand through my hair or brush it. I had very thick hair.

Answer: Hi, Maher. It does sound likely that your hair loss is linked to your over-use of flat irons. However, from what you describe it sounds as if there are three issues potentially in play - though luckily all are normally reversible.

The hair loss conditions we suspect may be causing your shedding are Traction Alopecia and a temporary hair thinning issue called Telogen Effluvium.

Traction Alopecia is commonly caused by repeated use of harsh hair-styling techniques, from tight hairstyles to over-dyeing, bleaching or use of heated styling tools. Telogen Effluvium occurs around three months after the body has received a shock of some kind, or been placed under considerable strain. This leads to thinning hair all over the scalp and can reduce hair density by around 50 per cent. Hair will usually regrow naturally within around six months, once the underlying trigger has been dealt with, so it's a waiting game I'm afraid.

Although Traction Alopecia treatment exists, it is only suitable for those aged 16 years old and over. As such, we recommend removing any potential causes of tension or stress on the follicles to give them a chance to recover. This includes straightening irons, hairdryers (keep these on a medium setting or lower), tight hairstyles including braids or buns, and hair bleach or colourants.

It is likely that there is a third problem - hair breakage - which is also usual in cases of Traction Alopecia and over-use of hair straighteners or other heat styling devices. This can generally be dealt with through intensive, restorative conditioning treatments and a good haircut.

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