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Child having problem of hairfall and hair thinning. What could be the cause?

Dec 2013
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Practicing since : 2002
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I have a four year old daugther and recently we noticed that her hair is falling out when we move our hand through her hairs or when we brush. Every time we do that we can see couple of hairs on the our had or brush. Also her hairs are thining. Density on back of her head has reduced and one can see little bit of scaple around those area. What could be casuing this and is there something we could do about it?

Posted Thu, 22 Aug 2013 in Hair Loss
Answered by Dr. Sanjay Kumar Kanodia 1 hour later

Welcome and thanks for posting your query to XXXXXXX

I can very well understand your concern for the hair fall in your daughter. As a father I can understand the problem.

As per your query you are noticing a lot of hair fall in your 4 year old daughter with thinning of hair and even you can see the scalp on the back of her head.
With this there is a history of hair loss due to premature falling of the hair. Before I proceed any further you please also check out net some pictures of "Alopecia areata". Though it is not at all a part of diagnosis but as you said you can see the scalp on the back of her head so it is important to rule out same. Just let us know about the match with the condition otherwise our most close possibility is "Telogen Effluvium" itself.

Other wise also the infiltrations given below are helpful i any type of hair fall.

To explain you simply, our hair have 3 phases of growth-
Anagen - growing phase
Catagen- transition phase
Telogen- resting phase
Most of the hair (more XXXXXXX 85 %)are in anagen or growing phase and very less are in Telogen or falling phase and rest in catagen phase.
Due to any illness in last 3- 6months or multiple of other causes like most important nutritional imbalances or anemia, the anagen hair can slowly go into telogen hair. It takes almost 3-6 months to pass on to this stage. So as soon as the hair are in telogen stage these start falling.

So you can probably get that though the illness was 3-6 months back but the hair start falling after3-6 months of the problem.
As I can correlate from your daughter's history she had urinary tract infection with blood loss 6 months back so we can very well correlate the contributing factor of this illness which makes its sense. The urinary tract infection itself as a illness as well as the blood loss leading to anemia can be the important factors causing the problem.

I also request to check out for any other illness or any nutritional problem in herself like dietary intake.

Now you need not to be worried about this problem. We very commonly see this condition and more so in every age group. It is very well manageable and treatable condition. The most important thing in this regard is diet. You should know that our hair are basically made up of proteins and supported by certain simple biochemical known as minerals and vitamins. So every of the food item which contains good amount of proteins with vitamins and minerals would be best for growth and maintenance of good hair.

So you can make her dietary plan below:

1. Let her eat at least 3-4 different fruits saplings per day. Every fruit is good but you can make a combination of sour with sweet fruits such as oranges, papaya and other of seasonal fruits.
2. Pulses are good source of proteins. So everyday let her have a small bowel full of mixed pulses. Add green leafy vegetables additionally in the pulses which contains lot of iron and vitamins in it.
3. Sprouts are the best source of fibers, minerals vitamins and proteins too. so add it at-least alternate day if you can not make in her everyday's part of meal.
4. Over night soaked and peeled almonds will give you good vitamin E which is good for the hair growth.
5. Milk and milk products should be included in everyday's schedule.

I know it would be difficult to make her eat these stuff but if you can then it would be best for her. A good idea is to eat along with her so that she can follow you ( that's what I make with my daughter!!)

Along with all these above you can also give her Iron syrup two teaspoon daily after meals. There are multivitamins especially those containing "biotin" in it which are specifically helpful in hair growth and can again be given two teaspoon daily after meals.

These all things takes minimum of 12-16 weeks to replenish the hair growth so you have to have enough of patience before you see good hair growth again. There is also a scientific reason that we can see the hair falling but we can not see hair which are growing. So do not worry for this problem as it can be very well handled.

I hope these information helps you. If you have any further queries I will be happy to help.

"Wish your family good health"

Dr Sanjay Kumar Kanodia
MD (Dermatology)
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Child having problem of hairfall and hair thinning. What could be the cause? 22 hours later
Thank you Dr. XXXXXXX Really appreciate the detailed advice. We will make her diatery plan as per your suggestions. For Iron Syrup & Multivitamins, is it safe to use in the case of 4 year old? Also how long should we put her on such suppliments? Will you recommend any particular brand for those suppliments?

Thanks again,
Answered by Dr. Sanjay Kumar Kanodia 11 hours later

Welcome again to the forum and thanks for your reply.

Now for the part of Iron Syrup & Multivitamins- these are totally safe in kids of even under 1 year of age. So you need not to be worried about these supplements.
In my clinical practice I generally go for a routine blood investigations (especially hemoglobin) as a base line. After all the measures of diet and supplements of one month, a second review test is performed to see the improvement in the tests (Hemoglobin especially). So if you can not go for other mutiple tests then you can just go for hemoglobin status of your daughter.
If it is less than 14 gm% then you can continue the supplements till it reaches close to 14 gm%. If the test is above 14 gm% then there is no need to give these supplements and simple dietary improvisation will help. These dietary intake is not a one month affair but should continue as long as possible.

As I can trace your IP address - it is from United sates. You probably need to have your doctor's prescription for the same. You family physician will help you in the same or if you can get from store then any Iron Syrup & Multivitamins will help. SO there is no preference to anything specific.

At this juncture I would like to advice to give good aount of liquids also as she is having history of urinary tract infection should not recur again.

The little XXXXXXX will be fit and fine in next couple of weeks.

I hope these information helps you. If you have any further queries I will be happy to help.

"Wish your family good health"

Dr Sanjay Kumar Kanodia
MD (Dermatology)
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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