17 October 2017Last updated

Features | People

Ask the expert: I’m 21 and losing hair drastically

Likely to be two problems in one

Dr Ikramullah Al Nasir
18 Oct 2016 | 11:42 am

I moved to the US from the UAE three years ago for college and I have noticed that my hair fall has increased. I apply coconut oil one or two times a week, but it hasn’t made a difference. I am 21 years old. What should I do?

Complaints of excessive hair fall have increasingly been reported during the past 10-15 years. This either reflects that both men and women are becoming more conscious of it now compared to the last generation, or that perhaps the incidence has risen.

It’s usually a hard task for a dermatologist to reach a conclusive diagnosis of the problem without

a thorough clinical examination to determine the pattern of the hair loss. There are several clinical presentations of excessive hair loss, a condition medically known as alopecia.

In your case it seems that you are likely suffering from a two-in-one type of problem – which means it might have started with an early manifestation of male androgenetic alopecia. But after reaching the US, an additional psychological pressure of settling down in new academic and sociocultural environments might have accelerated the pre-existing complaints of hair loss – a condition called stress-induced hair fall.

There is no definite treatment for androgenetic alopecia. However, there are several supportive therapies to slow down the activity of the disorder, resulting in reduction or sometimes a complete stop of excessive hair fall. But remember, losing 100-150 strands of hair a day is considered normal. It can reach up to 200 on the day of shampooing, particularly in women. It could be higher if you use a fine-toothed comb. And stress could play a huge role too.

For a detailed diagnosis of your condition, consult a dermatologist.

Dr Ikramullah Al Nasir

Dr Ikramullah Al Nasir