Your twenties should be a time of fun, freedom and youth – it’s definitely not a period that most of us associate with hair loss, so it can come as a shock when younger people start to notice a few more hairs on their hairbrush. So, what’s at the root of the issue? Well, there are a few potential factors at play…
Many of us think hair loss comes as we get older, but actually it can begin at any age – in fact, a fifth of men experience hair loss before they reach their 20th birthday, and many more spot that their hairlines have started to recede as they get further into their twenties. Known as pattern baldness, it’s caused by a male hormone stimulating the hormone receptors in the roots of the hair, which gradually shrinks the follicles. The hair will start to grow back finer, before eventually stopping altogether.
If you’re struggling with pattern baldness, there are ways to prevent further hair loss and strengthen the existing hair – medications like Minoxidil and Finasteride and non-surgical treatments such as Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy or Low-Level Laser Light Therapy can all be effective treatments. Although celebrities such as Wayne Rooney have previously hit the headlines for getting a hair transplant in their twenties, we wouldn’t generally recommend it to under-25s, as it’s hard to know how the loss will progress in the future.
There’s no denying that modern life is stressful, and for young people who are balancing work, studying and the pressures of an always-on culture, it can manifest itself in shedding hair. Stress is actually the second-biggest cause of hair loss, after genetics, but it can come as a nasty surprise – due to the duration of the hair cycle, there’s actually a delay between periods of extreme stress and the hair falling out, so it may seemingly come out of the blue.
It’s caused by the fluctuating hormone levels in the body sending the growth cycle into shock, which makes the hair go into a resting phase and eventually fall out. The good news is that in the majority of cases, the hair will grow back as normal once the stress has passed.
There’s been a huge surge in eco-conscious millennials turning to vegetarian and vegan diets, which has been linked to hair loss, due to nutritional deficiencies. Iodine, which is primarily found in dairy products, eggs and fish, is needed to produce the thyroid hormone, which contributes to hair growth. Vitamin B-12, iron and zinc can also be lacking in a vegan diet, which can make the hair brittle and dull.
If you’ve turned vegan and have spotted that your hair is thinning and breaking, make sure you’re eating a balanced, healthy diet, with plenty of fatty acids such as avocado, tofu, nuts and seeds.
For anyone who is worrying about hair loss, remember that there is help at hand – and you’re not alone.