It happens that the hair begins to fall out in very young children for unknown reasons. Alopecia in children or, as they say in common people, baldness is rare, but the disease is very fast. If you notice even a small amount of hair loss, it is better to consult a doctor on time. Here you can know about Causes of hair loss in children.
Alopecia in newborns and infants
Shortly after birth, many babies experience physiological hair loss. The “lesion” zones are the occipital and frontal areas. This happens as a result of constant friction of the baby’s head on a pillow or stroller, because at this age the child lies most of the day, but is already actively turning the head.
Moreover, in newborns, under the influence of hormonal changes, premature arrest of hair growth is observed. This is not a problem at all, since the hair follicles are not damaged, and normal hair growth is restored during the first year of life.
It happens that a baby is born without hair, which does not subsequently grow. Firstly, such cases are very rare, and secondly, they are combined with other developmental defects: congenital epidermolysis, folded skin, and endocrine disorders. If until two years of age the treatment does not bring results, and the hair does not begin to grow, then most likely this defect will remain for life.
Children starting to walk and older children
Some children have the habit of wrapping their hair around their fingers and pulling it when they think, get nervous or are puzzled by something. This is just a nervous tic, which the doctors gave the magnificent name trichotillomania, and, if left untreated, the child may develop bald patches. Another cause of partial baldness is neurogenic alopecia, in other words, baldness.
This is a much more serious disease, in which several completely bare areas appear on the head. This condition can occur after any completely ordinary illness or after a strong emotional shock. Of course, this phenomenon looks intimidating.
But it goes away for several months, and the hair grows back. Partial baldness may occur due to a fungal disease. In this case, small patches appear on the child’s head, on which the skin peels, reddens and itches a little.
It also happens that hair grows poorly for hereditary reasons. Sometimes hair loss provokes chemotherapy for serious blood diseases and malignant conditions. Any serious illness, especially accompanied by a high temperature, leads to hair loss and a temporary deterioration in their structure.
With alopecia areata, baldness can occur in a matter of days, and sometimes hours. In the evening the child went to bed, and in the morning, he woke up with fallen hair. At the same time, not the entire part of the head is affected, but its individual sections of a round or oval shape – the “nest”. They are completely smooth and have no signs of inflammation or peeling.
Also, unlike ringworm, broken hair is not observed. By the way, you can find out whether the affected area will grow. For this, the hairs located on the edge of the “nest” are pulled. If they are easily pulled out, then the area will continue to expand.
The reason for this phenomenon cannot be called with absolute accuracy. The situation is complicated by the fact that there are still no tests that would accurately identify the presence of alopecia areata. But, in most cases, it is accurately diagnosed with a visual examination.
Several reasons have been identified that are considered when making a diagnosis and deciding on treatment. One of the most common is the attack of the body’s immune system on the hair follicles. In addition, it has already been proven that often the disease develops after nervous and mental injuries, as well as with thyroid dysfunction.
The most unpleasant state of alopecia areata is total alopecia. In this case, the hair on the head falls out completely. An equally unpleasant form of the disease is universal, when hair falls out on all parts of the body, including eyebrows and eyelashes. In such children, the nails sometimes become thinner and brittle.
In any case, before starting treatment for alopecia in a child, you need to fully examine it in order to find out the causes of the disease. When the doctor finds out and eliminates the symptoms of the disease, against the background of which alopecia has occurred, it will be possible to begin its treatment.
An ill child is prescribed a general strengthening course of therapy, which includes vitamins A and E, iron preparations, vitamins B1, B6 and B12. Also, the doctor may prescribe rubbing tinctures or, if necessary, hormonal drugs. With the correct definition of the diagnosis, treatment gives positive results.
The daily rate of hair loss is up to 100 hair per day. Does the hair fall out in children? Yes, both adults and children lose their hair, this is an absolutely natural process. But if parents notice that the child’s hair is falling out badly, bald patches appear – this is already a cause for concern.
Why does the child lose hair? The main causes of alopecia up to a year
In infants, cannon hair (lanugo) falls out and is replaced by more durable curls, with a stronger root structure. In this case, there is no need to worry – on the contrary, this is a reason for joy: soon your baby will have a thick head of hair.
To sound the alarm with excessive hair loss, you need to be more adult, for example, if the child is a year old. Hair falls out at this time for several reasons:
- Improper care. Children’s hair is especially susceptible to damage, even a tight ponytail, poor-quality combs, and improperly selected hair product can damage them.
- Nutrient deficiency. For full health, the baby needs vitamins and minerals. Perhaps the child does not receive enough of them during meals. In this case, you need to consult a specialist who will prescribe the intake of additional vitamins.
- The consequence of a more serious disease. So, partial baldness is a symptom of hypothyroidism (decreased thyroid function), in which metabolic processes are impaired. It can also be a symptom of rickets, a consequence of an allergic reaction or a disease caused by a bacterial infection.
Hair loss in children 3-5 years old
At the age of 3 to 5 years, hormonal restructuring of the body begins. It is during this period that the natural change of hair on the back of the head and crown occurs. If you notice thinned hair in these areas, then there is no cause for concern. But if you have thinned the curls framing the oval of the face, then it is better to contact a specialist trichologist.
