31 answers

HELP - My 19 Year Old Son Is Rapidly Losing His Hair

My son just turned 19 on July 20th. He has had unbelievably thick, wavy hair almost his whole life (he was basically bald till around 3...then again, so was I.) Early in the summer I noticed that the hair through and on either side of his part appeared to be thinning so I suggested he move his part slightly. He did and asked me about "the shampoo that helps hair grow". I told him that he would not need that for many years to come! Yesterday I noticed he had moved his part again much more to the side, not quite comb-over level though. Last night he was sitting on the floor and I noticed his hair. On top it was so thin that I could see his scalp very easily. Looking at his senior pics compared to now the difference is huge. His hair, which he keeps long, a little past his shoulders has been "who he is" for about 6 years. It is his identity in his eyes. When he first told me in jr. hi. that he wanted to have long hair I told him that he could but the first time it looked dirty or unmaintained we were going to Great Clips. I've never had to take him (not counting reg. trims)as he has kept up his end of the deal. When I suggested he cut it because it would be easier to find a part time job he was almost in tears. He has always been more of a loner and through his hair - believe it or not he had an identity. I can tell that this is really troubling to him. He was sitting alone at the kitchen table in the middle of the day this week with tears streaming down his cheeks. He never did tell me why, but now I think I know. Please, if anyone has ideas, any thoughts on this whatsoever, write to me. Thank you!

2 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Have him see his doctor and/ or a dermatologist.
It could be a vitamin deficiency or a thyroid issue.

If it's still a problem, he can try Rogain or even get a hair transplant,
although that is rather expensive.

But, have him hang in there and take him to the doctor!

Also, stress can cause hair to fall out. Has anything stressful or overly emotional
happened in the last 3 months? It that's it, then the hair will come back by itself,
but it may take up to a year before it's back to where it originally was.

Good Luck!
S : )

I'd speak to the doctor - aside from illness, it could be some sort of vitamin deficiency - a friend of mine's mother was losing her hair & the doctor found she was deficient in some vitamins (can't remember specifically which ones) but her hair grew back.

My husband started going bald at 19. It was awful for him, but maybe now the doctors will have some suggestions, but by my husband's early 20's he was bald up top. he's now almost 40 and just shaves it all off.

More Answers

Hi J.,
I really feel for you and your son.
My sister used to be the same about her hair...she said it gave her "power." Hers started falling out in her mid-thirties. She found this unbelievable doctor that specializes in hair loss. She is expensive, doesn't take insurance (I think) and has quite a wait to get in but after going to several other docs and getting no answers, this one finally had a diagnosis and "cure." She has been taking Rogaine believe it or not and her hair is absolutely 100% back to the way it used to be. I can get the doc's name and # if you're interested.
You'll get this figured out and your guy will have his hair back!

1 mom found this helpful


So many people are coming down with this affliction and many times it is alopecia. This is strictly due to environmental toxins and parasites attacking the hair follicle and so is balding. It is often associated with food intolerance as well. No prescription works and their is no magic shampoo (some of these things run over $200!!)it comes from the inside. Some colleagues and mine were just discussing this 2 days ago. I can send you the complete emails back and forth if you would like to email me at ____@____.com. There is wonderful insight here!!

I so much dislike when our children suffer especially like this!!

1 mom found this helpful

I would schedule an appt with his doctor. A friend's daughter had thinning hair problems at 16 or 17 and it turned out to be a deficiency in her blood. After a year or taking vitamins and other supplements, her hair was thicker again. If you don't have thinning hair in the family, definitely get this checked out.

1 mom found this helpful

Check with your doctor first, he could be missing a vitamin and that is why he is suddenly thinning. Then if this is just natural, try Rogaine, my FIL has been using it for years and he has really maintained what he has. My husband started thinning really bad in high school, I love his bald head. It is one of the things that turns me most on about him. I know that sounds weird about your son, but he can definitely embrace a bald head too...there are plenty of women that love the baldies, like me!!!!

