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Losing hair mid 20s? What’s going on?

Why am I losing hair in my mid 20s?

It seems more than a little unfair, doesn’t it? Hair loss or male or female pattern balding seems like an older person’s game. No way would hair loss occur as early as your mid 20s, right?

Well, unfortunately for some of us, we may start seeing hair loss as early as our late teens and 20s, making for a very distressing discovery so soon after finishing school. For people who experience male pattern baldness, 25% will have hair loss by the time they’re 21. And while hair loss in women is less common than in men, it’s estimated that 40% of women experience visible hair loss by the time they’re 40.

But why does hair loss happen in your mid 20s?


Hereditary male pattern baldness in men losing hair in their 20s

While there are many causes for hair loss, the most common cause is genetics.

We all have a hormone called DHT (dihydrotestosterone) in our bodies. A gene that gets passed down from your family causes the body to produce higher levels of a hormone called DHT. DHT causes hair follicles to shrink. This makes hair become thinner, and eventually stop growing.

Men have much higher levels of DHT than women in their bodies so baldness and hair loss is more common. But the same thing can happen to women as well.

So the best indicator of whether your hair will thin in your mid-20s is to look at your parents. You are likely to follow a similar pattern to them in terms of when and how your hair might recede.

And by the way, the well-worn myth about baldness coming from your mother’s father is just that – a myth. The gene can be passed down from either side of the family.


Many doctors now talk about the influence of our lifestyles and health choices on our hair follicles. It is now well-known that smoking causes hair loss, particularly in men. In fact, smoking more than doubles the likelihood of hair loss [1].

Since a high percentage of smokers — two thirds of all smokers in the UK — start smoking in their teens, experts suggest there are strong links between the two [2].

Diet and regular exercise

Diet is widely acknowledged as a cause for hair loss in your mid 20s. The media is full of articles and findings about diets, side-effects and the negative aesthetics of poor health choices. However it’s very much true; if you’re not getting enough regular nutrients into your digestive system, you’re not getting them anywhere near your hair follicles either.

On the other hand, extreme dieting, anorexia nervosa or general physical trauma may also be a reason for hair loss in your mid 20s. Care should always be taken to ensure a balanced diet and gradual, healthy weight loss with the support of a dietician, if needed.

Stress or trauma and hair loss

Stress is another established cause of hair loss for men and women in their 20s. The pressure on young people today to perform well at work and compete in busy UK markets can have a serious effect on long-term stress levels which in turn may cause premature hair loss.

A condition called trichotillomania is highly-linked to stress [3]. Sufferers of trichotillomania nervously pull out strands of hair repeatedly when they are under pressure, which can lead to sustained hair loss.

For women losing hair mid 20s

For female hair loss in mid 20s, the findings are much the same. If pattern hair loss runs in the family, daughters are at risk too.

Hair loss in younger women is also often attributed to hormonal fluctuations, though the trichological effects of hormones can be temporary. Contraceptive pills and pregnancy both strongly affect hormone levels, so they can be reasons for temporary hair loss. If you’re worried that hormones or hormone treatment are affecting your hair loss, you should speak to your doctor.

One other difference between hair loss in men and women is hair loss distribution. Hair loss in women in their 20s tends to be spread more evenly across the head rather than in specific places like the temples or the crown.

Is there anything I can do about hair loss in my 20s?

If suffering from hair loss in their mid 20s, most people tend to opt for non-invasive hair loss prevention treatments. This is usually in the form of a lotion or tablet. Other options may include hair transplants, especially if your hair loss in mid 20s will be permanent.

If you’re young, it may be too early to have a hair transplant. But people of any age can have the procedure if their hair loss is widespread.

Hair transplants are a popular way to restore hair. The effects are completely natural-looking and involve hair restoration using hair from the patient’s own head. Hair transplants can be performed on both men and women. They are only impossible if alopecia totalis has already occurred (complete hair loss through the death of the hair follicles).

What we advise

As expert hair loss specialists for men and women who are losing hair in their mid 20s, we always advise speaking to a trichologist before taking any action. A healthy diet and lifestyle will do you and your hair follicles good. However, it’s important to get a definitive assessment of your hair loss so that any choice you make in terms of treatment will be the best one for you long-term.

The Wimpole Clinic, established since 1975, offers outstanding hair restoration treatment and procedures. Our specialist can be on-hand to answer any questions in your free, no-obligation hair loss consultation, so contact us now for expert advice or to hear about our success stories with mid 20s hair loss patients.


  1. Implications of cigarette smoking on early-onset androgenetic alopecia: A cross-sectional Study
  2. Fact Sheets | Action On Smoking And Health
  3. Trichotillomania (hair pulling disorder)
The Wimpole Clinic offers FUE Hair, Beard & Eyebrow Transplants & Trichology.
Talk to a specialist ☎ 020 7935 1861.

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