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Balding at 20? What To Know About Early Hair Loss

Early balding affects millions of people across the globe. Learn how to spot the early signs of balding and contributing factors to hair loss in your 20s.

If your hair is starting to feel like it isn’t as dense as it used to be, chances are you’re wondering if you’ve started to go bald. Regular cycles of shedding and regrowth is natural for the human body. In fact, many of us go through seasons when regrowth is stronger than in other seasons.

But if your hair has been thinning progressively for a while, or if you’ve noticed a receding hairline and/or balding area at the top of your head, you may be experiencing early balding, a more permanent form of hair loss.1

While balding can be worrying, it’s important to remember that hair loss can happen for many different reasons, and some of those reasons can be reversible. Progressive and permanent balding, on the other hand, can be a natural byproduct of aging, but there are treatments available that can help.

This article will delve into the potential reasons for early balding. If you’re experiencing any type of hair loss that is causing you concern, please consult a qualified professional, such as your general practitioner or a dermatologist.


Regular hair shedding is a normal process for the human body, whereas hair loss is progressive and permanent.

Early hair loss is usually the result of genetics. It can be hereditary and is known as androgenic alopecia.

There are treatments that can help slow the process of early balding and products to help create the look of thicker and fuller hair.

Signs of balding at 20

The signs of balding at any age generally look the same, and can include:2

Thinning at the top of the head (crown).

Widening of the middle part.

Receding hairline.

Overall thinning.

Bear in mind that hair that won’t grow in length isn’t a sign of balding. If your hair covers your head evenly but doesn’t grow very much, that’s usually the strands breaking, not an issue at the scalp.

What causes early hair loss?

Hair loss at any age can be frustrating and scary, but especially when you’re young. Reasons for this can range from:3

Hereditary hair loss called “androgenic alopecia”. This can affect both sexes, better known as male pattern hair loss (often starting with receding at the temples or at the crown) and female pattern hair loss (often presenting as thinning at the top and a widening middle part).

Hormonal changes in women can cause excess hair shedding, especially during pregnancy or due to conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Tight hairstyles can cause traction alopecia. Pulling your hair back too tightly damages the follicle, and continual pulling can end in permanent hair loss.

Some medicines and medical treatment can cause hair loss.

So why am I balding at 20?

There could be a few different reasons that you’re experiencing balding in your 20s. While progressive baldness is most likely the result of genetics, there are a few unique aspects of our bodies in our 20s that could cause more hair loss than usual.

Is it balding or shedding?

Through our natural cycles of shedding, we lose an average of 50-100 strands of hair a day. But if you’ve started to notice more hair than usual coming out in the shower or on your pillow, you might be worried that it’s more than regular shedding.4

Hair loss and hair shedding are different processes. Shedding is the process of hair strands leaving the scalp from a healthy follicle that will eventually regrow strands. Hair loss is the result of dead or non-productive hair follicles that will no longer grow hair.4

There are many causes of excessive or long-term shedding, such as:4

Major weight loss

High fever

Recovering from physical trauma, e.g. childbirth or an operation

A hormonal disrupter like birth control.

Any of these can cause a pause in hair regrowth and/or an increase in strands shedding from the scalp, but hair can and will eventually regrow.4

Hair loss is when the hair first falls out and then stops growing all together. This can be the result of genetics, trauma to the follicle from chemicals or extreme hairstyles, or auto-immune responses.4

Is stress causing hair loss?

Your 20s can be a time of increased stress. For many, their 20s are a time of firsts, like entering the workforce for the first time, getting married, living on their own, or having children. As we go through big life changes, we may experience new and more intense periods of stress.5

The type of hair loss that happens as a result of extreme stress is called telogen effluvium. When hair falls out due to this type of hair loss, it’s because of a disruption to our regular shedding cycles. Fluctuations in hormones due to stress can prevent new growth after the shedding period. Usually, telogen effluvium presents as a thinning of hair around the top of the head.5

Those with female hormones tend to experience stress-related hair loss more often those with male hormones. But even though hair may come out in handfuls or clumps, this type of hair loss is not permanent. When the source of the stress is removed, hair growth and shedding cycles get back to normal in about 6 months.5

What can I do about early hair loss?

While early hair loss can feel scary, it’s important to remember that—for many—it might be a natural result of aging and genetics.6

If you’re feeling self-conscious or uncomfortable about your hair, there are products that can help, such as our scalp recovery system kit. You can also check out our Nioxin hair thickening products to help give thin-looking hair a boost.

But remember, if you’re concerned about your hair loss, it’s always best to consult a doctor. The first step to dealing with your concerns over going bald in your 20s is to determine whether you’re experiencing hair loss (can be permanent) or excess hair shedding (reversible). Either way, there can be treatments to slow the process or help regrow your hair—first get a diagnosis from your doctor, and then you can explore suitable remedies together.4









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