Excessive hair loss, or Alopecia, in children can have a devastating and unexpected impact on a child’s self esteem, sending parents scrambling for Hair Replacement solutions. Though it’s not very common for children to lose their hair, it happens to nearly 2 million children a year in the United States alone. No one expects a young child to lose their hair so if it does happen, parents are often baffled and uncertain as to what to do. There are many causes for hair loss in children, most of them medical-related. Your first step when your child loses an excessive amount of hair should always be to see your doctor to rule out any physical problems that might be causing the hair loss. After this you can start seeking hair replacement solutions and researching Alopecia advocacy organizations.
It should hearten parents to hear that 60% of children with Alopecia outgrow this condition on their own making long-term hair replacement solutions unnecessary. This often occurs within a year or so. Unfortunately, that leaves the other 40% of children who will not have such a favorable resolution to this problem and who will require long-term hair replacement solutions. Even if it only lasts for a year, that time can leave serious scars on a child’s sense of self worth. Like adults, much of a child’s identity is tied to his or her hair and appearance. Children who look ‘different’ can become the unwilling targets of other children’s teasing. For parents who are watching their children go through this, finding a solution can become an all-consuming goal. Hair replacement experts can restore not only a child’s lost hair, but their self-esteem as well. Hair pieces, wigs and nonsurgical hair systems fitted to look undetectable by an expert hair replacement clinic can provide the relief that both parents and children alike are looking for, even if the situation is only temporary.
Some of the most common causes of excessive hair loss in children requiring long-term hair replacement solutions are:
Tinea capitis – is a contagious fungal infection of the scalp, also sometimes called scalp ringworm. No worms involved, but the fungus can cause hair to fall out by the roots in large round patches.
Alopecia Areata – a mysterious hair loss that can range from small patches to complete hair loss. Some believe there is a genetic component here, as well as a connection to a nervous/ immune system condition in which the immune system itself attacks the root hairs.
Traction Alopecia – comes from constant pulling of the hair too tight in hairstyles ranging from braids to pigtails. This can damage the root, causing hair to fall out.
Trichotillomania – the compulsion to pull one’s own hair out causing patchy hair loss.
Some of the most common causes of temporary hair loss in children requiring short-term hair replacement solutions are:
Emotional stress, high fever or flu –can sometimes cause hair to fall out until the next growth phase when it begins to grow back.
Chemotherapy/radiation treatments – this temporary form of Alopecia is caused by the intensive medications used to kill the Cancer.
Whatever the reason for the hair loss, it can take months, sometimes years for the hair to grow back the way it was before, making it necessary to utilize a short or long-term hair replacement solution. Human hair goes through growth cycles during which new hair replaces the hair lost naturally during the shedding phase which normally only involves 10% of the hair at any one time. If something interferes with re-growth however, hair loss which seemed gradual at first can pick up speed until there is a significant loss on the child’s scalp.
So what is a parent to do? After treating the medical issues present, the emotional issues will inevitably crop up. Children do not like to feel different from their peers. Replacing the lost hair with hair pieces or wigs can be difficult if they are poorly made which is why many parents will spare no expense to make sure their child looks as natural as possible.
Wigs are one option. This might be especially good for a short-term hair loss but wigs can have their drawbacks. They are not attached to the head. They are hot to wear, and they do not appreciate contact sports or dips in the pool, lake or shower. These are the very activities children thrive on. So for kids, wigs can be one hair replacement option, but perhaps not the best.
Hair Systems are another fine hair replacement option. There are many hair replacement companies out there who sell hair systems on the internet with fit-them-yourself templates available on-line. These hair systems are less expensive but often disposable after three or four months of wear. Often these types of hair systems do not fit correctly and end up looking cheap or unnatural.
A thorough search of the Internet, however, will lead you to the more high-end hair systems from hair replacement companies that have local clinics, custom fittings and hair systems made of human hair tied on breathable lace caps that look not only natural, but are also comfortable to wear. These full or partial hair systems are fixed to the scalp with a form of adhesive that is usually worry-free for three months or more. There can be occasional intermittent clinic visits to re-tie hair lost through shedding, but the cost for these is usually around £80 – cheaper than investing in yet another cheap, disposable hair system. Children wearing these hair systems can bathe, swim and play hard in them without the worry that they will fall off or come loose. Essentially, they can live the life they had before they lost their hair and feel good about themselves at the same time. Clearly, that kind of peace of mind does not have a price tag.