Question: Hi, I’m 15 years old and when I was 13 I realized a bald spot on the top of my crown. I told my parents about it and they just said it was all in my head and I have nothing to worry about. Then after it getting progressively worse I went to the doctor. My doctor tested my blood and I was diagnosed with Graves’ disease which one of the symptoms is hair loss. My levels are all normal now and my doctor says my hair should come back, but my hairline keeps receding and my crown keeps thinning. I was just wondering if my hair will come back soon or is it just male pattern baldness. The men on my dads side are mostly all bald but most of the men on my moms side is including my grandpa on my moms side had a full head of hair his entire life! So it’s kinda up in the air if it’s genetics. I’m really scared my hair is going to keep falling out and never come back. Please help, thanks
Any underlying illness, and often first starting prescription medications for different health conditions, can lead to general hair thinning. This can be from Telogen Effluvium which lasts up to six months, or from Chronic Telogen Effluvium, which lasts at least six months, though specialist treatment can often help to accelerate this regrowth process for over 16s. Both cause thinning hair from all over the scalp which usually becomes apparent around three months after the shedding has been triggered. This happens when up to around 50 per cent of the hair follicles receive a shock or are placed under duress, causing them to become temporarily stuck in the Telogen (resting) phase of the hair growth cycle.
Although both forms of hairloss are temporary, in people with an existing genetic predisposition to androgenetic alopecia, this can be either exacerbated or its onset can be sped up. If, as you say, there are members of your family who have male pattern baldness then it is likely that you carry the necessary genetic markers to also be affected. Therefore, it is possible that the shedding caused by having Graves’ Disease may have triggered premature male pattern hair loss.
Male pattern hair loss is certainly consistent with the pattern of shedding you describe, as this hereditary condition only affects areas around the top of the scalp. This often displays in defined patches; a receding hairline – assuming it is not simply a maturing hairline – is a classic symptom, as is a thinning crown.
Although you are just 15 years old, it is possible for signs of hereditary hair loss to start at such a young age as it can start to take effect any time following puberty. This is especially true in cases where influential external factors, from stress and diet to – as in your case – illness, are present.
It is also important to understand that, whilst these scenarios are technically possible, nothing can be confirmed until you have been properly assessed by a hair loss specialist.
By examining your pattern and level of shedding, as well as your medical profile, an accurate diagnosis can be made. From there, the appropriate recommendations can be made for a hair loss treatment course to help stabilise hair fall and promote hair growth, although this cannot be prescribed until you are at least 16 years of age as this is the minimum age requirement for Belgravia clients. Hopefully getting a professional diagnosis and advice on dealing with hair loss in the meantime will be a relief, as well as helping you to better understand what you are dealing with, and giving you time to assess the best way for you to proceed.
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.