It can get quite disheartening to see your tresses grow thinner and weaker every day. But understanding what makes your hair thin can help you treat it better.
While hair loss due to several reasons is common in both men and women, it doesn’t have to stay that way.
One fine day, you discover there are more and more hair strands lying on your pillow or covering your hairbrush, or clogging up your shower. And after looking in the mirror you exclaim, “my hair is so thin I can see my scalp!”
Sound familiar? Hair fall affects everyone – men and women.
In fact, a study by Harvard shows that at least one-third of women will experience hair thinning at least once in their lives.
Sometimes, one or the other reason leads to an increased hair loss problem. And the first sign of this is thinning hair.
There are several ways you can control hair thinning, the easiest way being to use the right hair care products that lead to thicker, stronger tresses.
What Makes Your Hair Thin
According to Dr Bhavika our resident medical reviewer, “if you want to treat hair loss, the first step is to understand the changes in your body that lead to thinning and breakage in the first place.“
She also adds, “A little bit of hair loss is normal. Studies say that an average person can lose up to 100 strands of hair per day. The hair follicles in your scalp undergo three main phases.“
- “Anagen phase: The anagen phase is the growth phase where the hair strands grow actively. This phase can be either two years or eight years, depending on the individual.
- Catagen phase: This is the phase where your hair has stopped growing and is preparing to shed. Some experts also call this stage the ‘transition phase’.
- Telogen phase: In this stage, the hair is finally expelled from the follicle. But this doesn’t mean new strands cannot grow. After around 3 months, new hair starts sprouting from the follicles.”
The main reason behind hair fall is that the new hair doesn’t spring from the follicles after the telogen stage due to one or many reasons. Some of the top causes of this happening are given below:
Underlying causes that make your hair go thin
If there are hormonal imbalances in your body, it could affect your tresses too. One of the chief culprits here is your thyroid. An inactive or overactive thyroid can cause hair thinning and increase hair fall.
Pregnancy is another major event that makes your hair thin. The hormonal rollercoaster your body undergoes, especially postpartum (after the baby is born) can lead to severe hair loss.
Menopause is another reason for hair loss in females. It usually starts at the front of the head and spreads out from there.
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Men who have inherited the gene for baldness and hair loss experience hair thinning more often than others.
This condition is generally called male pattern baldness. If you see that you’re losing more strands around the crown area of the head, this could signal that you have male pattern baldness.
This often leads to a coin-sized patch on your scalp that keeps growing bigger and bigger.
Hair loss and thinning due to genetic reasons is very rare in women. But it can happen. This type of hair loss often sets in during the 40s and 50s, at the same time when menopause begins.
Environmental and genetic causes lead to certain inflammatory diseases which can make your hair thin and cause it to fall out.
These include rosacea of the scalp, psoriasis, androgenetic alopecia, frontal fibrosing alopecia, and more.
If you’ve been ill for a long time, then your body, in its weakened state might undergo a lot of hair loss.
Autoimmune diseases such as lupus, Lyme’s disease, etc., certain nutritional deficiencies, cancer, and other illnesses are well-known culprits.
Why is my hair getting thinner? Everyday habits you need to avoid
Using hot styling tools every day
Your hair might look glamorous after you take your straightener or curling iron to it, but it still gets damaged in the process. So if you want to avoid your tresses getting thinner and weaker, limit the styling to two or three times a week.
Excess heat can damage the keratin structure of your hair. Yes, even your blow dryer!
Always start drying your tresses with the cold setting if possible. And when straightening or curling, use the lowest temperature setting.
Another good idea is to apply a heat protection serum or spray before using any styling tool.
Rough handling of wet hair
Your hair is at its weakest when it’s wet. So you need to be extra gentle with it as this is when the hair cuticle is raised.
Stay away from bruising, vigorously combing, or rubbing your tresses harshly with a towel.
Wearing that tight scrunchie or pulling your tresses up in that popstar-like high pony can have consequences.
It often causes tension on the hair shaft and damages the follicles permanently. We suggest wearing your tresses loose whenever possible, especially before going to bed.
Wrong styling products
Often, we use products like long-lasting, strong-hold hair gels and sprays just to keep our hairstyles in place.
But do you know that these can often contain alcohol, parabens, silicones, and other chemicals that can lead to hair issues?
Scratching your scalp
Scratching your scalp, either due to itching or dandruff can cause structural damage to the strands. You need to be careful not to use your nails while shampooing either. It too can damage the hair follicles.
Everyone knows how important sunscreen is, but we often forget the effect of UV rays on our hair.
It can cause the hair shaft to weaken and become brittle. UV rays also affect the strength and elasticity of your tresses.
Try using a hat or scarf to protect it when out in direct sunlight. There are several hair serums and leave-in conditioners that come with built-in SPF or sun protection ingredients.
Not washing your hair / Shampooing it too often
When it comes to washing your hair, the perfect goldilocks-like balance is needed. If you don’t wash your hair enough, it can cause dandruff buildup and lead to clogged hair follicles. This can stop your tresses from growing.
But on the other hand, washing it too often can strip your mane of its natural oils, and leave it vulnerable to damage.
Shampooing two or three times per week using a mild, sulfate-free shampoo is the best compromise.
