Whilst it is certainly true that the chance of us getting hair loss increases with age, Belgravia regularly hears from teenagers of both sexes and their parents who are worried that their hair is beginning to fall out. Sometimes this is temporary hair loss, for instance Telogen Effluvium as a result of stress or illness, but it also may be pattern hair loss.
Temporary hair loss should grow back in a matter of months, but male pattern hair loss or its female equivalent is genetic, and as such cannot be ‘cured’ with medication and will not fix itself. This type of hair loss occurs when hair follicles along the top of the scalp and hairline begin to shrink as a result of androgen DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) and subsequently begin to produce weaker, thinning hair that breaks easily.
If left untreated, this type of hair loss can progress until areas of the scalp become bald or extremely thin, at which point it cannot be treated medically. Of course, it’s natural for teenagers to be worried by this information, but depending on certain factors, there may be suitable treatments available to them.
Two For The Boys
To begin with, let’s take a look at what teenage men can do to treat their hair loss.
Male pattern hair loss can appear as an overall thinning of the top of the head, a receding hairline or thinning of the crown (the beginnings of a bald spot) but if the thinning is all over the head or the hair loss is patchy, it may be that something else is to blame.
In cases of male pattern baldness there are two medications for hair loss that have been both licensed by the MHRA and FDA approved (these are the UK’s and USA’s medical regulatory bodies) so unlike many alleged hair loss treatments that merely improve the condition of existing hair, they have been proven in clinical trials to work.
Whilst one of these clinically-proven medications – high strength minoxidil – is applied directly to the scalp to increase localised blood flow, and therefore oxygen and nutrient delivery, and promote hair growth, the other is a one-a-day tablet of finasteride 1mg which inhibits the formation of DHT. This can prevent further follicular miniaturisation, and allow normal hair growth to resume, with consistent use. Finasteride is only available to men over the age of 18.
Here Come The Girls
Finasteride is not suitable for use by women, no matter what the age. However, women can use appropriate minoxidil formulations and supplementary hair growth supporting products can also be employed – an option also open to men.
In females, pattern hair loss generally appears as a thinning all over the top of the scalp and at the temples. If a woman’s hair loss is more widespread, affecting her entire scalp or presenting as sudden bald patches, it’s unlikely that this is due to female pattern hair loss and a visit to a Hair Loss Specialist is advised.
It is also worthwhile noting that certain health checks are often advised for women experiencing thinning hair, including blood tests to have iron levels checked. Iron deficiency can lead to hair shedding and is fairly common in women – certainly more so than in men. A GP or doctor can arrange these blood tests upon request.
The Belgravia Centre will carry out consultations for men and women over the age of 16.
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.