Losing your hair is usually associated with aging. If you are losing hair in your 20s, it may result in quite a shock. But you are not alone if you are experiencing early hair loss. Learn the potential causes for your early hair loss.

Early hair loss facts

Hair loss can appear in many different ways, including a gradual thinning, which is the most common pattern of hair loss for men and women. Others may experience patchy bald spots or sudden loosening of their hair.

Early hair loss is more common than many people may believe. In fact, the National Institutes of Health says that among women, “fewer than 45%” will “go through life with a full head of hair.” The NIH estimates that 12% of younger women experience female pattern hair loss. The Mayo Clinic points out that “anyone— men, women and children — can experience hair loss.”

Early hair loss due to medical issues

There are several causes of early hair loss, including family history, hormone imbalance, illness or some medical treatments, such as the treatments administered to some cancer patients or others suffering from serious illnesses.

Some people undergoing chemotherapy lose hair as part of the treatment, but some medical issues themselves can cause early hair loss. Early hair loss can even indicate a higher risk for developing serious health problems later in life. The National Institutes of Health(NIH) reported the results of a study to determine the association between male pattern baldness and the likelihood of developing coronary heart disease. Men who participated in the study were of various ages, but the researchers discovered that of the younger study participants, men with “severe baldness” were just as likely to develop coronary heart disease as older men in the study. The researchers suggest that this association deserves further investigation.

Thyroid disease or other autoimmune diseases can result in early hair loss. The Mayo Clinic points out that certain medications can also be responsible for hair loss.

If you are experiencing hair loss in your 20s, it is not normal and you should see your doctor or dermatologist. Explain when you first noticed the significant hair loss and any other symptoms such as itching, pain or scarring. Inform the doctor of all the medications you are taking, even over the counter drugs. This will help in making a diagnosis and developing a treatment plan.

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