Teenage males should not, under normal circumstances, experience any hair loss beyond the expected normal shedding. However, if you’re a male around 17 years of age and are experiencing unprecedented hair loss, then there are a few different things to consider. While an underlying serious medical condition could be to blame, the chances are that it is something more mundane and fixable. Anything from genetic abnormalities to medical treatments, to changes in diet or lifestyle, can play a significant role in abnormal hair loss.
Let’s take a closer look at the most likely causes of adolescent hair loss:
Teenage males are tremendously susceptible to stress. Physical and emotional changes that are typically encountered during the adolescent years can wreak havoc on a young boy’s ability to cope with stress factors healthily. As we all know by now, stressful conditions can promote imbalances in our hormone production; when you add this to the already present soup of surging hormones in a teenage body you have the recipe for potential hair loss
Teenage males are not known for their discerning culinary tastes. Young men tend to eat alarming amounts of junk food and other unhealthy choices. This unhealthy habit of eating foods packed with empty calories and deficient nutrient content can potentially lead to hair loss. For example, a study published in 2006, by the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, found a possible link between a marked iron deficiency and abnormal hair loss. Other nutrients such as zinc and vitamin A are also intimately linked to hair loss.
Athletic teenage males are at a potentially higher risk to suffer from ringworm infections of the scalp. This fungal infection is much more common in males of young age and is prevalent in places where males come into close contact such as locker rooms and weight training facilities. Ringworm of the scalp, or Tinea Capitis, feeds on keratin and as such can be responsible for the deterioration of the hair strands.
Another widespread cause of hair loss in teenage males is called Traction Alopecia. Traction alopecia occurs when hair is pulled back into tight hairstyles such as cornrows and ponytails. Football helmets or computer headsets that are worn for extended periods of time can also cause this form of hair loss.