Sudden Hair Loss at 20 Years Old and Receding Hairline? (photo)

Im a 20 year old male and since i was 18 ive always noticed ive had a slightly receded hairline starting to form. I figured it as normal and a "mature" hairline. However about a month ago one day I woke up, and literally clumps of my hair are falling out now and it is scaring me. I used to loose around 5-10 hairs a day... now im losing about 100 on normal days and 150 on days i wash my hair. Im scheduling an appointment with my doctor however id like to know what questions i should ask of.

Doctor Answers 4

Excessive hair loss

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In general, if an individual normally has 5-10 hairs lost per day and suddenly notices 100-150, it is abnormal. There is no better judge of what is "normal" for a given person, than the person themselves. 

Hair shedding can occur during male balding but can occur in several other conditions as well. It is a great idea for anyone with excessive hair loss to check in with their physician. 

In general, a physician who is knowledgable about the many many types of hair loss will guide the questions.  Patients should come with lists of medications, family history and previous photos if themselves ( if possible). 

It is important to share information about speed of hair loss, scalp symptoms (itch, burn pain), diet, medications, stress, family history of hair loss, medical history, allergies

Vancouver Dermatologist

Sudden Hair Loss

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Losing 50 to 100 hairs per day is normal, and it doesn’t sound like you’re losing much more than that. However, it is smart that you’ve made a doctor appointment. Your best bet would be to see a dermatologist, and be honest about your medical history, family history, any drug use, dietary habits, etc. Though male pattern baldness is the leading cause of thinning hair in men, several other things can contribute to hair loss, like a traumatic emotional event, severe stress, alopecia areata, malnourishment, anemia, diabetes, and more. Once a diagnosis is made, a course of treatment will follow.

Sanusi Umar, MD
Redondo Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

It is normal to lose 100 hair a day!

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Normal male hairline progression from a juvenile to a mature one typically starts during puberty to their late 20s.

Hair loss does not come on "suddenly".  You probably had some degree of hair loss over the years and now passed a threshold to notice a change in your appearance.

You can ask your doctor for a miniaturization study.

Jae Pak, MD
Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 102 reviews

Losing Hair... Questions to Ask

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I think your best option is to see a board-certified dermatologist. This is the specialty that focuses on diseases of the skin, hair and nails. Let the dermatologist ask the questions and examine you. It is normal to lose between 100-150 hairs per day, but if there are "clumps" of hair falling out, there may be another problem to treat. The doctor will evaluate your hair loss by history and physical examination and may do some laboratory tests to come up with a diagnosis and treatment plan. Don't worry and good luck.

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.