Beginning to lose hair at a young age is undoubtedly a nightmare. The modern lifestyle, which is a mix of bad diet, sleeping habits, stress, and other unhealthy habits are few of the many reasons why one experiences hair-fall. Unfortunately, today many people are suffering from the consequences of ill choices that lead to adverse health.

A research conducted by Tsinghua University, China, found that people in their 20s are getting bald sooner as compare to their older generation. It surveyed 4000 millennials on the issue of hair-fall. 60% of the young participants accepted they were losing a significant amount of hair.

Most of the respondents noticed the hair-fall themselves; however, the rest were prompted by their friends and families.

Students who were studying engineering, math, and science were least likely to act on or report their hair fall issue.

Baldness in millennials

Balding is commonly seen as an indication of ageing, but a San Francisco based dermatologist reports that men and women both are consulting the doctor for hair loss problems. Surprisingly, they are as young as 18 years old. Another hairstylist reported the New York Post that the number of younger clients who express concern over their hair thinning and receding hairlines are increasing.

To be healthy, one should eat healthy and nutritious foods. Still, some other factors like hormonal changes, medicines, autoimmune diseases, thyroid disorders, and stress are some known causes of hair in young men and women.

Researchers also claim that the growing craze of vegetarian diets is leading to reduced protein consumption in millennials. It causes deficiencies of zinc, vitamin D, and other nutrients which are of prime importance for hair growth.

Stress and the life cycle of hair growth

It is normal to shed between 50-100 hairs a day because each strand of hair goes through its lifecycle and then ends up falling. The lifecycle starts with anagen, which is the growth phase in which the hair lasts from two to six years. After this phase, the hair goes through the catagen phase in which the follicle shrinks slightly.

This stage lasts for a few days as it immediately gets into the phase of telogen when the hair remains stable. Finally, it enters into its last phase to complete its cycle. This final phase is called exogen, in which hair falls out.

A stress-induced mouse was exposed to loud noises which led the rodent’s hairs to enter the catagen phase prematurely. Stress interrupts the process of this hair growth as it phases out the hair prematurely. It further causes a higher amount of hair fall. Another study was conducted on monkeys in which researchers found out the likeliness of hair loss due to a higher level of the stress hormone called cortisol.

As per a report published in the American Psychological Association, there is a connection between age and stress. This research revealed that millennials and other members of generation x reported higher levels of stress as compared to older generations. They feel isolated and lonely due to stress and have an average of five close friends to share their feelings.

Keeping stress aside, researchers say that greater exposure to tv, celebrities, and the media has created the need for thicker and beautiful hair in millennials. They use excessive bleaching, colouring, hair-wax, gels, and all kinds of products in an attempt of getting such hair. Higher levels of hair consciousness is also a contributing factor why millennials have grown very sensitive towards the issue.

Remember it is okay to lose some hair even in your 20s to 30s, but if it is excessive, you must consult a dermatologist rather than self-experimenting different solutions. Right medical, nutritional, and lifestyle support can help you get rid of your hair fall issue.

Medically reviewed by Rishabh Verma, RP

baldness in young men