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Is It Normal To Go Bald In Your 20's?

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Hair loss is a genetic trait and can be passed down from either parent. If you are going bald in your 20's, it is most likely due to genetics, but it could be caused by other factors as well, such as stress, illness, medication, or even diet. But the question remains, how normal is it for you to begin to go bald in your twenties?

Hair loss is a common condition that affects millions of men and women around the world. In Canada, over 7.6 million men are affected by hair loss, and this number may seem like a lot, but it's actually quite normal. In fact, it's estimated that around 70% of men will experience some form of hair loss in their lifetimes.

While you can expect your hair to become thinner with age, sometimes that age may shock you. So, if you're in your twenties and noticing hair loss, it's important to consult with a doctor or dermatologist to rule out any underlying medical conditions. Once you have a diagnosis, you can begin to treat your hair loss accordingly if desired.

Let's take a look at everything to do with hair loss in your 20s, including how common it is, what can cause it, and how to treat it.

How Common is Hair Loss in your 20's?

According to the Cleveland Clinic, approximately one quarter of bald men experienced the onset of hair loss before the age of 21. This means fully bald men make up only a small percentage of the male population, but a significant number of men who will become bald will start to lose their hair in their twenties.

So if you're in your twenties and beginning to lose your hair, it's not uncommon. While hair loss caused by male pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia) is the most common type of hair loss, there are other potential causes as well.

Signs and Symptoms of Early Balding

Balding can happen gradually or suddenly. The most common symptom is a receding hairline, which can happen in both men and women. Other symptoms include thinning hair all over the scalp, a receding hairline in women, and patches of hair loss.

When balding occurs suddenly, it may be due to an underlying medical condition, such as alopecia areata. If balding occurs gradually, it is more likely due to genetics or aging. To treat balding, it is important to see a doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions. There are also treatments available to help grow hair, such as minoxidil and finasteride.

What Can Cause Hair Loss in Your 20's?

There are many possible causes of hair loss, but the most common cause of hair loss in men is male pattern baldness. This type of hair loss is caused by a combination of genetic and hormonal factors, and it typically occurs in men who have a family history of baldness.

These conditions can lead to hair loss:

Anemia: Anemia, or iron deficiency, can cause hair loss. Iron is necessary for the production of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to the cells. Without enough oxygen, the cells cannot function properly, and the hair follicles can die.

Autoimmune disorders: Autoimmune disorders, such as lupus or psoriasis, can cause the body to attack its own cells. Your hair follicles are not immune to this attack, and they can die, leading to hair loss.

Cancer: Cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy, can cause hair loss. The chemicals used to kill cancer cells can also kill the healthy cells that make up your hair follicles. By killing the hair follicles, chemotherapy can lead to baldness.

Hormonal imbalances: Hormonal imbalances, such as those caused by thyroid problems or menopause, can cause hair loss. When the hormone levels in your body are not balanced, it can lead to changes in the growth cycle of your hair, and hair loss.

Nutritional deficiencies: Nutritional deficiencies, such as a lack of protein or iron, can cause hair loss. Your hair follicles need nutrients in order to grow, and if you are not getting enough of the necessary nutrients, your hair can become thin and break easily.

Stress: Stress can cause hair loss. When you are under a lot of stress, your body goes into survival mode and starts to conserve energy. One of the ways it does this is by redirecting the nutrients that would normally go to your hair follicles to more vital organs, such as your heart and lungs. This can lead to hair loss.

Traction alopecia: Traction alopecia is a type of hair loss that is caused by tight hairstyles, such as ponytails or cornrows. When the hair is pulled too tight, it can damage the hair follicles and lead to hair loss. The good news is that traction alopecia is usually reversible, and if you stop pulling your hair too tight, the hair will eventually grow back.

Aging: As you age, your hair follicles can become thinner and weaker. The hair that grows back may be finer and thinner than it was before. This is a natural part of aging, and it is not usually a cause for concern.

Unhealthy hair care: Unhealthy hair care, such as using harsh chemicals, hot irons, or tight hairstyles, can damage your hair follicles and lead to hair loss. When you use harsh chemicals on your hair, it can strip away the natural oils that protect your hair, and this can lead to dryness, breakage, and eventually hair loss.

Treatment for Early Hair Loss

If you're experiencing balding in your 20s, the root cause could be anything from stress to your diet to your shampoo, but it's most often genetic. If your father or grandfather went bald at a young age, you're likely to follow suit.

But you don't have to embrace your inner Bruce Willis just yet. There are a few things you can do to prevent or slow down hair loss.

First, take a look at your lifestyle. Are you putting your hair through a lot of wear and tear? Over-styling, over-washing, and over-processing can all cause damage that leads to hair loss. If you're using heat styling tools, make sure you're using a heat protectant and not overdoing it. Try to give your hair a break from heat styling and harsh chemicals as much as possible.

Second, take a look at your diet. A healthy diet is key for healthy hair, so make sure you're eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean protein. Avoid crash diets, which can lead to hair loss, and make sure you're getting enough iron, biotin, and other essential nutrients for healthy hair growth.

In addition to lifestyle changes, there are a few medical treatments that can help with early hair loss. 

Minoxidil (Rogaine) is a topical medication that is available over the counter and is FDA-approved for the treatment of hair loss. It is thought to work by increasing blood flow to the scalp and by promoting hair growth. 

Finasteride (Propecia) is a prescription medication that is FDA-approved for the treatment of male pattern hair loss. It is thought to work by blocking the production of a hormone that is involved in hair loss. If you're experiencing hair loss, talk to your doctor about these and other treatment options.

This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical or other professional advice. Your specific circumstances should be discussed with a healthcare provider. All statements of opinion represent the writers' judgement at the time of publication and are subject to change. Phoenix and its affiliates provide no express or implied endorsements of third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products, or services.

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