Is hair loss becoming more common in students?

If you take a closer look you might notice that a large number of young people are suffering from some form of early hair loss. This, in fact, is far from regionally isolated occurrence. According to the recent study (October 2017) conducted on 4,000 students by Tsinghua University in Beijing, the younger Chinese generation is losing hair much sooner than the generation before. To be more precise, about 60% of the students who participated in this research have shown significant hair loss (alopecia). 25% of them haven’t noticed the hair loss themselves, but were rather informed by their family or friends. While nearly 40% of them, usually those with stronger symptoms, were quite aware of the issue.

Researchers have also noticed that students who had minor or no problems with receding hairline were majoring in science, math, and auto-engineering.

What’s causing this sudden increase in hair loss among students?

Problems with general hair loss has been usually associated with older age, but that looks to be changing. Millennials around the world are reporting hair loss issues and are seeking medical (and often psychological) counseling for this issue. On top of this, young women seem to be affected by this issue as well, only in smaller numbers.

But what could be the cause of this? There is no simple answer to this question as there is no single cause for the issue. Modern living and a fast stressful lifestyle, combined with rapid hormonal changes in the body, thyroid disorders, and autoimmune diseases are some of the most common causes.

Also, strict vegetarian diet, which is so popular among college students can lead to decreased hair health as well, at least according to the research conducted at the Baylor College of Medicine in Texas by Dr. Emily L. Guo. The results are showing that reduction in protein consumption, along with deficiency in vitamin D, zinc, and other nutrients can have significant negative effects on the hair health and its growth.

What can be done?

A good indication that hair loss has become a widespread problem among young people is reflected in the sales of consumer hair products, especially in online stores. These products took the top spot among the most ordered products in 2017. But, is there a medical cure for baldness? 

In short, with each passing day, science is getting closer to the cure, but it’s not there yet. Genetic factors should also not be ignored either when talking about hair loss issues. Some of us simply have a greater genetic predisposition for suffering from hair loss. Obviously this is in addition to the outside factors that can trigger it in the early 20s too. Although various dietary supplements that can be found at pretty much any pharmacy can have some positive effects on the general health of hair and the scalp, they cannot entirely stop the rapid hair loss. But it’s necessary to mention that the results vary from person to person and are depending on the wide variety of internal factors.

Aside from dietary supplements, Finasteride and Minoxidil are actual medications that can be effective under certain circumstances. For those under the age of 40, Minoxidil can provide the best results. About 66% of those who have used Minoxidil have seen positive results. On the other hand, Finasteride is recommended for older men and has been proven helpful in 90% of cases. But, since these are medications, they should never be used without consulting your physician first.

The third option is hair transplant and it might be out of reach for younger people and students. In the past few years, some major steps have been made in this area of cosmetic surgery. Today, when looking at the hair transplant results it’s nearly impossible to tell that the person ever had any issues with hair loss. Results can really be that impressive!

And the fourth and the easiest option in dealing with hair loss is to simply embrace it. You certainly won’t be the only one at your college campus, and let’s be honest – people generally don’t mind. Lots of public figures have done just that and very few of us even notice or hardly care. Can you imagine Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel with a full head of thick hair? Yeah, neither can we. And yet, they are still awesome!

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Mila Payton

I'm Masters student, studying International Business. I enjoy traveling, cooking and writing.

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