Physician Answered Q & As

17 Years Old and Losing Hair Rapidly – Should I Have a Hair Transplant?

I’m 17 yeas old and I’m losing my hair like crazy. I went to my family doctor and he recommended Rogaine, but it is not working for me. What else can I do and should I eventually just go for a hair transplant?

I would recommend that you see a specialist in hair loss such as a hair restoration specialist or a dermatologist with a special interest in hair loss to examine your scalp and give you a likely reason for your hair loss. Something to consider is that a person with a full head of hair may lose 100 or more hairs per day as the follicles go into their normal resting or “telogen” phases. If you are seeing approximately this number in the drain after you wash your hair or in your brush or comb this may be “normal” daily loss. You should also keep in mind the history of the men in your family, both your mother’s and father’s side. If they have lost their hair at an early age you may in fact have early onset androgenetic alopecia, in other words, male pattern baldness. If this is the case then medical therapy is critical in order to slow or possibly stop the process. Initiating Rogaine or generic minoxidil, is a good first step, however you have to be patient when looking for results. Some patients notice increased shedding in the first several months of use and to notice a reversal in hair loss, it may take over 6 months; I would suggest that you continue this treatment. Propecia should also be considered as well. Although it is recommended for men 18 years or older there are instances when young males can benefit from the medication. You should consider a consultation with an endocrinologist if your primary care physician or dermatologist is reluctant to give you a prescription for this medication. Additional treatment with 2% Nizoral shampoo and low level laser therapy may also be considered.

At this stage you want to do everything possible to prevent further loss if in fact you are losing hair. I would not suggest surgery at this time and would be very cautious about considering surgery until you have a definitive diagnosis and you are in your 20’s. Even if you are considering surgery it is still important to remain on the medications.


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