Is increasing baldness at an early age making you lose sleep? This condition is known as premature balding. While it is common to lose up to 100 hair strands a day, losing more than that is an indication of underlying health conditions.
Though losing hair and going bald is part of the natural process of ageing, premature balding is not normal, and needs both attention and treatment. Here’s a detailed discussion of the symptoms, causes and treatment for premature baldness. Read on to find out.
What Is Premature Baldness?
If you are in the early stage of your life, such as your teens or early twenties, and are losing a huge amount of hair every day, it could be premature baldness. Hair thinning is the first stage of premature baldness. When you lose hair strands fast, your scalp becomes more visible in between your hair shafts. Reports show that the majority of people suffering from extreme hair loss are in their mid-twenties.
In general,10% of your hair stays in the resting phase and up to 100 strands fall out every day. Your hair follicles take six months to rejuvenate and generate new hair strands. Due to several reasons, sometimes your hair fall increases and the regeneration stops. That’s when you start balding. If premature baldness is diagnosed at an early stage, the hair loss can be reversible.
Signs & Symptoms Of Premature Baldness
1. The hair on your temples gradually starts thinning.
2. Hair thinning takes place on the frontal scalp.
3. Bald patches in your scalp appear.
4. A huge amount of hair loss happens at once, while you are combing or washing your hair.
5. Scaly patches appear all over your scalp.
What Causes Premature Baldness?
1. Dihydrotestosterone or DHT
Dihydrotestosterone or DHT is an androgen, which is a male sex hormone that helps men to develop male-body characteristics. DHT is also the reason behind pattern baldness among men when they get older. Though women also get affected by DHT, the number is much lesser than men. Studies suggest that in the USA, 30 million women have DHT as compared to 50 million men who have DHT.
DHT plays a key role in hair growth. But when DHT production increases to a higher level, it affects hair follicles by shrinking them. This is called miniaturization. Eventually, the hair follicles die and hair growth comes to an end. Pattern baldness is not a curable condition, but if you start treatment at an early stage, it may slow down the balding process. 
2. Alopecia Areata
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that eventually leads to an unpredictable amount of hair loss. In most cases, alopecia areata patients experience hair fall in small patches. Few people get hair loss in patches only for a while, after which it stops. But in severe cases, it leads to extreme hair loss and baldness. While alopecia areata can happen irrespective of gender and age, usually patients are seen to be under 30. 
Lupus is also a long term autoimmune disease that triggers hair loss. In fact, hair fall is the primary symptom of lupus. Lupus makes the immune system hyperactive and it attacks the healthy cells of the body. You start experiencing skin inflammation and lesions on the scalp which leads to heavy hair fall. If not treated on time, lupus can cause premature baldness as well. 
4. Telogen Effluvium
The head has 85% active hair strands which are growing and 15% resting or telogen hair that has stopped growing. Telogen effluvium is when the telogen hair sheds after a sudden stressful event or shock. Since a lot of hair is lost at once, it gives a partial bald look. But this is a temporary condition, and the scalp starts regenerating new hair soon. 
5. Thyroid Disorders
Prolonged thyroid disorder can cause a heavy amount of hair loss. Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are considered as the reasons behind premature baldness. The condition can be reversed if thyroid is treated. But some anti-thyroid medicines are also responsible for extreme hair fall. People can seek alternative treatment when certain medicines trigger hair fall. 
It is a mental illness where you feel the urge to pull your hair. Long-term trichotillomania eventually causes bald patches in the scalp. Most people with trichotillomania develop the disease in their adolescence. The disorder usually continues for a long period. Naturally, over time, the rapid hair pulling can lead to premature baldness. 
Many families have a history of premature baldness. They tend to get bald as they reach a certain age. There is nothing much that can be done, when baldness is hereditary.
8. Excessive Hair Styling
Nowadays hairstyling with heating tools is common. But it is not good for the hair. It harms your hair and damages the hair cuticles. Prolonged usage of such tools leads to follicular degeneration syndrome where you experience inflamed hair follicles. It causes a huge amount of hair loss.
How To Treat Premature Baldness?
1. Medical Treatment
The first step of premature baldness treatment is to get a check-up with a reputed doctor. The doctor will conduct tests on your scalp and diagnose the cause of baldness. The doctor will also conduct tests that check thyroid and hormone levels. The treatment is then based on the reason for your hair fall.
Usually, doctors suggest iron, zinc and biotin supplements to control hair fall. Other common medicines used for hair loss include minoxidil, azelaic acid and finasteride. In the case of alopecia areata, doctors may give you steroid injections.
2. Hair Transplant Surgery
If you are facing premature baldness and medical treatment is not giving results, then hair transplant is the last option. This surgery is performed on your scalp to transplant new hair. It has a better success rate than any hair restoration product. But hair transplant is an expensive and time-consuming procedure. Choose an expert hair transplant surgeon for the surgery to get the desired result.
3. Home Remedies
Home remedies do not really stop premature baldness but they can slow down hair loss. Eggs, onion juice, henna, hibiscus, gooseberries are great for controlling hair fall. You can make a paste of these ingredients and apply it to your scalp. You can also use rosemary oil, coconut oil, viviscal and ginseng. These are known for hair regrowth.
Precautions & Tips For Premature Baldness
1. Do not ignore the signs of premature baldness. If you notice any symptoms, consult a doctor. Early-stage medication will help you cure the condition more effectively.
2. Try to avoid hair styling and heating tools as much as you can.
3. Use natural products and avoid chemical-based hair care products. Choose hair care products that suit your hair.
4. Keep your overall health in check. Underlying diseases such as thyroid, or many autoimmune diseases are major causes of hair loss.
5. If you are taking certain medication and noticing sudden hair fall,check with your doctor. It can be a side effect of the medicine. Ask your doctor to provide alternate medication.
Dealing with premature baldness is difficult and requires a lot of mental strength. But when diagnosed at an early stage, hair loss can be reversed. It is a must that you get yourself checked with a doctor to understand what is triggering your hair loss. That’s how you will get the correct treatment for your hair condition.
Was this Article helpful?
- Least helpful
- Most helpful
How can we make this page better?
What did you like about this page?
Thank you for your feedback on this article.