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Is China’s youth experiencing a “hair-loss crisis”?

2017-11-14 07:51:46 CGTN

People in China are losing their hair at a much younger age, perhaps more than ever before, amid concerns that modern lifestyles are leading to premature balding.

A two-year-old infant from Shanghai, despite his young age, has reportedly lost most of his hair, after coming under huge family pressure to study hard and attend top-ranked kindergartens.

A one-off case? Perhaps, but keep reading if you’re not convinced. Recently, two surveys conducted by China’s Sichuan University and Hohai University also drew much public attention to the thorny issue of premature hair loss.

Sichuan University conducted its study on 478 students at random, and found 70 percent of them suffer with some degree of hair loss. Hohai University found somewhat similar results, with females representing 65 percent of those suffering from hair loss.

The bulk of those students are aged 20 to 30 years old, making up China’s "post-90s generation" - a group of young consumers with greater buying power than any other previous generation in the country.

Online shopping trends provide further evidence that hair loss is now a bigger problem among the post-90s generation, rather than middle-aged men. During the recent "Singles Day" e-commerce frenzy in China, which took place on November 11, more teenagers than ever before were spending their money on products such as hair growth shampoos and conditioners.

According to figures provided by Alibaba, China’s largest e-commerce company, a whopping 36.1 percent of hair product sales came from buyers who were born after 1990, while people born after 1980 accounted for 38.1 percent.

On Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform, popular online memes and emojis are also striking a chord with the many Chinese teenagers suffering from receding hairlines and thinning crowns.

A sensitive subject for most people, hair loss has also led to severe consequences for some. In October, a 35-year-old man from southern Guangzhou Province was reportedly fired by his company, because his baldheaded look was deemed as overly unpleasant.

Some doctors warn that staying up late at night, excessive mobile phone use and following an irregular schedule may lead to hair loss. Pressure from work and school can also lead to retreating hairlines.

According to the American Hair Loss Association, balding is a global issue that more and more young people have been struggling with in recent years. It says that 66 percent of US citizens started to lose their hair before the age of 35.

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