The term “alopecia” or “baldness” is used synonymously to talk about hair loss in men and women , to the point at times that the person has completely lost hair. Baldness or alopecia can occur on the scalp or even the entire body (alopecia universalis).
An issue of concern in youth is alopecia, especially in those whose parents lost their hair at an early age. It is a delicate issue that has affected men since the beginning of time and young people who suffer from it at an early age often have problems with self-esteem and confidence. He thinks that adolescence and youth is the stage where boys are building their identity and such marked changes in their physical appearance will affect their emotional state .
TYPES AND CAUSES OF ADOLESCENT ALOPECIA.
Alopecia normally occurs in young people who have a genetic predisposition due to a first or second degree relative who has also suffered it at an early age. Here we leave you with the most characteristic types of alopecia:
– Seborrheic alopecia: there is an excess of male hormones that increase the production of fat in the neck, hair , this leads to itching in the head and thinning of the hair. It usually occurs as a result of stress, anxiety , anemia, hormonal changes and hereditary factors.
– Androgenetic alopecia: it can affect both sexes and occurs because there is an excess of male hormones in the body. It is the most frequent cause and sometimes there may be a recovery of the part of the hair, but never the amount that was had in the beginning. A high level of androgens reduces the density of the hair. For this reason, when the child enters the adolescent phase is when they begin to notice the first signs of alopecia with the typical “entrances”. Therefore, we cannot really speak of hereditary alopecia as a disease since it is only a consequence of the aging process, 50% of men over 50 years of age are affected by this type of alopecia . In women between 5-10%.
– Alopecia areata: it is another type of alopecia in which hair is not lost gradually, but rather in areas, at first areas appear in different parts of the head but it can spread throughout the scalp. It is because the base of the follicle is narrower than in the distal part, which encourages hair loss. It usually appears due to emotional factors such as anxiety, worries, stress or due to a large repertoire of clinical diseases (lupus, anemia, vitiligo, etc.). 20% of people who have this type of alopecia have a family member in their circle who has also experienced it, but when it is due to an illness or serious stress situation, most patients recover their hair, around 95% .
– Traction alopecia. Here the cause of hair loss due to external factors such as aggressive hairstyles (pigtails, braids and other types of hairstyle) or more frequently (especially in men) by tricholomania . It is the compulsion that some people have to pull out their hair by the roots. It is related to pictures of mental disorders, such as depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or high stress situations.
Apart from the aforementioned there are other causes that can generate alopecia during youth and even adulthood.
– Hair mistreatment. One of the most significant is the mistreatment of the hair with aggressive brushing, shampoos of dubious quality and the use of lacquers or dyes, more frequently in women.
– Tinea capitis. In adolescents who begin to present baldness, this reason is frequent, it is a fungus that acquires the appearance of scales on the scalp, it can appear due to lack of hygiene but it can also be spread due to contact with pets (dogs, cats, etc.) or to contact with other people, therefore, it is a common cause in adolescents, since recess is an environment in which the approach and contact between students is facilitated.
WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT BALDNESS
It is complicated because the hereditary factor plays an important role. However, if there is something that the adolescent can do at least to delay the fall , for this it is necessary to break some myths about baldness.
– Have good hygiene in the area. There is a belief that if the adolescent washes a lot, his hair will tend to lose more. It’s false. In fact, the exact opposite happens, it is not about washing twice a day, but scalp hygiene is vital to delay hair loss. Lack of hygiene produces seborrhea and this facilitates hair loss in youth.
– Adequate nutrition : as always a good diet is the basis for the prevention of different pathologies. Honestly, we cannot expect that the adolescent will totally prevent hair loss by changing the diet since even the healthiest diet will prevent the inevitable, however its appearance can be delayed if we eat a balanced diet, with an adequate ratio between carbohydrates, fats and proteins, giving priority to the latter. The adolescent should include egg whites, gelatin, and undercooked red meats in their diet to avoid the loss of iron during cooking. Vitamins and iron from fruits and vegetables also play a key role, which should always be taken raw or semi-raw.
– Cut your hair regularly. The best way to keep capillaries open is to cut your hair regularly to clean it up.
– Perform hair massages. They can be done by professionals but also by yourself at home. They serve to reactivate the blood flow in the scalp by means of circular massages from the center of the head.
– Drugs and other chemicals. Research has been done on the use of certain substances to prevent baldness. There is a controversy about whether they are really effective or not because their effects, although they are immediate, are sometimes too subtle and people can have side effects. The most used are finasteride , which acts on weak hair (fluff) and strengthens it, minoxidil which stops hair loss and is responsible for reviving follicles, and finally ketoconazole , which, although it does not work with everyone in people in whom if it produces a reaction, it slows the fall considerably.