1 mom found this helpful

I too have a son who has lost hair early. It is fustrating for them. Those with the crew cuts seem to go through the transistion easier...but like your son, my guy had thick curly shoulder length (well only when dry, otherwise it was to the middle of his back) "SAMSON" hair.

I would first look at a couple of things....1) do you have a family history of baldness? (look at both sides of the family) 2) If not, take your son in for a physical at the doctor (some vitamin deficiancies can cause hairloss) 3) DO"NT rule out the Rogaine treatments. As he get older,more of his friends will deal with thinning hair and he will fit in more comfortably...but right now, his social life is still the MOST important issue and if he looks like he's 30ish, people expect more from him and girls are not attracted to him like they should be. My son went in to the military where they sheared his long locks and his new "skin head" cut was not drawing attention to his "missing" curls.....his younger brother became friends with a young man who was TOTALLY bald before he was 17. The friend also had trouble adjusting to the loss, but since it was common within his family, he saw it more of a coming of age thing. Good luck. I know how difficult it is to relate to our teens (especially the boys)...you are a terrific mom to take the time to see his need.(even though he won't speak out as to what is bothering him)

I suggest you take him to the Dr. There are medical conditions that could cause hair loss such as alopecia, hypothyrodism (which I have and my hair has thinned just like your sons)

Also did your father or grandfather have thinning hair? It could be genetics also.

I hope that you can find an answer to make your son feel better!

Wow, I am sure it's bothering your son. However, my fiancee started going gray around age 19 and was balding all through his 20s. Now at 30, he is totally bald on top with just some hair on the sides, mostly gray. In highschool he had a thick full head of brown hair, so I know it was upsetting to him.
But... I mean, you can try all kinds of hair implants, plugs,etc. but I would just reassure him that there are so many things much WORSE in the world. At least he is healthy and not sick. It may help if he actually starts to crop his hair very short into a buzz cut- this is what my finacee does. Lots of women actually do find bald men attractive- don't encourage your son to believe all the marketing hype that tries to sell men's hair products! Let him know that he is attractive and loved and any girls worth having are not going to care about his hair- but his personality, sense of humor, smarts and kindness!! I know that may sound lame, but it is TRUE.

Hi J.,

So sorry to hear about this. How hard this must be for your son and you. But there is hope! Definitely take him to the doctor as this happened to two friends of mine. One had a vitamin D deficiency and needed more sun and supplements, another a thyroid issue that was also fixed easily with medication. Good luck!

I know this was back in 2009, but I am having the same issue with my 18 year old and this is tugging at my motherly heartstrings. My son has been dramatically losing his hair for the last year, also starting off with a head full of golden highlighted wavy locks. His hairline is moving back on his forehead and I can obviously tell that his hair is thin in the back, top of his head. When he asks me why this is happening, I wish I had an answer for him. The doctor has done a couple of blood tests and medically he is fine. Next week we go to the dermatologist. His father and grandfather have all of their hair, but the hair on my father and grandfather are very thin...not at his age though! He is very handsome and intelligent, ranking among the top in his class, but I'm sure he'd rather have his hair at this age! This is dramatic for men, let alone teenagers. His father is 50 and has a head full of hair, so he has no idea what it feels like or what to say to him. If anyone has suggestions, please help. My heart is breaking for him!

Take him to the doctor. It could be just a vitamin deficiency.

I experienced my hair thinning rapidly exactly where my part was too, I can totally relate to what he is going through. My hair is very thick I would always feel like everyone would look at the thinning area and not give me constant eye contact. I tried several products. One product known for thicking the hair is olive oil(cream usually green, and doesn't require alot), Dr. Miracles (for me it acted as a root stimulant try the sensative formula) and other products. Your can purchase it at stores like Target & Walmart.

I continue to this day to put olive oil on my scalp at least once a month to avoid thinning of my hair. I might be paranoid but, it have total appreciation for my hair after that experience.

A family member of mine experience loosing all of her hair it was hard because she was young age. After running test after test we found out she has aleopecia.

