Hair loss and hair thinning are problems that commonly occur in both sexes, so it’s safe to say that shedding some hair here and there is pretty normal. From our scalp to our eyelashes, hair sheds, gets thinner or thicker, depending on how we treat it. However, there are some boundaries when it comes to hair thinning, and when those boundaries are crossed, maybe it’s about time you look up some hair loss treatments.
So, why is your hair thinning?
Lifestyle habits and hair treatment
Healthy, strong hair requires good care, which is in most cases accompanied by using different hair products that can, if not used correctly, mess up even the healthiest curls. This is why you need to pay attention to the ingredients in the products that you use- avoid shampoos and regenerators rich in paraben, sodium chloride, alcohol and synthetic fragrances. Using perfumed shampoos, gels and hair sprays from time to time isn’t harmful, but overdoing on them can cause various hair problems, along with hair thinning.
Another thing to keep in mind is the way you touch, style, tie or cut your hair. Bad hair days are horrible, but putting your hair in a too-tight bun, exposing it to too much heat, or simply keeping it tied all the time can create a bigger problem than a simple bad hair day. As a result of pulling and stressing your hair with these hairstyles and hair products, hair strands get easily damaged, follicles get weaker and hair becomes thinner. Although hair thinning doesn’t necessarily cause baldness, thin hair patches and bald patches may occur after some time of mistreatment.
Think about the way you brush your hair and how often you do it, because brushing your hair too often and too aggressively will not only make your hair greasy, but will also result in unnecessary damage and shedding of healthy strands. Instead, to stop hair loss and prevent hair thinning, start at the ends and make your way up to the roots.
Dieting and eating disorders
While some diets are healthy for our body and boost our energy, they can sometimes have negative effects on our hair. Diets consisting of mainly fruits and vegetables lack protein and calories, and can, therefore, severely affect hair loss, as results quickly become visible. On the other hand, diets rich in proteins, but lacking in carbohydrates, can cause the same effects on your hair. This is why unbalanced diets may feel good for the body, but not for the hair.
Similar to what is mentioned, eating disorders can cause hair loss and even baldness over time. Both undereating and overeating create unbalanced intake of vitamins, proteins, calories, all crucial to our health- and hair growth as well. In more extreme cases, hair loss can be a result of Trichotillomania- involuntary hair-pulling.
Medication side effects and hormones
Contrary to what most people believe, side effects of the medications we use are important. Even though they mostly don’t cause great damage, they are not to mess with. In fact, a lot of medications can indirectly cause hair loss and hair damage. Blood pressure medication, antidepressants, even too much vitamin A can potentially cause hair loss.
Along with this, hormones can also affect your hair growth, either as a result of medication usage- like birth control pills that cause a disbalance in hormones, giving birth or through health problems such as thyroid condition.
Because of this, every medication should be consumed with caution, even hair medications like Regaine (Minoxidil)- they can help with hair growth, but not using them as prescribed can result in hair growing in places you don’t want them to.
Autoimmune related hair loss
Autoimmune disease occurs when the body’s immune system accidentally attacks healthy cells, and while there are a lot of them, only a few, like alopecia and lupus, cause hair loss. Some of the medication used to treat these autoimmune diseases may also cause hair loss as a side effect, and if hair loss was already present due to the disease itself, the situation may get worse, leading to more severe hair loss and/or baldness. Battling hair loss due to autoimmune diseases can be tough, and while sometimes the process can’t be stopped, there are still things you can do. From diet plans, hair care, styling, and even wigs and fake eyelashes, experts all around the world offer their advice on coping with hair loss due to this disease.
Although scientists claim that males are more prone to hereditary hair loss, baldness and hair loss can also be hereditary for women, too. Acknowledging that, it is important to state that, even though both males and females are affected, hair loss takes different patterns in both sexes. While men notice thinning of the hair, which gradually starts to fall out, making an M-shape on the front of their scalp, women with genetic hair loss over time notice that their hair has less volume, and that the strands get a lot thinner. Although hereditary hair loss is permanent, there are, however, hair loss treatments you can apply to slow down the process. Mostly, these include over-the-counter medications, like previously mentioned Regaine and Propecia, which are known and used by many people suffering from this problem.
If you haven’t noticed that any of the previously numbered reasons apply to you, maybe it’s time to check the stress level. Being under severe stress for a longer period of time is known to have serious effects on both the body and the mind. We feel the effects in our stomach, we sweat, the heart beats faster, sleep patterns change, diets change- and the hair gets affected too.
So far, there are three known ways your hair might fall out due to stress: when hair strands go to a resting phase, later on falling out while combing and detangling your hair, due to hair-pulling syndrome, and due to your immune system attacking healthy hair follicles. Stress-related hair loss doesn’t always have to be permanent, so if you notice any connections, taking precautionary measures is advised.