How to stop hair fall immediately
Using a DHT blocking shampoo and conditioner for daily use can limit your hair loss. Check these products on amazon below:
Shiny Leaf DHT Blocker Shampoo and Conditioner
There are certain laser light hair loss devices in the market that claim to stimulate hair growth. You can find them on amazon:
CapillusPro Mobile Laser Therapy Cap
If you’re in the advanced stages of hair loss, treatments like minoxidil and finasteride are the best solution. Try the popular Rogaine hair loss treatment and find it on amazon.
Rogaine 5% Minoxidil Foam for Hair Loss
Which vitamin deficiency causes hair loss
There are a few different vitamins that can be responsible for causing hair loss. The most common is vitamin B12, which can lead to a condition called megaloblastic anemia.
- Vitamin B12 – This vitamin is essential for healthy hair growth, and lack of it can cause hair loss and other abnormalities in the body.
- Vitamin D – This vitamin is important for the production of collagen, which is a protein that helps keep the skin healthy and strong. Low levels of vitamin D can lead to hair loss and other skin problems.
- Vitamin A – This vitamin is essential for the production of keratin, a protein that makes up hair and nails. A deficiency in this vitamin can lead to hair loss.
- Vitamin E – This vitamin is important for maintaining cell membrane health and preventing cell damage. A deficiency in this vitamin can lead to a host of problems, including hair loss.
Apart from these vitamins, the deficiency of certain nutrients like iron, zinc and selenium can also lead to thinning and hair fall. If you are experiencing any hair loss and suspect that it may be due to a deficiency, it is best to speak with your health care provider for further evaluation.
What causes women’s hairline thinning in 20s?
Hairline thinning in women in their 20s can be caused by various factors. Here are a few potential causes:
- Genetic factors: Female pattern hair loss, also known as androgenetic alopecia, can be influenced by genetics. It is characterized by a gradual thinning of the hair on the top of the scalp and along the hairline. If there is a family history of hair loss, it’s possible for women to experience thinning hair in their 20s.
- Hormonal changes: Hormonal imbalances can contribute to hair loss. Fluctuations in hormone levels, such as those that occur during puberty, pregnancy, childbirth, or menopause, can affect the hair growth cycle. Hormonal conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can also lead to hair thinning.
- Stress and lifestyle factors: High levels of stress, poor nutrition, sudden weight loss or gain, and inadequate sleep can all impact hair health and contribute to hair thinning. These factors can disrupt the normal hair growth cycle and lead to increased shedding or slowed hair growth.
- Hairstyling practices: Certain hairstyling practices that put excessive tension on the hair, such as tight ponytails, braids, or using hot styling tools frequently, can cause hair breakage and thinning along the hairline.
- Scalp conditions: Certain scalp conditions like seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, or scalp infections can lead to inflammation and hair loss, including thinning of the hairline.
- Medical conditions and medications: Certain medical conditions like thyroid disorders, autoimmune diseases, and nutritional deficiencies can contribute to hair loss. Additionally, certain medications such as those used for acne, hormonal birth control, or antidepressants can also have hair loss as a side effect.
If you’re experiencing hairline thinning or significant hair loss in your 20s, it’s recommended to consult with a dermatologist or a healthcare professional who specializes in hair disorders. They can evaluate your specific situation, conduct any necessary tests, and provide a proper diagnosis.
Treatment options may include lifestyle changes, medication, or specific hair loss treatments, depending on the underlying cause.
FAQs About Hair Loss and Thinning
What does hair loss in front of the head mean for a female?
If you find that the majority of your hair loss is in the front of your head, there might be multiple causes for it. If you’re a female, this hair loss pattern can be due to androgenetic alopecia. But this happens rarely.
Most likely, you’re wearing your ponytails too tightly. Or you are using the same parting on your hair. Switching the part and trying looser, more protective hairstyles can help.
What medicine makes your hair thin?
The following medicine can make your hair thin:
Certain types of birth control pills
Anti Clotting medicine
Acne medicine that contains retinoids
What illness makes your hair thin?
Several illnesses make your hair thin and cause it to fall out. These include:
Autoimmune diseases such as lupus
Thyroid-related disorders like hypothyroidism
Scalp infections like seborrheic dermatitis, folliculitis, scalp ringworm, psoriasis, etc.
How to stop my hair from falling out and thinning?
To stop your hair from falling out and thinning try these tips.
Use a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner
Don’t brush your hair when wet
Limit the use of styling tools
Start eating a healthy diet filled with vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids
Try adding supplements like biotin, collagen, or omega-3s to your diet
Shampoos enriched with DHT blockers can help control hair fall
Try using a nourishing hair mask every week
Make sure your scalp is healthy and free of any flaking, dandruff, etc.
These are some of the common reasons behind thinning hair and breakage. Some are genetic conditions that you can have no control over. Others are health-related reasons that can be managed.
Others require a simple tweaking of your day to day habits. By knowing what makes your hair thin, you can understand how to take care of it better.
Why You Should Trust Haireveryday?
The author of this article, Leah Marie Priest has a degree in Cosmetology with years of experience in dealing with hair care, scalp care, and hairstyling. As someone who extensively deals with all kinds of hair textures, products, styling methods and more, hair Leah Marie knows what kind of products and procedures suit each hair type and person. We have also tested these hair products and processes ourselves to provide you an unbiased review about every product. Each of our articles are also reviewed by a team of medical professionals so that you get the most accurate and expert-reviewed information.