I wish you the best in you search to solving his issue. Thanks

My son turned 19 in May. He has some medical issues and is very small for his age. You mention your son is a bit of a loner. A few of my son's peers teased him and rejected him to the point he began pulling out his hair to relieve stress. It's a condition called trichotillomania. You mentioned he seemed sad. I'm wondering if it's something else, girls maybe?, and not the actual "hair" that's bothering him? Maybe he's pulling it and not realizing it?

I don't know, just a thought. I wanted to mention my experience in case it might help you and your son.

My son also experienced the same problem around the same age. He is now 21 and decided to shave what hair he had left and he looks so much better. He did not want to see a doctor regarding the hair loss. I think shaving his head made him feel more in control of the hair loss and his friends do not know it was falling out. I am curious as to why this happens though as well. Hope your son is able to reach some comfort level with his hair as mine did.

Have him see his doctor and/ or a dermatologist.
It could be a vitamin deficiency or a thyroid issue.

If it's still a problem, he can try Rogain or even get a hair transplant,
although that is rather expensive.

But, have him hang in there and take him to the doctor!

Also, stress can cause hair to fall out. Has anything stressful or overly emotional
happened in the last 3 months? It that's it, then the hair will come back by itself,
but it may take up to a year before it's back to where it originally was.

Good Luck!
S : )

Definitely get him to a doctor asap and have him checked out! Hopefully like the others said it could just be a vitamin deficiency, but you need to rule out anything worse.

my husband started loosing his hair at a very early age but they did not have the technology that they have now. That shampoo is rather expensive but I think is worth a try.
Another thing you to try was one Oprah see below what was on her show:
With 2 viewers in the audience who deal with frizzy or brittle hair, Dr. Oz shared that 40% of women experience hair loss problems. A quick test Dr. Oz announced involved grabbing a straw sized amount of hair and pulling - starting from the roots out - and seeing how many hairs come out. If more than 6 hairs come out, you are starting to lose hair rapidly. To improve hair, Dr. Oz suggested installing a simple charcoal filter into your home shower head to remove the chlorine found in tap water that can be drying. Also, cover your hair when in the sun.
Also on Oprah they discussed the following:
Melissa came to the show because she has been experiencing extreme hair loss in the last 6 weeks. Dr. Oz shared that hair loss can be a sign of something bigger internally, so a blood test was done on Melissa.

Dr. Oz found elevated allergies and a possible tumor in the brain. Dr. Oz shared that asking questions is not about vanity, but about life. Dr. Oz recommended that Melissa have a head MRI scan done, but that her potential condition is very treatable. Dr. Oz added that the condition of hair is a good indication of something that has happened internally during recent weeks.
I found both of these to be very informative but the fact is some people will just loose there hair and there is not much we can do about it.
My son just turned 19 and he has mentioned in passing to my husband do you think I will loose my hair at an early age? All my husband says if and when it happens you have more chances to reverse the hair lose than I even did in the 70's and not to worry about it til it happens.
Your son has reached that point and I think you might want to contact a doctor that specializes in hair loose to discuss your sons options. You could also give the couple ideas Dr. Oz gave on Oprah.

Good Luck,

I'd speak to the doctor - aside from illness, it could be some sort of vitamin deficiency - a friend of mine's mother was losing her hair & the doctor found she was deficient in some vitamins (can't remember specifically which ones) but her hair grew back.

OMG That brought tears to mys eyes...My 13 year old has had long hair for the past two years and it has become part of his identity as well.. Would you think you should consult a doctor to make sure there is nothing wrong medically....and if not, maybe the doctor could suggest some type of treatment.

I recommend that you find these books in your local library and read what they say about hair loss...



Adelle Davis (the author of the first book) says that hair loss can be caused by a B-vitamin deficiency. My suggestion is that your son start taking a multivitamin with breakfast, if he doesn't already. In addition, I suggest that he take a balanced B-Complex vitamin with lunch (no later than 3 pm). In addition, I suggest that he avoid all caffeine, because caffeine destroys B-vitamins, increasing the deficiency. You can see more about that by seeing this page (scroll down)...


