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Teens and Hair

Experimenting with your hair can be a fun and safe way to show off your creative side and make an impression on everyone you come across. Whether you are planning on coloring your hair in a shade that is just slightly different from your own or interested in getting an extreme haircut that will turn heads no matter where you go, deciding what to do with your hair can be almost as fun as actually getting a new haircut or hairstyle.

Choosing a Haircut

When teens choose a haircut, friends and classmates are often a big influence on the specific haircut chosen. One reason that many teens seem to have the same haircut or hairstyle is that teens want to fit in with their peers. While movie stars and popular singers sport fancy hairstyles that many teens like to imitate, the specific hairstyles that are popular in a given area are largely dictated by the teens themselves. No matter how much you like the look of a particular star, that look might not be acceptable in your peer group for any of a number of reasons. Breaking free of the pack and trying out a new style puts you at risk of being viewed as a local fashion disaster. However, you may be just as likely to start a new trend, so the potential reward may be well worth the risk. However, before you decide on a drastic new haircut or permanent coloring job, keep in mind that hair only grows about a half inch a month, according to Medline Plus.

Unusual Hairstyles

For some teens, crazy hairstyles are more desirable than hairstyles that everyone else thinks of as normal. Unusual hairstyles can be a way to express yourself without resorting to drugs or alcohol. In some circles, peers can also pressure teens to adopt an unusual look in order to fit into a particular clique or group. Wearing your hair in a crazy style might help identify you as being a member of an alternative group at school instead of one of the more mainstream students.

Temporary Hairstyles

If you want to experiment with your hair but aren’t interested in committing to a drastic change that will take months or years to grow out, you can try introducing temporary hairstyle changes to your styling regimen. By using temporary hair dye, you can experiment with purple, green, pink or orange hair for a weekend and wash it out by the time school starts again on Monday. Hair extensions and wigs can change your look for a day or evening, and you can experiment with different styling tools to create ultra-curly or straight hair. Hairspray, hair gel and other styling products can also help you experiment with slicked-down, spiked-up or wildly teased looks.

Problem Hair

For some teens, styling hair isn’t a fun and casual activity. For teens with hair loss or other hair problems, it can be difficult to find a decent haircut and hairstyle. According to the National Institutes of Health, about two percent of people, including teens and children, experience a type of hair loss called alopecia areata, and teens prone to male pattern baldness may also begin to experience a loss of hair during their teen years. Other teens may have medical issues that lead to hair loss, which can be especially difficult for a teen who is trying to hide his or her medical concerns from friends and peers. Getting treatment for any underlying health problems can help get your hair back into the best shape it can be, making you more comfortable with your hair and more willing to try out new hairstyles.

Another problem teens might encounter is hair damage from using too many chemical treatments, such as home perms or hair dyes, or from over-styling with heated tools such as curling irons or straighteners. Fixing hair problems or maintaining your hairstyle can be expensive, putting added stress on a teen who is already concerned with his or her appearance. In some cases, teens resort to wearing hats or other head coverings to hide hair problems. These, too, can be made into fashion statements and can be a way to express individuality even when changing your hairstyle is an impossibility.

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