Hair loss can be devastating to experience at any age, especially if you notice the signs of balding at 20.

After all, this is a time in your life when appearances matter.

But rather than panic, we’re here to tell you that there are plenty of things you can do it treat, limit, and even prevent further hair loss from developing.

This article will explain the most common reasons for losing hair in your 20s.

We’ll also share our expert tips on improving your hair and highlight the best possible treatments for you to consider.

  1. Is premature hair loss normal?
  2. Signs
  3. Causes
  4. Treatment
  5. Conclusion

Is it normal to lose hair in your 20s?

Hair loss is one of the most common conditions worldwide.

Although we often assume it affects us as we age, a growing number of people are reporting noticeable hair loss earlier and earlier than before.

There can be many causes of hair loss in your 20s, some avoidable, others sadly unavoidable.

For example, poor genetics can result in hereditary conditions that make hair loss almost inevitable.

But that’s not to say you’re completely helpless either, as starting treatment in your early 20s can stop, limit and prevent future hair loss.

Simple lifestyle changes like de-stressing, improving your diet, or avoiding certain products and styling techniques, can help reduce symptoms and improve hair appearance.

Treatments and procedures like laser therapy, medication, to surgeries like hair transplantation can also be hugely beneficial.

That said, one of the most important things any person experiencing hair loss must do is find the root cause of the problem.

You can find the best treatment to counteract developing baldness and thinning hair by going to your doctor and sharing your concerns.

signs of balding at 20

How many men go bald in their 20s?

Although hair loss is often associated with getting older, research suggests that a growing number of men experience noticeable hair loss in their early life.

In research studies, up to 20% of men aged between 20 and 30 reported suffering some or significant hair loss.

This number steadily increases as men get older, with 50%- 66% of men reporting noticeable hair loss in their 50s and 60s.

AgePercentage of men with
noticeable hair loss

What are the signs of balding at 20?

Treating hair loss as soon as possible is essential to stopping progression and hopefully recovering and stimulating new regrowth.

While there are many potential causes of baldness, below are four of the most common signs of balding at 20 you should be aware of:

1. Receding hairline

early signs of hair loss can show up in your 20s

One of the most common signs of developing baldness is a receding hairline.

This can happen at the front and top of your scalp, where hair retreats backwards.

Common signs of a receding hairline include noticeable changes to the texture and condition of your hair.

Strands may become dry, brittle, and stiff.

The good news is that a receding hairline usually develops slowly, opening up many different treatments you can avail of to stop or stunt its progression.

2. Developing patchy bald spots

noticing less and less hair at the crown can be a sign of balding at 20

Another key sign of developing baldness in your 20s is seeing your scalp easily through your hair.

This can take the form of gradual hair thinning across your scalp or the appearance of a bald spot on the crown.

Patchy hair loss can often result from an underlying medical condition—for example, autoimmune diseases like alopecia areata result in defined round or oval-shaped hair loss.

If your hair becomes dry, brittle, and thin, the underlying condition may be related to your skin, which is not producing enough natural oils to lubricate and hydrate strands.

3. Slower hair growth

Slow hair growth can be another one of the warning signs of balding at 20.

This is because something disrupts your hair’s natural growth cycle, leading to hair thinning.

The most common cause of sluggish growth is when hair follicles shrink.

This is when androgens (sex hormones) like dihydrotestosterone (DHT) attach to receptors in scalp tissue and, unfortunately, shrink and distort their size.

Hair follicles shrink to such a degree that they cannot sustain or produce new strands and thus become dormant.

Diet can also be a contributing factor to slow hair growth.

Concentrate on improving your intake of B Vitamins, protein, iron, and zinc; you should see noticeable improvements.

4. Excessive hair loss in the shower

hair loss shampoos may help with hair loss

If you’re developing baldness, your hair will become much more vulnerable and prone to damage and premature shedding.

One of the easiest ways of identifying the condition and resilience of hair is when showering.

Glide your hair through your scalp, and examine the number of fallen hair strands.

You should also examine the shower drain to see if there’s an unusual amount of fallen hair.

You can also conduct a simple pull test on your dry hair.

Pull a small patch with your hand, and examine how many strands fell out.

It is usual for two or three to be pulled out – but if more hair comes out, this indicates you’re developing a hair loss condition.

What can cause balding in your 20s?

Unfortunately, there can be many different reasons why you might lose hair at a young age.

Genetics is perhaps the most common culprit for baldness.

Hereditary conditions like male pattern baldness, for example, affect millions worldwide and start to manifest by producing signs of balding at 20.

But other factors can be the root cause of your baldness, some of which you can avoid or correct with simple treatments or lifestyle changes.

Below are 6 of the most common contributing factors for baldness:

1. Androgenic alopecia (male pattern baldness)

One of the most common conditions is androgenetic alopecia, otherwise known as male pattern baldness.

