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What Causes Hair Loss in Children?

Hair loss in children can happen due to a variety of medical conditions. No matter what the cause, Wigs For Kids is here to gift hair replacement systems to children in need and provide educational hair loss resources for families.

Children with Hair Loss & When to Worry

If you notice your child is losing hair, it can be distressing. You may wonder how much hair loss is normal for a child? Typically, it’s normal to lose about 100 strands of hair per day. This is called shedding. When children lose more hair than this, parents may begin to worry there’s an underlying condition causing excessive hair loss in their child.

Hair loss in children can have a psychological impact on self-image, confidence, and emotional wellbeing. Let’s examine some common causes of children’s hair loss, so you and your family can feel more educated and prepared to take the next steps.

Reasons for Children’s Hair Loss:

Nutritional Deficiency

Does iron deficiency cause hair loss? Vitamins and minerals play a key role in a child’s diet. If your child is experiencing hair loss, nutritional deficiency may be the cause. Iron is important for hair growth and health. Hair shedding may be a first symptom of iron-related hair loss. Fortunately, most hair loss in children that’s related to iron deficiency can be reversed.

Some children with hair loss are deficient in vitamin H, or biotin, which helps the body convert carbs into glucose. Lack of zinc can affect cellular metabolism, leading to hair loss in children. Additionally, too much vitamin A has been linked to children’s hair loss.

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Children’s Cancer

According to Children’s Cancer Research Fund, 80% of childhood cancer cases can be successfully treated. The more common types of cancer in children include brain and neural tumors, leukemias, lymphomas and sarcomas.

What happens when a child is diagnosed with cancer that causes hair loss? Just like adults, when children are experiencing their treatments, such as chemotherapy, side effects can cause the child to lose their hair. Typically, hair loss begins several weeks after the first or second chemotherapy treatment — but this varies by individual. Except in rare cases when cancer spreads to the skin, it’s the cancer treatment that causes hair loss, not the disease itself.

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Children’s Alopecia

Alopecia areata is labeled as an autoimmune disease. The immune system mistakenly attacks the hair follicles, causing the hair to fall out. Completely bare patches appear over the span of one to several days. It’s important for families to understand that alopecia is not contagious or caused by poor hygiene or lack of proper hair care. There is no cure for alopecia, and care is ongoing.

Some treatments such as topical minoxidil, corticosteroids, and light therapy may help regrow hair. Parents can talk to their child’s doctor to determine if any of these treatments are appropriate for their child. Every child is different, and what works for one child may not work for another.

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Children’s Trichotillomania

One less widely known cause of hair loss in children is trichotillomania. This disorder causes people to pull out the hair from their scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes, arms, legs or other parts of the body, resulting in noticeable bald patches. Currently, it is defined as an obsessive-compulsive-related disorder, since there are still questions about how it should be classified. Trichotillomania can range from mild to severe.

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How You Can Help Children with Hair Loss

No matter what causes hair loss in a child, Wigs For Kids wants to be there. But we need your help! By making a monetary or hair donation, or sponsoring a child, you are helping us create custom hair replacement systems at no cost to the recipient. Wigs For Kids never charges the family in need, and we continue to strive for creating as many hair pieces as possible.

Learn about how you can get involved with Wigs For Kids, including volunteering, fundraising, giving ponytails, attending events, and more. To make a financial gift and change the life of a child with hair loss, donate now.

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About Wigs For Kids

Wigs For Kids is a nonprofit organization that helps children suffering from hair loss stemming
from chemotherapy, radiation therapy, alopecia, trichotillomania, burns, and other medical
causes. Stylists and regular people just like you work together to give recipients the self-esteem
and self-image they deserve.


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