beauty and the bath

Teen Hair Loss ~ Trichotillomania

teen girl trichotillomania.jpg

The Most Common Causes of Teen Hair Loss - Trichotillomania

We must preface our remarks about the causes of teen hair loss by noting that true hair loss—as opposed to normal shedding or hair breakage—is exceedingly rare among teens of both sexes, and rarer still among teenage women.

The reason you don't see high-school cheerleaders, female athletes, and 20-something women executives starring in the latest Hans Weiman and Rogaine commercials, after all, is that men hold a near monopoly on baldness. Further, when women do experience significant hair loss, it typically occurs after menopause and even then results in gradual thinning of hair, not the wholesale loss of coverage that afflicts so many men. The bottom line is that most of our readers are unlikely candidates for serious hair loss anytime soon.

However, a small percentage of young women do suffer from hair loss disorders during their teen years. And while dozens of different conditions cause hair loss in the general population, just three strike this group with any degree of regularity. They are, in order of frequency of occurrence: trichotillomania, telogen effluvium, and alopecia areata.


teen trichotillomaniaTrichotillomania is a compulsive disorder in which the victim plucks and pulls out hairs to the point that significant hair loss ensues. You'll notice that we've used the word "victim" in describing people who suffer from this disease.

On the surface, it might seem that someone who plucks out her own hair is somehow to blame for the problem, and that effecting a cure should be as simple as asking her to stop. But compulsive behavior differs in kind from normal behavior, so ordinary rules do not apply. People with this disorder are not dealing with an illness in the conventional sense of the term, but with something more on the order of a nervous tic.

Consequently, a person with trichotillomania can no more stop the hair-plucking behavior at the drop of a hat than someone with a repetitive facial tic can spontaneously stop it from twitching. The road to recovery therefore starts with acknowledging the problem and seeking treatment. Your dermatologist can address the hair loss associated with the condition, but curbing and controlling the compulsive behavior will probably require the services of a psychiatric or psychological specialist, since trichotillomania often stems from underlying emotional distress.

Success rates for patients who receive treatment early on, by the way, are much higher than for those who postpone seeing their doctor and thus allow the behavior to become deeply ingrained. So if you believe you suffer from this disorder, please don't be afraid to seek help, and please don't wait. This type of teen hair loss is one problem that isn't likely to go away on its own.

All content and images are copyright protectedTeen Hair Loss ~ Trichotillomania
Updated July 1, 2011

More Hair Replacement Options

teens losing hair information

Teens Losing Hair
Can be caused by constantly chewing, biting, twisting, twirling hair and Telogen Effluvium, or Alopecia Areata

Female Pattern Alopecia

Female Pattern Alopecia
Female Alopecia can start with hormone changes, the female pattern of Alopecia Areata starts with a bald spot or widening of hair part

teen with trichotillomania.jpg

More On Beauty And The Bath

A Quick Look At What's New On Beauty And The Bath