5 Medical causes of hair loss in children

Hair loss in children can stem from various causes. Here, we’ll explore different medical conditions that lead to hair fall, along with their causes and treatments.

5 Medical causes of hair loss in children

Hair loss is typically considered a common issue among adults, but it’s less common in children. While it’s normal for everyone to shed some hair daily, significant hair loss in children can be worrying. As a parent, it’s important to investigate the underlying cause if your child is experiencing hair fall. Consulting a trichologist can help identify potential reasons for the hair loss. Although younger children might not pay much attention to this issue, adolescents may feel distressed, understanding the importance of hair in our appearance.

5 Medical causes of hair loss in children

Hair loss or hair fall in children can be attributed to five major medical conditions. These encompass both biological and psychological changes that could instigate hair loss. Each condition presents with its unique causes and treatment approaches, all of which are essential to understand.

Tinea Capitis

This condition manifests as an itchy scalp or reddish patches on the scalp. In some instances, small black dots may be visible on the scalp where the hair has broken. Additionally, the child may experience swollen lymph nodes and fever.

Causes: The condition is caused by a fungus called ‘dermatophytes’. It can also spread from one person to another through the sharing of haircare products such as combs, bedding, etc., resulting in patches of bald spots on the head.

Alopecia Areata

This condition, known as alopecia, involves hair loss not only on the head but also on various parts of the body. It is often hereditary, with a family history of alopecia increasing the likelihood of a child developing it. Additionally, conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes in the family may contribute to its occurrence.

Causes: Unlike some other conditions, alopecia does not have a specific cause. It is often triggered by environmental factors. Fortunately, it can be effectively treated with topical solutions, oral medications, and other therapeutic approaches.


Parents should be vigilant about the habit of hair pulling, as it can lead to a condition called Trichotillomania. This is classified as a mental disorder wherein children, often due to anxiety or stress, compulsively pull out their hair.

Causes: The main underlying cause of this condition is OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), which is a psychological condition. Behavioral therapies are typically the most effective approach to treating Trichotillomania.

Telogen Effluvium

This infection occurs when there is a disruption in the hair follicle cycle, leading to diffuse hair loss in children. If a child has a history of this condition, it may recur and persist for an extended period.

Causes: Telogen is a phase of hair growth characterized by the resting phase of hair follicles. Interruption in this cycle can result in excessive shedding or significant hair loss. Stress is a primary cause of this interruption.

Telogen Effluvium

Nutritional Deficiency

Nutritional deficiencies can indeed contribute to hair loss or hair fall in children. It’s crucial for parents to ensure their child receives a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients. Neglecting nutritional needs can not only lead to hair issues but also other health problems.