What can an 18 year old male do to avoid hair loss?

Hello and thank you for taking the time to read this. I am an 18 year old boy who has been losing his hair since a year ago. I contacted my doctor and she said it was totally normal. Now I think it's not normal, I am starting to see my scalp and SO much hair has been falling lately. No one in my family tree has had any issues with their hair. Please help because I am very scared of losing my hair. I also have a very healthy living way; take vitamins, exercise regularly, eats healthy. Thank you.

Doctor Answers 8

Hair loss

You need to check all your family line father and mother too.  Androgenetic alopecia can skip generations. Another thing is good to have some blood lab work, to rule out something else besides the genetic role. When we see patients loosing their hair like crazy at a very young age is a must to fo that. Also to examine the scalp and make the right decision and leave you of course with the best therapy!

Mexico Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Early Hair Loss May Have Many Causes

I am sorry to hear about your difficulties, and can certainly understand how early signs of hair loss can be disconcerting. Hair loss may be the result of a variety of different causes, ranging from natural genetic predisposition to medical conditions like autoimmune disorders or thyroid problems, but genetic hair loss can certainly start early for certain people.  In fact, an estimated 16% of boys do begin to experience male pattern hair loss, or androgenetic alopecia, when they are between 15 to 17 years of age. Because the condition occurs when hair follicles have an innate sensitivity to DHT, a byproduct of the breakdown of testosterone in the body, it is not surprising that it would grow more noticeable when those male hormone levels spike during puberty. Although the condition is inherited, the genes contributing to hair loss can come from either your mother or your father and may be dormant for several generations or affect individuals to varying degrees, so you could reasonably be experiencing genetic pattern hair loss even if no one in your immediate family exhibits it.

Although you said that you had consulted your doctor, I might also recommend that you seek a second opinion from a board certified dermatologist with experience treating various forms of hair loss.  While androgenetic alopecia does account for more than 90% of all cases of hair loss experienced by men and women, there are also other causes of hair loss that could potentially be linked to more serious medical conditions. A thorough examination and diagnosis by an experienced hair loss specialist can determine with certainty what is causing your hair loss and what might be the best course of treatment. 

All the best,

Ashley R. Curtis, MD
Atlanta Dermatologic Surgeon

Hair loss -- PRP, Progesterone, Viviscal, Rogaine, Finesteride, Spironolactone, follicular unit (FUE) hair transplantation/ARTAS

can see an endocrinologist to find out if there's a hormonal
imbalance that is causing the hair loss. Treatment could include
Rogaine, PRP, progesterone, spironolactone. Please see an expert.
Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 196 reviews

Enhance and keep your existing hair. There are options for you

I understand how frustrating it is loosing hair being so young.I will recommend that you consider a treatment to reduce the speed/stop your hairline from going further back. Treatments such as Propecia/Rogaine or PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) are proven to be very effective. The use of non surgical treatments is to be continued for life and will not restore your previous hair line but will help you maintain your existing hair. Your hair loss can be genetic, stress related or a medical condition.PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) is one great option. This procedure consists on getting some of your blood and putting it in a machine that will separate the different ingredients that are in the blood. From those ingredients we take the growth factors and inject them in your scalp. These growth factors will start working in your follicles enhancing your hair and reducing (and even stopping) the rate of your hair loss. If your follicles have not been dormant for too long the hair can regrow. We are here to help you look and feel good.  Best of lucks!

William Yates, MD
Chicago Hair Restoration Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

18 with possibly early hair nloss

Your biggest enemy is the progressive thinning leading to a balding pattern that is not evident at this point in time. The degree of thinning that you are experiencing would suggest that you should see a doctor who most likely will get Bulk Measurements of your hair to determine the degree of the thinning that you are presently having. If the diagnosis is early genetic hair loss (the most common cause of hair loss in young men), then the best treatment would be the drug finasteride which is highly effective in men of your age and may not only stop the hair loss but possibly reverse it. If you are developing a more advanced balding pattern the HAIRCHECK test will determine the Bulk Measurements of your hair and put a number on that hair loss (a metric) and this will show, over a one-year time frame, how effective the treatment will be. Once you know this information, then you and your doctor need to develop a MASTER PLAN which will define what you need to do over the years to come.

William Rassman, MD
Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Make hair loss at 18

that is young to start losing hair, but don't lose hope. I would see an endocrine specialist first to check hormones and get started on Propecia which will help.

Robert V. Mandraccia, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

18 and losing hair

So it is possible to have male pattern hair loss without a known family history and pattern loss can begin as early as 18 years of age.  However, it will take some effort to determine the exact cause of your hair loss since many other conditions can cause it.  The most important thing to do right away is to get an adequate measure of the density of your hair today and rule out specific medical conditions which might be contributing (such as thyroid disease or otherwise).  If you have a medical condition, then treat.  If not, follow the hair loss every 3 months to document the rate and see if this is progressive or not.  You should do this under the guidance of a doctor specializing in hair.  

Ryan Welter, MD
Boston Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Regarding hair loss at age 18

Don't lose hope. The first step is seeing a physician in person to evaluate your hair loss. You need a full exam and possibly lab work to determine the cause. You have to determine the cause before you decide on treatment. Even at 18 the most common cause in genetic, and if so there are treatments that could slow down the thinning. In the meantime, continue your good lifestyle choices. You might be a candidate for PRP (platelet) therapy, which can be helpful if the cause is genetic.
Best to you,
Dr. Norcom

Derek Norcom, MD
Portland Physician
4.9 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.