When Diana Damian was 32, she started noticing her hair falling out. At first, she brushed it off to post-pregnancy changes, but she began to realize it was something more.
"Every time my hair would fall out, every time I'd look in the mirror, every time I'd brush my hair, especially in the shower, globs of hair would just fall down," Damian said.
Initially, she tried drug store treatments and even looked up some DIY remedies on YouTube. When nothing worked, she turned to board certified Dermatologist Candace Thornton Spann. Dr. Spann said there is no evidence hair loss happens more to millennials than to other generations, but while previous generations hid under wigs, millennials are different.
"In this generation, there is no taboo, there is only the drive to seek answers, and I think that's probably what's driving the increase in numbers that we're seeing," Dr. Spann said.
There are many known causes of hair loss in young women, including hormonal changes, autoimmune disease like thyroid disorders, and stress, which is what caused Damian's lost locks.
"I suffer from anxiety from depression and especially when you notice that you're losing so much hair, the stress only gets worse," Damian said.
What you eat or don't eat can make a difference too.
"The trend these days is to exclude large parts of the diet," Dr. Spann said. "So I see young women who may have completely stopped eating meat. Hair is made of protein, so it makes sense that if you are not getting adequate protein, you cannot grow adequate hair."
Treatments for hair loss vary from supplements to surgery. Damian used a professional 3-step regimen recommended by Doctor Spann and is now seeing results.
In addition to all the health-related causes of hair loss, Dr. Spann said many of today's popular styling practices can damage hair too. Tight braids, over bleaching or dying and improper extension use can lead to hair loss.
But it's not just women; it's young men too. Dr. Span said the cause of hair loss in men of all ages is usually always related to testosterone levels. Men should see a doctor if they see hair loss too.