Hair loss in children

Curr Probl Dermatol. 2015:47:55-66. doi: 10.1159/000369405. Epub 2015 Feb 20.


Hair diseases represent frequent complaints in dermatology clinics, and they can be caused by a number of conditions reflected by specific diagnoses. Hair loss is not uncommon in the pediatric group, but its patterns in this group are different from those seen in adults. Additionally, in children, these disorders can have psychological effects that can interfere with growth and development. Hair is easily accessible for examination, and dermatologists are in the enviable situation of being able to study many disorders using simple diagnostic techniques. To fully understand hair loss during childhood, a basic comprehension of normal hair growth is necessary. Knowledge of the normal range and variation observed in the hair of children further enhances its assessment. This chapter has been written in an attempt to facilitate the diagnostic process during daily practice by helping to distinguish between acquired and congenital hair diseases. It can sometimes be difficult to differentiate between abnormality and normality in neonatal hair aspects. Management of hair disorders can be quite a daunting task for the attending physician and mandates a holistic approach to the patient. Some hair disturbances have no effective treatment, and for others, no single treatment is 100% successful. If no effective treatment for a hair loss disease exists, a cosmetic approach is important.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Alopecia / diagnosis
  • Alopecia Areata / diagnosis*
  • Alopecia Areata / therapy
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Hair Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Loose Anagen Hair Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Minoxidil / therapeutic use
  • Monilethrix / diagnosis
  • Scalp Dermatoses / diagnosis*
  • Tinea Capitis / diagnosis*
  • Trichothiodystrophy Syndromes / diagnosis
  • Trichotillomania / diagnosis*
  • Vasodilator Agents / therapeutic use


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Vasodilator Agents
  • Minoxidil

Supplementary concepts

  • Trichorrhexis nodosa syndrome