Why The Increase in Teenage HairLoss?
Teens are susceptible to acne, mood swings and a variety of other ailments—now including hair loss. Although once considered a rarity, today’s teens are more prone to hair loss than ever before. Because hair loss at such a young age is not anticipated or expected, teens and their parents often become baffled and confused--unsure of what to do or where to turn.
Knowing that teens tend to exaggerate and obsess about such things as a one-pound weight gain or the size of a blemish, parents may dismiss the child’s concerns as teenage vanity--especially if the hair looks about the same. When excessive shedding begins hair will not look noticeably thinner to others until many months later. Without noticeable evidence, parents may doubt a real problem exists.
It is important to pay attention to the child’s concerns. When a teen suspects they have a hair loss problem they probably do. Although it’s normal to lose 100 strands per day, those 100 strands mostly go unnoticed. Noticing more than the usual amount of fallen hairs indicates a problem. Excessive shedding is not normal. Teenage hair loss must be taken seriously.
Teens must understand that hair loss is never an isolated problem. The condition of one’s hair is intimately related to their over-all health and well-being. When the body experiences an imbalance the hair is often the first to suffer. Even a slight imbalance or disturbance can disrupt the hair growth cycle, causing hair loss.
Maintaining physical, mental and emotional equilibrium has become exceedingly difficult for today’s teens. Modern day society provides inadequate nurturing and support required for the rapid growth, hormonal surges, and changes in brain chemistry that occurs in the teenage years.
Outside influences, pressures and distractions are greater than ever before adding stress, anxiety and confusion to an already delicate system.
Many teens do not get extra nutrition required to support the dramatic growth, changes and fluctuations they experience. Fast foods have replaced home-cooked family meals. The food supply in general is decreasing in nutrients and increasing in harmful additives and preservatives. There is also a dramatic increase in the environmental toxins, allergens, medications and vaccinations that teens are exposed to. Teens need more sleep than small children or adults but they often get less.
These factors create disturbances and further complicate matters for the hair growth cycle which thrives on equilibrium. Equilibrium is becoming increasingly difficult for teens today to maintain--providing a possible explanation and a contributing factor for the increase in teenage hair loss.
How to Handle Teenage Hair Loss?
When a teen experiences hair loss it’s important to identify the type and cause. Although the cause is often minor and easily correctable, hair loss can also be a symptom of a more serious medical condition or impending illness.
Once medical conditions have been ruled out, other possible factors should be considered. Because hair loss from telogen effluvium usually begins 1-3 months after a disturbance, any significant events or changes in the months prior to hair loss may provide clues. Possibilities include new medication or recent vaccination, major change such as a moving to a new location, divorce or death in family, change in diet, recent illness, surgery, allergen, exposure to toxins, emotional stress or anxiety, trauma, surgery, etc.
Sometimes by the time hair loss begins the body has already adjusted to the change or disturbance. In these cases the hair growth cycle may repair itself, often resuming normal growth within 6-9 months.
Your teen may or may not want to discuss their hair loss with you. It’s natural that there will be some discussion about the issue. How you talk to your teen about hair loss is important. Some teens are ashamed and reluctant to talk about it. They may deny any problem exists even as their hair gets thinner and thinner. Many teens do not want to feel prodded upon. Constantly looking at and talking about their hair and scalp may make them feel defective. When bringing up the subject use discretion according to the personality and temperament of the individual child. Hair loss can be a very touchy, sensitive subject for many teens. Being respectful of the child’s feelings can help open up the lines of communication.
Knowledge is important. Most teens will be relieved to know that they’re not alone, as teenage hair loss is becoming more common. They will also be relieved to know that most teenage hair loss is temporary and reversible. Understanding the hair growth cycle and what causes it to become disrupted can be very helpful. As they realize how intricately balanced the entire system is, they may be motivated to make healthful changes by reducing stress, increasing nutrition and getting adequate rest, fresh air and exercise.
Nutritional supplementation preferably from natural sources such as spirulina and chlorella may be helpful to offset a less-than-perfect diet. It’s best to avoid poor quality synthetic vitamins. It’s also important not to over-do it. Mega-doses of any supplement or “superfood” can cause nutritional imbalances. Certain nutrients compete with each other. Too much of one nutrient may deplete another important nutrient.
Teens experiencing hair loss should wear loose styles and keep hair as natural as possible. This is not the time to be using harsh chemicals to dye or process hair--possibly causing breakage and further destruction to already fragile hair.
Harsh chemicals and synthetic styling products can also cause harm and irritation to the scalp. If the scalp is irritated or follicles are clogged hair growth will suffer. A clean, healthy scalp is vital for healthy hair growth.
Taking care of the scalp can have a profound effect on hair growth. A healthy, well nourished scalp provides an ideal environment for hair to grow with ease. If the scalp is oily, itchy, flaky, dry, inflamed or irritated hair will not grow to its full potential. Hair will become dull and lifeless, increasing the probability of hair loss.
Scalp massage with essential oils and other botanical ingredients can dramatically improve hair loss conditions. Stimulating essential oils provide nourishment and energy to the follicles--encouraging new growth and strengthening the hair. The anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and antiseptic properties of many essential oils thoroughly cleanse the scalp as they work to re-establish balance and heal scalp disorders.
Scalp massage performed on a regular basis helps keep the scalp relaxed, pliable and well conditioned. The enhanced circulation delivers additional nutrients and oxygen to the hair follicles and roots, helping to produce healthy, shiny luxurious hair.
Another benefit of aromatic scalp massage is just that it feels so good! As the scalp relaxes, stress and anxiety will melt away enhancing the entire system. Scalp massage can benefit the entire family. Keeping the scalp healthy with scalp massage can help prevent future problems for younger children and can enhance the condition of the parent’s hair as well.
VZ Botanicals specializes in custom aromatherapy formulas for hair loss and other scalp disorders. Visit VZ Botanicals for more information on teenage hair loss, to order teenage hair loss formulas, or for books on blending your own hair loss formulas and proper scalp massage techniques to stimulate hair growth and minimize loss.
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