If your parents or people in your family experienced hair thinning and eventual hair loss, there might be a high chance you will also develop a similar condition.

People of African and Asian descent are more likely to develop a hereditary hair loss condition and, thus, permanent hair loss.

2. Hormonal imbalance

Although many people assume hormone changes happen later in life, they can still begin to affect your hair in your early 20s.

Stress, a poor diet, medication, significant life events like pregnancy, surgery, or developing an underlying condition can all have a massive impact on your hormone levels.

This, in turn, can disrupt your hair’s natural growth cycle, resulting in thinning hair and severe hair loss.

3. Excessive stress

When stressed, our body releases a powerful hormone called cortisol which can limit or shut down certain body functions.

High cortisol levels can disrupt the natural growth cycle of a hair follicle, leading to increased hair shedding and bald spots.

Stress-related hair loss can be prevented through simple lifestyle changes.

Manage your stress more effectively by practising mindfulness, yoga, meditation, or simple exercises to calm your body and mind.

4. Poor nutrition

Eating lots of processed fats and fast foods can deprive your body of the fuel to sustain healthy growth across your entire body.

You can often prevent the gradual thinning of hair by eating a healthy diet rich in proteins, minerals, and nutrients.

5. Medications

Some medications may cause you to experience hair loss in your 20s.

These range from antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and blood thinners to blood pressure medication, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments.

6. Alopecia areata

As an autoimmune condition, alopecia areata causes your immune system to mistakenly attack healthy parts of your body, including hair follicles.

You may experience slight patchy hair loss, complete baldness, itchiness and flaking, and tenderness across your scalp.

The causes of this disease are thought to be a mixture of genetic and environmental factors, which can be amplified during periods of stress or sickness.

What can you do about balding at 20?

there are a lot of options to treat and potentially prevent showing signs of balding at 20

Various treatments are available for both men and women to treat, manage or otherwise hide the signs of baldness. But which one is right for you?

There are a number of factors to consider, including the root cause of your hair loss, the severity, if it has stagnated yet, and whether you want an invasive or non-invasive solution.

Ultimately, visiting your doctor or haircare specialist for a formal diagnosis would be best.

Share your concerns and any signs of balding you might be experiencing with them.

They can recommend an appropriate hair loss treatment, from non-invasive options like medication, to surgeries like a hair transplant.

Some of the most popular remedies include:

1. Medication

One of the most effective ways of treating hair loss in young people is through medication, namely Minoxidil, and Finasteride.

While both treatments are FDA-approved, they differ slightly in how they combat hair loss symptoms.


Minoxidil is a topical treatment that comes in either liquid or foam form.

Applying directly to your scalp, the drug can increase blood circulation, prevent hair follicles from shrinking and stimulate new hair regrowth.

Over time, Minoxidil can help improve hair density and thickness.


On the other hand, Finasteride works on a biological level inside the body, blocking the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) from shrinking each hair follicle.

Therefore preventing further bald patches from developing.

Because of the changes it makes to your hormones, Finasteride is not approved for treating women with hair loss.

2. Cosmetic surgery

In cases of severe baldness, cosmetic procedures can help cure hair loss quickly and effectively.

The two most popular and effective are hair transplantation surgery and scalp reduction.

Hair transplant

Hair transplants have become the most effective, popular, and straightforward way of correcting hair loss.

Suitable for minor or extensive baldness, a hair transplant requires a highly skilled surgeon to extract healthy hair follicles from donor areas of your head (usually the back and sides).

They will then strategically implant them into balding areas, restructuring your receding hairline and restoring a natural look to your scalp.

Scalp reduction

Another treatment to consider is scalp reduction. This procedure removes bald areas of your scalp, leaving room for hair growth.

It is an ideal treatment for people with large areas of donor area on the back and side of their head and good skin elasticity.

It isn’t effective at treating patchy hair loss or correcting conditions stemming from stress, hormones, or illness.

3. Hair accessories

Non-invasive treatments you might consider include hair pieces, extensions, wigs, and toupees.

Not only can these hide bald spots, but they can also give your overall hair a fuller, thicker appearance, masking thinning hair instantly.


Balding can be a pretty unfortunate thing to experience at any age, but especially in your 20s.

The most important thing to remember is not to panic. In many cases, hair thinning is treatable, preventable, and in some instances, reversible.

The first step is identifying the signs of balding at 20 and then addressing their root cause.

Visit your doctor or dermatologist to address your concerns and receive a formal diagnosis.

They will be able to examine your scalp, run some tests, and recommend the most appropriate treatments for you to try.

Only then can you properly treat the condition, correct unhealthy habits, slow or stop its progression, and ultimately promote hair growth again.