Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors
"Can a nine year old lose her hair?"
It seems like my 9 year old is losing too much hair. It doesn't look thin on her head but it is all over the pillow and comes out a lot when I brush it. Is this possible? I have never heard of someone her age with any kind of problem like this?
Hair loss is not very common in children, but it can occur and there are several possible causes. Perhaps the most common cause of hair loss is something called traction alopecia. This refers to the fact that a child's hair is more delicate than an adult's hair, and tugging or pulling on the hair roots can cause them to come loose. Traction alopecia is especially common with too frequent brushing or combing or with hairstyles that put a lot of stress on the hair, such as tight braids or pony tails.
See a doctor who can help
Find Pediatricians near you
Telogen effluvium is another form of generalized hair loss which leads to thinning of the hair on the head following a stress or illness (such as a bad infection). The stress causes temporary disruption of the normal growth cycle of the hair, and leads to shedding of hair for several months. Telogen effluvium usually gets better on its own and is usually not severe enough to cause bald spots. Other causes of hair loss in children, such as fungal infections and autoimmune reactions causing hair loss (alopecia areata), are less likely as these usually lead to bald patches, which your daughter does not have. If the problem persists, you should talk to your daughter's pediatrician.
Need more info?See a pediatrician today
Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.