Adolescence is a very peculiar time in the life of a male. This phase is marked by fragility, vulnerability, instability, confusion and many other vices.
Body changes encountered during this phase makes one feel different. Some might feel good about it, some do not, as they find this stage utterly confusing and beyond their control.
Hair loss is devastating for anyone at any phase of one’s life and it is even worse for teenage boys who are at a very vulnerable phase of their life.
A brief knowledge of the hair would help us understand hair loss a whole lot better. The hair has a pretty simple structure, it is composed of a tough protein, known as keratin, and the structure is also comprised of follicles, hair bulb, and hair shaft.
Tiny structures called hair follicles anchor the hair into the skin while the hair bulb forms the base of the follicles. This hair bulb contains living cells that divide and grow to form the hair shaft.
Blood vessels nourish the hair bulb which strengthens the follicles thereby strengthening the hair itself.
From this brief explanation, you would see that damage to any part of the structure of the hair would cause disheartening effects.
Hair loss or alopecia is described as the loss of hair from the scalp or the breakage of hair. In humans, it usually presents itself as bald patches on the head which might expand over time and cause total hair loss.
Causes of Hair Loss in Teenage Guys
There are a lot of reasons for alopecia in teenagers:
Due to the rapid changes and growth occurring in the body of a teenage boy, they need to match the change with nutrients by using healthy foods.
However, healthy foods are mostly not desirable and as such teen boys prefer to live off junks like pizza, pies and other snacks that do not have the necessary dietary requirements they need to help them grow.
The hair follicles require energy and nutrients for their growth and a shortage of nutrients gives the body system no choice but to manage the little it has left.
This would entail that nutrients are focused on maintaining the internal system leaving hair follicles to weaken. People with anorexia and bulimia suffer bouts of hair loss for this reason.
Illness or Underlying Medical Conditions
Mostly, when hair loss is associated with several other symptoms, it indicates the presence of an underlying medical condition and you are advised to visit the physician.
Hormonal imbalances resulting from illnesses bring about hair loss as seen in medical conditions like diabetes and lupus.
These conditions can also weaken the hair follicles which would inevitably bring about hair loss.
For teenage boys who have gone through a round or several rounds of chemotherapy, there is bound to be hair loss. it is inevitable as alopecia is the result of the aggressive cancer treatment method.
Also, several drugs used in the treatment of bipolar disorders and diet pills containing amphetamine interfere with the production of hair and lead to the loss of hair.
This is characterized by hair falling off from the scalp and other parts of the body. Studies have shown that it is also caused by an autoimmune disorder where the immune system attacks the hair follicles.
The hair loss is recurring as it may grow back and happen all over again. The disorder is very rare and is said to happen in 1 out of 50 people.
This is one of the most common causes of hair loss. It occurs when hairstyles are too tight and put a strain on the hair and scalp. Traction alopecia is said to be also caused by wearing tight headgears (tight scarfs, helmets).
These put a strain on the scalp and cause damage to the hair follicles. The severity of the damage depends on how long the strain on the scalp has lasted for.
Hair Treatment and Styling
At the phase of adolescence in boys, the desire to look good and follow the trend is very high and as such teen boys go through a lot of hassles to style their hair to redefine their look.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with trying out new hairstyles, the problem is the way one goes about it.
There are a whole lot of hair products, but we cannot always say for certain if they would do good to our hair. Some of these hair products are composed of chemicals that may be dangerous to our hair follicles.
Also, applying excess heat to the hair also weakens the follicles and results in hair loss. For this reason, it is ideal for you to get proper advice from a physician on certain products before you use them.
This is an inflammation or infection of the hair follicles; such infections weaken the hair follicles and cause hair loss.
Folliculitis appears on the scalp, back, abdomen, genital area, legs, and chest and it could easily be caused by a staphylococcus infection.
Folliculitis arises a result of:
- Injuries to the skin
- Tight hair braids (these damages the follicles and result in traction alopecia)
- Use of products that irritate the hair follicles (To avoid this, it’s best to consult with the dermatologist for information on hair products)
- Skin conditions including dermatitis and acne.