Best wishes,

Hi J.,

My husband had the same problem at that age. Pending your son does not have a medical condition causing the hairloss he can do prevenative maintaince using Minoxidile (Rogaine). My husband has been using this for about 10 years now to maintain what he does have left. Minoxidile will help to keep your son from losing anymore hair and strengthen and make healthy what he does have left. He can purchase this hairgrowth treatment at Wal-mart. They have the Equate brand for about $20 for a 3 mos. supply. My husband said that he needs to use it daily faithfully. To begin it takes about 10-12 weeks to see results and he will need to continue to use it for him to have no further hair loss/thinning. They have a men's formula and a women's formula. The only difference is the strength 5% vs 2.5%. My husband began with 5% but then switched and is able to use the lesser strength and maintain great results. Your son may want to begin with the 5% and then at some point see if he can maintain results with the 2.5%.

Best Wishes,

You have been getting a lot of good responses, and you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed. I have alopecia (lost all of my hair in my 40's) and I have gotten a lot of emotional support from NAAF (National Alopecia Aerota Foundation)....www.naaf.org. Your son might benefit from checking out their website.

Hair loss can be a symptom of illness. I'd speak to his doctor, and if there is no medical problem you can use Rogaine (which I think is very expensive). I've also seen young guys who have shaved all their hair or had very, very short hair and it looks fine. Although it's no comfort now I'm sure, assure him that girls prefer bald to comb over!

Hey J.,
My fiance has this problem as well. After being put on steroids at his doctors office and getting no results, we decided to go about curing it from a more holistic point of view. What I am sharing with you has been passed on to me and I'm very grateful for some solid info. that doesn't involve drugs. This is what I was told;
Brian has alopecia which is autoimmune related which equals parasites. It can also be caused by a nutritional sensitivity or intolerance. It could be very well related to leaky gut, gluten sensitivity or celiac disease.
We were told that that accupuncture and tinctures work well and also getting some essential oils; a mixture of thyme, rosemary, lavender, and cedarwood essential oils in a mixture of carrier oils (jojoba, coconut and grapeseed) and massaging into the scalp daily.
All of which was super helpful, but probably the most important thing I've learned is the need for him to change his diet.
It was suggested that we start by taking sugar and milk out of Brian's diet. No caffiene either. He can have unsweetened Almond Milk or Rice Milk. 6ozs of animal protein was what was recommended for an entire day. His metabloism is high so I was told to add some really good omega 3's--fish oils, flaxseed oils, coconut oil to salads and veggie dishes. He eats avocados, guacamole, radishes, organic blue chips and lots of raw organic nuts. Lots of other organic veggies as well. If he wants fruits, he sticks to green apples and blueberries as those have the least amount of sugar in them. The sugar will feed the parasites.
We got a parasite cleanse from Whole Foods (its a capsule form- you take 6 a day, but you can take 3 of them at a time). You have to do a parasite cleanse for at least 30 day though to clean the system out cause they have a 21 day life span.
It was also recommended that he get on a good strong pro-biotic as well. (Someone at Whole Foods can help you with this).
Being tested for an iron deficiency, we were told is wise, too as an unhealty diet can suck what little nutrients you're putting in right out of the body.
Most of the conventional medical community will try to put your son on antibiotics and drugs but it won't work- trust me. He has to fix and clean up his insides.
I know this is alot of information. Its a bit overwhelming for us at times, too. But we just do the best we can to make a little progress each day. I think in the end its kind of a blessing because its forcing our whole family to eat better which will help us to live longer, healthier lives.
I hope this helps. :)

