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Help! 15 yr son's going bald!

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
My son is 15 and is already experiencing hair loss! I began noticing this since September of this year. I saw a patch on the top of his head that had thinned! (gasp)--and pang to my mother's heart. He's so, so too young for this! Today I noticed he has a new and 2nd patch of thinning hair also, right next to where the 1st one is. This is happening so fast, just about before my eyes.

He doesn't know it's happening as I've not told him. The only reason I know of his thinning hair is because I give him the once over with a wet comb on school mornings to places where his hair sticks up--that's how I've seen the hair loss he's having. No one else can see it yet--you'd have to a) be taller than him, b) know to look for it and c) look when his hair is wet because that's when you can see it.

I did a search on the web and there was one site with a shampoo, gel and other (expensive) product supposedly to reverse hair loss. I'm willing to get something like that for him if it would really help, but first how could I know it would (I've not said to him about his hair thinning even, he'd have to know about it if I had him use a product like that) and 2nd what if it has harmful ingredients...
I am so hoping you'll have advice for me here.

He doesn't have any health issues. We eat organic. I scan the ingredients on his shampoo and bar soap and get products which I think are safe for him.

So--help! I realize there are huge problems much worse than hair loss, but still my son is sooo too young for this. Looks affect how people see you and he's just starting out in life.

Does anyone know what I can do to reverse this or help him?

Thanks for your thoughts. I really need your input if you've dealt with this and know what would help this problem.
post #2 of 41
My first thought is stress. Believe it or not, stress can induce hairloss.

My second though is not to worry too much about it. I mean Patric Stewart's been as bald as a cue ball since he was 19.

I would get him checked out. Hairloss can also be a sign of a thyroid problem, iron deficiency or some other medical problem. I wouldn't go jumping straight to re-growth products which are suspect at best IMO.
post #3 of 41
Thread Starter 
Thank you SO much for your perspective on this. I'll take a breath and relax about it. It has been so tough to see and to realize he may be without hair so early...

His uncle had his hair recede while in college, but not as early as high school. His father has been mostly bald since I've known him so it's probably hereditary for my son. There are definitely worse things and so I need to be happy I have a nice kid who people enjoying being around...

I appreciate your confirming the re-growth product perspective, which I really needed to hear.

That info about Patrick Stewart is tremendously helpful as well. My son is into filmmaking and acting and respects these people. Knowing that eventually my son will notice his hair has thinned (maybe a year or maybe a bit more, I don't know), I shared with him regarding the Patrick Stewart bit you shared. (leaving out that it was in response to my forum question, but did say I'd read something about a mother whose kid had hair loss pretty early-in late teens.) Anyway, he laughed and I laughed/we laughed together when I told him about Patrick Steward. Honestly that helps to have laughed together about Patrick Stewart "bald as a cue ball since 19". He'll remember something like that and I sure feel better for being able to tell that to him. I feel better too that someone like Patrick Stewart had hairloss so very early too. It just plain helps to lighten and hearten me about this.
post #4 of 41
I don't know if your son is into comics, but I dated Brian Michael Bendis In high school, and he was grey and balding then, too. (he's a major Marvel Comics author).
post #5 of 41
My buddy Jason started going bald in highschool, and of course is almost completly bald now. he just went with the buzz haircut to make it less obvious. No known health problems. My friend Kelly (age 23) has hairloss, her hair just became getting thinner and thinner, and has some bald spots, she went for testing and has Lupus. My friend Steven had a bald spot when he was 19, and went to the store and got Rogaine, it grew back and he never had a problem since. There can be numerous causes, I personally wouldn't worry too much, but maybe rule out things that could be the cause, like stress, and maybe some bloodwork.
post #6 of 41
I wouldn't be so quick to put it down to male pattern baldness. There are a lot of other things - reversable things - that can cause hair loss. Alopecia seems most likely, to me anyway... or it could be a nutritional deficiency (eating organic doesn't prevent this) or something more serious.

I'd go see your health-care practitioner...
post #7 of 41
I would also make sure there isn't a health issue.

If it was my ds, and it was simple early baldness, no health issues, I would not try to fight it with expensive and likely ineffective cosmetic products or comb-over hair styles. Just like I want my daughter to love her body the way it is, I would want my son to be comfortable with his natural appearance. I wouldn't ridicule or tease him about it, but I would try to be good humoured. I would encourage him to just accept his hair loss and take on role models, like Patrick Stewart, who don't try to hide it.
post #8 of 41

its ringworm

My 10 year old had this, it's just ringworm. We treated it with over the counter athletes foot cream, it took a while, but the hair did grow back.
post #9 of 41
I'd recommend the teen see a dermatologist. I have alopecia totalis and that is how it starts - patches quickly form and before you know it - hair is gone. It's an autoimmune condition with no specific cause.
post #10 of 41
Echoing the others, I would make certain it was not a health issues, then I would just let it be and encourage him to make his peace with it.

