Main Causes of Hair Loss in Children

Hair loss is a very common problem amongst adults, but even children may also suffer from it. It is natural when a child is losing 75 to 100 hair strands per day, but when hair fall is more than that it is a matter of concern. Most of the times, hair loss amongst children is due to natural reasons and the hair is likely to grow back soon.

However, at times hair loss in children can even be due to a medical or more prolonged condition.

Hair loss in children

Such conditions include:

Tinea Capitis:

In simple terms it is known as ringworm of the scalp which happens due to fungal infection. It is one of the most common reasons behind hair loss in children where fungus attacks the hair shaft and breaks the hairs. Some of the symptoms of Tinea Capitis are red circular lesion, hair loss in patches, and itchiness. This fungal infection can affect hair of the scalp, eyebrows, and eyelashes. This kind of hair loss problem can be easily treated with antifungal medications and special kind of medicated shampoos.

Alopecia Areata:

It is a kind of autoimmune disorder that leads to complete hair loss in round or oval patches on the scalp or other body parts of children. This condition is relatively rare, affecting about 1 in 1,000 children at any given time. This hair loss condition is often characterized by a circular, bald patch on the scalp and at times there can be complete hair loss on the scalp. There will be no signs of inflammation, scaling, or broken hairs. Till now, there are no known treatments for alopecia areata, but in most cases, the hair will grow back within a year.


Physical stress on the hair can even cause hair loss amongst children. Children have the habit of twisting their hair which puts pressure on the follicles leading to uneven bald patches. This condition is known as Trichotillomania where people have the habit of pulling, plucking, twisting or rubbing out their hair. Due to Trichotillomania hair loss can be patchy with broken hairs of varying length. To treat this kind of problem counseling is required so that the child can learn to deal with the source of stress. Hair grows back to normal once the pressure is removed provided there is no scarring on the scalp.

Traction Alopecia:

Traction alopecia happens when the hair is held tightly under tension causing the hair shaft to be eventually come out from the follicle. It is often regarded as mechanical hair loss and is common amongst females as compared to makes. The main sign of this problem is ‘thinning’ of the hair behind the front hairline margins. This condition is common amongst children whose hairs are tied in tight braids or tight ponytails. Even newborns and infants can suffer from this problem when they start rubbing the back of their head against their crib.

Telogen Effluvium:

It is a kind of condition where the normal hair growth cycle is interrupted. The main causes behind Telogen Effluvium are recent illness, sudden weight loss, or even an emotional stress. Often children suffering from Telogen effluvium loses hair in large clumps for a few weeks or months and soon the hair becomes noticeably thin. There is no treatment available for this kind of hair loss treatment but it often gets cured on its own and hair usually grows back fully within six months to a year.

Other Causes of Hair Loss in Children

In addition to the above mentioned conditions, there can be some reasons behind hair loss in children. Such reasons can include:

  • thyroid disorders impacting body metabolism
  • iron-deficiency in children
  • malnutrition
  • vitamin A toxicity
  • structural abnormalities of the hair shaft
  • poor dietary habits
  • vigorous brushing or pulling the hair
  • improper hair care routine

If your child is suffering from hair loss due to any one of the above mentioned reasons, you must make an appointment with your doctor. After a thorough check up the condition can be diagnosed properly and treatments can be offered.

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