hi J.,
well my husband is going threw the same thing and he is in his 20s there wasnt much he could do.he's tried rogane and shampoos those didnt help now he just deals with it sorry.., but if your son isnt on a good diet, i seen a show talking about young men losing their hair and it was due to not eating healthy like fast foods and junk an sometimes stress but he may not see results for a several months...another thing is hair plugs i would think that would be the last resort if he really likes his hair but i think that he is still young and if he keeps a good diet it might come back. he can always shave his head and make a new identity i'am a young women myself ,i just turned 20 on july 14th and its in and hot for a young man to have very little hair to none...maybe you can talk to him about it if there is nothing else left build his confidence up on how many girls would notice a feature if he cut his hair(!?). hope this could help..oh this just came to mind when women are prego they take prenatals i know it sounds werid and i dont know if it would work for him but they make your hair grow maybe he should try them plus he's getting a lot of vitemins.. just a thought hope everything works out for him=)

My husband started going bald at 19. It was awful for him, but maybe now the doctors will have some suggestions, but by my husband's early 20's he was bald up top. he's now almost 40 and just shaves it all off.

That is a fast "going bald" timeframe and I think he needs to go to get some testing done to make sure that he isn't having a medical issue. Some medical issues do cause baldness, so please take him to the doctor to rule out anything. If he is truely just going bald then the doctor can tell you what things will work.

Hi J.. I feel for him. Do men in your family or his dad's family have thin hair? Sometimes heredity can be cruel. I would take him to a doctor first to find out if the doctor has any recommendations.

yes call the dr, this happened to my husband around the same age. I beleive he went to a dermatologist not sure I will have to ask him but he had some disease and he had to put a special shampoo type grease on his scalp and it helped but he waited a long time till they found out what it was and he did loose a lot of his hair. luckily when he did get the right treatment it stopped and he had some hair. he was devastaed and still is he will be 40 and has some hair but a little bald on top and still freaks when he sees pictures. get him to the dr asap dont wait for a three month appt. someone will know what it is and be able to help. My husband doesnt remember what it was called but I think it happened ot him in junior high and then againin high school but high school was bad and that is when they took him in.
hope this helps and yes men dont feel like men for some reason I sware the psychology books are right about the Sampson phemonomon. (men feel powerful with lots of hair) could be a testerone thing?
YOu are a great mom for feeling your son with out words even at this age!

Your question is so sad and I'm sure that his hair has a lot to do with his identity at his age. It's sad for a mom to witness, too. So sorry.

I would get some blood work done to rule out any medical concern, (i.e. thyroid), or vitamin deficiency. Has he had a lot of stress in his life, lately? Have you moved or is your water unusually heavy with iron? Is he on any kind of medication? When I moved, 10 years ago, my hair began to fall out in clumps. For me, it was a combination of stress, heavy iron in the water and I was, briefly, on predisone for a medical problem. I had to change shampoos and conditioners, I took a multivitamin and made sure that I went for a trim every 4 weeks. Even now, I have been making sure that my shampoo is "sulfate-free" as it is supposed to be gentler on the hair. They now sell the "organix" line at CVS (also found at Target and probably at Walgreens) which I have been using and am happy with.

I really hope this is an easy fix for him. Good luck.

I'm sorry to hear about your son, that must be tough on him.I know my husband was prescribed propecia for his hair loss.

I would talk to his doctor to see if something else could be causing his hair loss. That sounds awfully fast to loose so much hair. This may sound silly but Dr.Oz on Oprah had one woman on who suddenly had hair loss. I'm sorry I don't remember what they found out about her but I do remember him saying that sometimes it can be more than just hair loss.Maybe try Oprah's site and search there. I wish I could remember that episode.

Good luck! Your son has a loving and concerned mother.

I definitely think it could be environmental or a vitamin deficiency. He should go to the doctor for blood work as soon as possible. My husband also started losing his hair at that age, but he has lots of bald men in his family, so we just knew it was a matter of time. Also, sudden, rapid weight loss causes men to lose hair. If he has lost a ton of weight recently, then that could be the cause. And I hate to say it, but could there be drug usage on his part? That could be a cause. So many things could be causing this. Good luck!

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.