Signs and Symptoms of Folliculitis
- Red skin
- Inflamed skin
- Crusty spores
- Mild fever
- Boils underneath skin
- Dark patches on the skin
- Permanent hair loss
- Recurring follicular infection
Treatment of Folliculitis
Certain drugs are used to treat folliculitis, they could be anti-fungal or anti-bacterial depending on the cause of folliculitis in the first place. Anti-inflammatory drugs are also effective.
The drugs are usually administered in the form of topical antibiotic creams, oral antibiotics, and topical anti-fungal cream.
The physician could drain the boils of its pus. This is very helpful as it reduces pain and makes for a speedier recovery.
This is a psychological disorder characterized by the pulling out of hair. Victims often have bald patches on their scalp.
Steps That Can Be Taken To Stop Hair Loss In Teenage Guys
VIDEO: How To Stop Hair Loss In Men
This video explains what causes hair loss in males and how to stop it.
Since hair loss occurs for several reasons, there is no special or exact way to treat it. Rather, the cause of the alopecia must first be identified and a treatment regimen for that cause would then have to be followed.
Generally, hair loss can be tackled by:
Washing Hair Regularly
Dirty hair supports the formation of dandruff which eventually leads to hair breakage and hair loss. Washing hair regularly is a good way to keep your hair healthy and it’s ideal to give it the much-needed glow.
When washing hair, the shampoo being used is very important as it would determine the general health of your hair.
It is recommended that you use mild shampoos particularly shampoos that are made with natural ingredients. The more natural, the better it is for your hair.
While combing of hair is an efficient way to untangle one’s hair, it is also a cause of hair breakage and hair loss. It is always recommended that the combing of hair should not be too regular as it sometimes pulls hair from its roots.
Fingers could be used to untangle the hair instead of Combs. Also, combing of wet hair should be totally avoided, this is because the hair is weak in its wet form and so combing wet hair makes it very easy to pull it out from its roots.
A dry scalp makes for dandruff which could lead to hair breakage and hair loss. For the treatment of hair, massaging the hair with essential oil helps to rejuvenate and enrich the hair follicles.
You could make this even more effective by adding lavender oil and sesame oil.
Taking Vitamin Supplements
Vitamins could be eaten in foods, or supplements and they could be applied on the scalp through hair products. Vitamin A promotes and boosts the production of sebum in the scalp.
Vitamin E allows for easier flow of blood into the hair bulb which helps to make the hair follicles even more active. Vitamin B helps to maintain hair color as well as to give it its shine and glow.
It’s your hair and you should know what is good for it. Everybody differs, what might be good for one person may not necessarily be good for another person.
In the same way, you do not always need to use the same treatment a friend uses. While it might promote their hair growth, it just might not work for you.
Study the reactions from various hair products you use. This would help you monitor your hair growth and know which product is right for you and which is not.
Heating and steaming of hair is a very effective way to damage the hair follicles. Prolonged exposure to heat could lead to permanent or temporary damage to the hair follicles.
Teen boys heat their hair in a couple of ways, from stretching their hair with hot Combs to washing their hair with hot water. It is always advised to do this in moderation.
The heat should not be intense, it should be mild. Damage to scalp and hair follicles are not always very easy to handle and reverse.
Teenage boys who suffer from trichotillomania would have to undergo therapy sessions to help them stop the habit of pulling out their hair.
For alopecia that results due to an illness or an underlying medical condition, the best way to treat such alopecia is by treating the disease as the hair loss is only an effect of said illness. Once the illness is treated, the alopecia would be well on its way.
If the hair loss is a result of a hormonal imbalance, the administration of the lacking hormone would rejuvenate the follicles and stop hair loss.
Styling of Hair
When styling hair, it is best to go for styles that do not put a strain on the scalp. If the hair is too tight, the stylist should make efforts to relieve the strain on the scalp.
The pores on the scalp require oxygen and this helps in promoting the action of hair follicles. Avoid using an excess of hair oils as they block these pores and prevent them from receiving oxygen. Remember, moderation is key!
Hair loss in teenage boys is not completely normal and it requires a cause for concern as soon as it is noticed. Alopecia progresses quite easily and the earlier you begin treatment, the better.
There is no alopecia type associated only with teenage boys and so it is safe to say that episodes of alopecia experienced by teen boys could still be experienced later in their lives if it is not treated properly.
Therefore, treatment for hair loss usually spans for a long period of time. It’s best to put all efforts into treating it once than doing so repeatedly.