At this age, the child usually goes to kindergarten, where there is a risk of catching a fungal infection. Carefully inspect the child’s scalp for fungal diseases, and in case of severe dandruff, redness, focal inflammation and partial baldness around them, consult a doctor.
Hair loss in children 5-7 years old
5-7 years is a difficult period in the life of a child. Preparations for school, lessons, and responsibility begin. All this causes emotional stress, and stress always negatively affects the condition of the hair. Most likely, both stress and hair loss will pass with adaptation to the new daily routine.
However, it is at this age that a child may experience trichotomania, a type of mental disorder that manifests itself in an uncontrolled desire to pull out your hair. The task of the parent is to support the child in this difficult time, and if you think that you and the baby are not coping with stress, consult a psychologist in time.
Hair loss in children over 8 years old
Hair loss at this age is no longer associated with hormonal changes. If you notice that the child’s hair is falling out too intensely, it is necessary to undergo a medical examination.
The most common reason is a lack of vitamins of group A, B, C, iron, iodine or other minerals.
In any case, only the doctor can determine the exact cause of hair loss. Optimal is to contact a pediatrician, who, if necessary, will give a referral to a trichologist, dermatologist, endocrinologist or neurologist.
With timely medical attention, the cause of hair loss can be eliminated quite quickly.
Hair Loss Disease
- Iron-deficiency anemia;
- Hypothyroidism and other endocrine diseases;
- Allergies to food, hair care products, medicines;
- Hormonal disbalance;
- Dermatological diseases (ringworm, dermatitis, seborrhea);
- Trichotillomania is a neurological disease in which a person rips out hair on his head and other parts of the body.
Causes of hair loss in children
Shaving will not solve the problem!
This myth came to us from our grandmothers – to shave a child aged 1-3 years, so that hair grows thicker. Doctors have long proven: the amount of hair on a child’s head depends on genetics.
Do not resort to other folk remedies. Herbal masks, rubbing garlic, onions and other natural ingredients into the scalp can only aggravate the situation and cause an allergic reaction.
If you decide to strengthen your baby’s hair on your own, study the universal recommendations on how to care for your baby’s hair:
- Choose a shampoo for the child that does not dry the scalp, rinses well, and makes the hair soft and docile.
- Do not wash your hair daily! You need to dry your hair in a natural way.
- Use a wooden comb and massage the baby’s scalp.
- Do not braid your hair too tight.
In addition, if necessary, and after consulting a doctor, you can purchase a suitable vitamin complex for the child.
Natural causes of hair loss in children
In newborns, the hair is still not real and is even called especially – lanugo. They are very soft and thin, like a fluff. Almost immediately after birth, the hairs of the hair begin to be replaced by real ones. Sometimes this first “molt” happens frighteningly intensively.
In pathological cases, baldness in newborns is one of the symptoms of rickets. But then other disturbances are also noticeable – a change in the shape of the head, chest, legs. Therefore, do not panic because of hair loss if the baby is generally healthy.
In addition to falling out, the erasure of infant hairs on the nape and sides of the head also happens. Entire bald spots form, and it seems that the child is balding. But this is quite normal, because he constantly lies, twists his head in different directions and just breaks off the hairs on the pillow.
At 4-5 years old, the hair thins due to the second hair change. During this period, thinner and softer children’s hairs are replaced by stiff adults. Some children at this age begin to noticeably “darken”, turning from blondes to brown-haired. Hair can also straighten out gradually – soft curls disappear, and new hard hairs no longer curl.
Another period of regular “molting” is adaptation to school. The main cause of hair loss in this case is stress. Accustomed to a new environment, the child’s body is constantly in high tone. Because of this, hair follicles receive less nutrition. Hair pours more or less intensely.
To avoid the problem, help your child adapt to school. If a change of scenery is the only reason for the thinning of hair, then it will soon cease by itself. But still consult a doctor so as not to miss serious violations in the body.
Traumatic effect on the hair
Mechanical or chemical trauma to the hair shaft in a child can also lead to partial baldness. Unlike an adult, the children’s body reacts very sensitively to external damage to the roots. The problem is also that the reaction to the injury is not immediately visible, and parents simply do not associate hair thinning with the real cause. Damage causes:
- Too tight hairstyles. A dense pigtail braided in the morning and for the whole day is a common thing for kindergarten girls. Meanwhile, a few days with such a hairstyle are enough for the child to begin hair loss.
- The use of plates, irons, curlers, “adult” shampoos and balms.
- Hair dryer. Children’s hair is recommended to dry in a natural way. Sometimes you can use a hairdryer in low temperature mode. Hot drying is unacceptable, as it causes a spasm of the vessels of the scalp and massive death of the hair.
- An obsessive habit of pulling out hair or twisting it on a finger (psychological disorder). In children, it is much more common than in adults, and is usually the result of neurosis. It is quite easy to treat at an early age (up to 10 years), more difficult in older children. In severe cases, when the child pulls out a lot of hair, scars form in their place, and it is not possible to completely restore the hair.