No matter the age, hair loss is always worrisome, but starting to suffer from it while still young, a time in life where appearances are everything, can even affect one’s self-esteem.
It’s advisable to be aware of your family’s history of baldness and watch out for any possible symptoms, given that this is an inherited condition and you’re likely to develop it as well. Keep calm, if you detect it in time, you’ll be able to stop it. Here are some tips on how to spot early alopecia.
What is early alopecia?
Androgenic alopecia, also known as “early hair loss”, is the early aging of the hair that causes it to fall out prematurely. Overall, the aging of the hair starts at 50, when 5α-reductases begin to transform testosterone into dihydrotestosterone and to cause hair loss.
People who suffer from alopecia produce larger amounts of this enzyme, which acts on the hair follicle, stopping and reducing its growth phase. Therefore, hair starts growing thinner and smaller until, finally, it disappears.
It’s a condition that affects mostly Caucasian men. It’s rare among dark-skinned people and very uncommon in eastern populations, because they tend to lose hair at an advanced age.
Early hair loss begins around age 20 and slowly progresses from there. Usually, the hair loss starts in the front and crown of the head and near to the temples. The back of the neck area tends to be very resistant, so it remains unaffected. In fact, when a hair transplant is performed, hair strands are removed from this area because they are stronger and healthier. Alopecia is more common among men than among women, who develop it later in life and don’t lose all their hair easily.
How to detect early alopecia
As you already know, hair loss can occur at any age, even while being young, so you need to watch out for the symptoms and, in case you experience any of them, apply the necessary measures to stop it. We invite you to discover the signs of early alopecia and to take action as soon as possible.
- Hair on your pillow: if every morning after waking up you notice more and more hair on your pillow, you could be suffering from alopecia.
- Hair on your shower: if you shower and see more hairs on the floor than usual, take it as a warning sign.
- Pain on your scalp: if you experience itchiness, redness or burning in your scalp, you should see a doctor. This may cause the appearance of fungus that could damage hair follicles and promote an early hair loss.
- Extremely oily hair and dandruff: a very oily, full of dandruff scalp is not healthy and it may be why you’re losing hair.
- Thinner hair: for both women and men, hair debilitation, volume loss and bald patches are a clear sign of the early stages of alopecia.
- Receding hairline and hair loss on the top of the head: the hairline and the top of the head are the two main areas where men start losing hair, so if it’s happening to you, keep an eye out.
Causes of early alopecia
Regardless of age, alopecia is usually caused by the same factors, but having a full understanding of them could help you prevent early hair loss. However, we remind you that androgenic alopecia is an inherited condition and, therefore, a hormonal, genetic disease that tends to start between the ages of 20 to 25. If any of your family members suffer from baldness, you should be aware of the symptoms. If you don’t take action during the early stages, you will end up losing your hair.
Since we’re talking about an inherited type of baldness, no illnesses are related to it.
Mistakes to avoid if you’re suffering from early alopecia
- Don’t ignore the situation. If you notice you’re experiencing some symptoms and you have a receding hairline or bald patches, see a doctor. Detecting this condition at an early stage will allow you to undergo treatments that can stop the hair loss.
- Don’t think about hair transplants. If hair loss is only starting, it’s not a good idea to get a hair transplant to cover the bald areas. Hair can continue to fall out and the transplant won’t avoid it. Instead, it could make your scalp more fibrous and make it more difficult to perform treatments when the right time comes.
- Don’t trust gels, shampoos and beauty products that promise to stop hair loss. The truth is nowadays there are only two products approved by the FDA to stop hair loss. A great number of supplements and products guarantee to be a permanent solution, but minoxidil and finasteride are the only molecules that are proven to bring a cure during the early stages of baldness. We previously explained that minoxidil is a vasodilator that boosts blood flow and keeps follicles healthy, and that finasteride acts against testosterone and stops hair loss.
Early alopecia is an inherited condition and the best way to prevent it is to keep a proper hair hygiene using the right products for your hair type and to watch out for the presence of any symptoms. If you spot baldness at its early stage, go to the doctor and follow the proper treatments, you’ll succeed to stop early alopecia and enjoy your healthy hair for a longer time.