Although balding is common in older men, teen boys can also experience hair loss. If you're a teen experiencing hair loss, you may have an underlying health problem or habit that is causing it. Fortunately, many cases of hair loss in teen boys are treatable or self-resolving, according to the Nemours Foundation.
Typical Minor Hair Loss
Each hair on your head grows for two to three years at a rate of about 1 cm per month, but not all of the hair on your head grows at the same time, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians, or AAFP. Typically, about 90 percent of it is in a state of growth and the other 10 percent is in a state of rest that lasts for about three to four months. After a hair is finished with the resting cycle, it sheds and makes room for a new hair to start growing in again, says the AAFP. This normal growth and shedding process causes you to lose an average of 50 to 100 hairs on your head every day, according to the Nemours Foundation.
Androgenetic alopecia, also called male-pattern baldness or "common" baldness, is the most prevalent cause of hair loss in men, according to the Nemours Foundation. However, it isn't limited to adult men. Guys in their teens and early 20s may start to see early signs of balding, such as the hairline receding from the temples or hair thinning at the crown, according to MayoClinic.com. Factors such as hormones and genetics are responsible for this non-serious form of hair loss.
Hair Growth Interruption
If your body endures stress due to a major event such as surgery or a traumatic life occurrence, your hair growth cycle may be temporarily disrupted, according to the Nemours Foundation. However, once you begin to notice large amounts of hair shedding, you may not be able to recall the event responsible for it.
If your scalp has suddenly formed round or oval patches of bald skin, you may have a condition known as alopecia areata, according to the American Hair Loss Association. This condition is thought to occur when your immune system attacks your hair follicles, but doctors aren't entirely sure what causes that to happen or what might treat it.
However, the condition is generally temporary and doctors can prescribe some medications to diminish its effects or aid in hair regrowth, according to MayoClinic.com. Another common cause of temporary hair loss in teen boys is ringworm of the scalp, a fungal infection that can be treated with medication. Also, hormonal conditions such as thyroid disease and lupus can lead to hair loss in teen boys, according to the Nemours Foundation.
You may lose hair if you use chemicals such as hair dyes, hair straighteners and perms or if you pull your hair into tight styles such as cornrows, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. What you eat or don't eat may also be playing a role; teens that don't take in enough nutrients to sustain their lifestyle – such as vegetarians who don't eat enough protein or athletes who don't get enough iron in their bodies – may begin to lose hair, says the Nemours Foundation. Finally, a medication you take, such as the acne medicine isotretinoin or the bipolar disorder medication lithium, may be at fault.