Recently, we’ve had a number of interested clients in their early 20s wondering if there is such thing as a minimum age to hair loss and/or hair restoration. The truth is hair loss can happen at any age in a person’s life. Here’s a relevant Q&A session that Dr. Arocha participated in for IAHRS Hair Transplant and Hair Loss Info Center. A young man describes how he has experienced hair loss since the age of 14-15 years old and wants to know if he is following the correct treatment plan.
Q: Since I was around 14-15 years old I have experienced hair loss, I’m now 17 and still losing hair. I have attempted minor treatments through a clinic, which determined I had male pattern baldness. When I was younger (15-16), the clinic suggested a hair loss treatment, I believe it contained minoxidil, and involved rubbing it on the scalp. After a year and little change except for irritation on the scalp, I quit. The clinic suggested a Propecia pill when I was 18, and then a hair transplant at 21. After the scalp treatment I feel I have been tricked and should not trust them. Please help answer the questions, is this the right course of treatment or is there a better alternative, and is it possible to lose hair at such a young age from male pattern baldness? – George
A: Thank you for your question. Male pattern hair loss is a condition in which a pattern of hair is inherited, in which the hair is sensitive to DHT. Once puberty starts, testosterone production increases and it is metabolized into this DHT. The DHT will start the miniaturization process, that is, hair in this inherited pattern will start to become progressively thinner caliber and with decreasing pigment. It is a bit confusing, you stated that the hair loss started at age 14-15, which it can, then you said that you are presently 17 and still losing hair. Later, you stated that a clinic treated you for male pattern hair loss with minoxidil at age 15-16 for 1 year. Then at age 18, they put you on propecia, then a transplant at age 21. The treatment course is acceptable, except that I would have combined the minoxidil 5% twice per day and the propecia 1 mg per day, if indeed your condition is male pattern hair loss. There are other conditions that can cause hair loss that may be confused with male pattern hair loss. The hallmark of male pattern is miniaturization and the pattern distribution. If there is any uncertainly, a scalp biopsy should be contemplated. Hope this helps, George.
For more information, please visit the original IAHRS article here.
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