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Hair Loss In Young Men: Balding Before They're Legal
Hair Loss is commonly thought of as a problem for older men. But when it happens in younger men, even those who are not yet 21 years old, it can be considered an emotionally and medically serious problem requiring anti-anxiety medications.
Since hair loss is generally unexpected before age 21, it can be a shock for a young man 15 to 20 years old to discover he is losing hair. The first sign of hair loss to occur is thinning or miniaturization of the hair follicle in the frontal hairline. This can result in having the appearance of a high forehead. A person may also notice excess shedding when combing or shampooing the hair.
Hair loss has a very close association with family background or genetics. There is a misconception in society that genes associated with hair loss are only passed down through the mother’s side of the family. The truth is the genes involved in hair loss are passed down through either the maternal or paternal genes.
Hair loss before age 21 can be very disturbing for a young man, even if he expects to eventually undergo hair loss similar to other male members of his family. Loss of hair at this psychologically and emotionally vulnerable time in his life can leave him feeling disfigured, less attractive socially, and hindered in the job market. He can be an easy target for expensive but ineffective “miracle cures” advertised in print media, on TV and on the Internet.
The best first step is to have a hair restoration consultation with a physician hair restoration specialist who is a member of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS). A physician member of ISHRS is skilled and experienced, and importantly, follows ethical guidelines that make the needs of the patient the physician’s primary concern. Ethical considerations are especially important when the patient is vulnerable, distressed, and not yet an adult. The minor with hair loss should not be “pushed” into any decisions about hair restoration, especially surgery, and should be educated and counseled against making any hasty decisions that may not be in his best interest.
The best advice a physician hair restoration specialist can give is, “Don’t panic. I understand.” Male pattern hair loss is a common, inherited condition and it is normal to be bothered by it. We can almost certainly find a way to manage it by making decisions tailored to your individual needs.”
When the patient is under eighteen (18), the physician hair restoration specialist must insist that a parent or legal guardian be involved in the decision-making process. Inclusion of a parent or legal guardian resolves questions of legal responsibility and gives the patient support in making informed decisions. Close parental support is important in the success of any treatment recommended to a teenager.
While male pattern hair loss is the most common reason for hair loss in men there are many other causes that need to be considered and ruled out. Hasty treatment before a diagnosis is established may be ineffective and could be counter-productive.
For years, hair restoration surgeon, Dr. Ken Williams, has helped men and women suffering from hair thinning and hair loss with both surgical and non-surgical treatment options. Please call our office at (949) 333-2999. Or Visit www.OrangeCountyHairRestoration.org.