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!”
Related: Best Biotin Shampoos For Thin Hair
Related: Everyday Hairstyles For Thin Hair
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
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.
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.
Related: Check out these nourishing shampoos for postpartum hair loss to help get back your stronger, thicker, and softer tresses
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.
Check out this one on amazon!
Kerastase Soleil Micro-Voile Protecteur
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
Related: Try these DHT blocker shampoos to get longer, stronger tresses in just weeks
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
Related: These laser light hair growth devices can stimulate your hair follicles to grow and leave your tresses longer and thicker
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
FAQs – Hair Loss and Thinning
Which vitamin deficiency causes hair loss?
The deficiency of vitamin B12 and vitamin D can cause hair loss. Apart from these vitamins, the deficiency of certain nutrients like zinc and selenium can also lead to thinning and hair fall.
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.