Matt L. Leavitt: Hi! I'm Dr. Matt Leavitt with the Hair Foundation. Today, I'm talking about children and hair loss. When hair loss occurs in children, it is devastating and confusing for everyone, children of all ages, and the parents. Well, it's hard enough to be a kid on a normal day; children with alopecia face even more challenges when they are facing their peers. With hair loss many children are aware that they look different and that they are very self-conscious about this feeling.
Children are afraid to attend school, they don't want to spend time with others, and they often don't perform well academically. Although, children are affected too, they may not want to date or socialize with friends. They are afraid to have jobs and many will wear hats and scarves year around just to hide the hair loss. But also affected by children's hair loss are the parents.
Parents with young children three, four, five years old are ashamed by their children's hair loss and viewed as distressing or a major illness. Sometimes parents may feel a sense of hopelessness, and not know how to come to their children. They may feel there is no care. The most common causes of hair loss in children are spot baldness which is called Alopecia Areata, hair loss from compulsive or pulling or twisting of the hair until it breaks off, ringworm of the scalp, massive hair loss disorders that can be caused from emotional or psychological distress, things such as eating disorders, chronic illness or anemia, endocrine or hormonal disorders, congenital disorders resulting from overgrowth of oil glands, chemical nutritional problems, trauma that has destroyed hair follicles. There is probably a lot more causes than you could have ever imagined.
Regardless how this affects boys versus girls, there is variation. Particularly for young girls a difficult time will be adolescence. During these difficult times, it is important for parents to be very supportive. Discuss your children's concerns with them along with your child's hair professional. Don't make your child feel different from others. If you believe further medical attention is needed, then visit a medical professional that specializes in children's hair loss. Remember, there are more remedies for children that are available and should be explored.