There was a boy in my high school that was nearly bald by junior year. He was a blast to be around, had girls fighting over him, was a super-talented violinist, was president of the most of the clubs he was in, and on and on. His lack of hair did not hold him back at all, if that is your concern. He did not hide and worry about how others saw him, and no one ever thought "He's bald". They thought "Martin is awesome".
post #11 of 41
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your thoughts on this. It feels scary for me, as his mom, to see this happening just about before my eyes. It's not bad enough yet for others, or even my son, to see it, but I see the area getting thinner and wider.

I don't want to give him anything that's out there. I know there are some things, but they can affect hormones, etc. I was hoping there was some healthy supplement in existence that would help, but I guess not yet. I've been giving him biotin in his morning protein shake for 3 months now, but the spot has continued to worsen (biotin helps with hair loss, but not male pattern baldness. It's helped MY hair/my part-line, but not helped him).

Yes, my big concern is that he's so young for this to be happening already. He's the sweetest boy/person, too. I don't want it to affect future relationships, but even to look in the mirror and see hair loss--no-one wants that, especially at a younger age.

An auto-immune condition--that makes some sense to me. His brother has had problems with allergies. But I don't know how it would be treated, plus don't know that most dermatologists would even look in that direction? I'm concerned that most dr's are quick to pass out drugs & don't want to go that route. I think I need to wait just a bit before seeing someone anyway, at least, until it's enough so that he's aware. So far I've kept him mercifully in the dark, as my mother eyes are the ones that see it-not his (it's on the top and back of his head)

Yes, I'm afraid his hair will be gone, at least a huge patch of it, by the time he's 20. That's very young and it brings a pang to my heart to see this happening already. He just turned 16 last week.

I wish there was a remedy that didn't involve drugs or something. From looking on the web I've seen a couple of things people take to stop more hair loss, but I'm not willing to give him anything, unless it was a supplement-type.
post #12 of 41
I met my husband when he was 20, he had already been experiencing hair loss for years. It started in late highschool and has progressed (receding hairline). We keep his hair cut really short , he just tells me that once it gets worse he will just shave his head entirely.
post #13 of 41
My husband started to go bald pretty young too. In his Bar Mitzvah pictures, you can see that his hairline is receding.

He has a pretty dang sexy shaved head these day. Right up my Patrick-Stewart-fantasizing alley.

I'd check for health issues like ringworm and stress and nutritional deficiency, and then I'd try to take a deep breath and not sweat it. Head hair doesn't mean a whole lot in terms of quality of life.
post #14 of 41
I have had several episodes of alopecia, I saw a dermatologist the first several times and they were willing to go through the different types of treatments available without pushing them. They weren't confident that the creams, shots, etc. were going to help and after I tried a couple I just gave up and waited for my hair to grow back.
post #15 of 41
I really think you should tell your son, and then take him to see someone. Just because you consult a doctor doesn't mean you have to proceed on a particular course of treatment. But he should know that something is going on with his body - he's nearly an adult.
post #16 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
My first thought is stress. Believe it or not, stress can induce hairloss.

My second though is not to worry too much about it. I mean Patric Stewart's been as bald as a cue ball since he was 19.

I would get him checked out. Hairloss can also be a sign of a thyroid problem, iron deficiency or some other medical problem. I wouldn't go jumping straight to re-growth products which are suspect at best IMO.
I agree with the above.

Thyroid deficiency is often overlooked in men.

I say this gently, I think it would be helpful for you to work on your feelings about baldness. It is not a negative thing unless you make it into one. If your son is destined to be bald, especially at a younger than average age, he will probably take cues from you on how to deal with it. Will this be a traumatic, embarrassing thing for him or just a normal part of his development, like all of the other sometimes surprising things that happen around puberty?
post #17 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by momofboys2 View Post
I scan the ingredients on his shampoo and bar soap and get products which I think are safe for him.
Look up his shampoo on Skin Deep. It will tell you if there's anything toxic in it.
post #18 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by momofboys2 View Post
I was hoping there was some healthy supplement in existence that would help, but I guess not yet. I've been giving him biotin in his morning protein shake for 3 months now, but the spot has continued to worsen (biotin helps with hair loss, but not male pattern baldness. It's helped MY hair/my part-line, but not helped him).
I'm not sure about the biotin, but inositol is said to be a good supplement for hair loss. If the biotin isn't helping him, you might want to discontinue it because taking just one B vitamin can create more of a need for the other B vitamins, which can eventually result in a deficiency.
post #19 of 41
If it's hereditary male-pattern baldness, I am pretty sure it's passed down through the mother.
post #20 of 41
Thread Starter 
If it's Alopecia, rather than male pattern baldness, what can I do to remedy the alopecia? He DOES have an very itchy scalp. Is that a sign of alopecia? Do I get a high powered shampoo regarding moisturizing the scalp? Any idea what I should do if that's what it is? We're considering taking him to a dermatologist to check this out, but if it's because of inflammation (that's alopecia, right?), then what would I do for him.
Thanks.
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