Baldness or hair loss is usually something only adults need to worry about. But in a few cases, teens lose their hair, too — and it may be a sign that something’s going on.
Hair loss during adolescence can mean a person may be sick or just not eating right. Some medications or medical treatments, like chemotherapy treatment for cancer, also cause hair loss. People can even lose their hair if they wear a hairstyle that pulls on the hair for a long time, such as braids.
Losing hair can be stressful during a time when you’re already concerned about appearance. Most of the time, hair loss during the teen years is temporary. With temporary hair loss, the hair usually grows back after the problem that causes it is corrected.
Hair is made of a type of protein called keratin. A single hair consists of a hair shaft (the part that shows), a root below the skin, and a follicle, from which the hair root grows. At the lower end of the follicle is the hair bulb, where the hair’s color pigment, or melanin, is produced.
Most people lose about 50 to 100 head hairs a day. These hairs are replaced — they grow back in the same follicle on your head. This amount of hair loss is totally normal and no cause for worry. If you’re losing more than that, though, something might be wrong.
If you have hair loss and don’t know what’s causing it, talk to your doctor. A doctor can determine why the hair is falling out and suggest a treatment that will correct the underlying problem, if necessary.