Causes Of Hair Thinning
It is essential to establish that some degree of hair loss is standard as you grow older. As you age, your hair begins to defeat in both strength and volume.
After birth, the hair growth system in man is a continuous process. As some fall out, new ones emerge. After some time, some hair follicles will stop producing, and your hair drops without replacement.
The most surprising fact about hair thinning is that most people do not notice the daily drops or loss in hair since hair loss and thickness usually remain the same. But when the hair loss becomes excessive, people are more likely to notice it. Also, the hair begins to change in color. While this may be due to aging, the following factors can also be responsible for hair thinning in men and women.
Thinning Hair In Women: Why It Happens And What Helps
- By Kelly Bilodeau, Executive Editor, Harvard Women’s Health Watch
Many people think of hair loss as a male problem, but it also affects at least a third of women. But unlike men, women typically experience thinning hair without going bald, and there can be a number of different underlying causes for the problem.
Some are associated with inflammation in the body. Some are female-pattern hair loss, says Dr. Deborah Scott, assistant professor of dermatology at Harvard Medical School and co-director of the Hair Loss Clinic at Brigham and Womens Hospital. But the good news is that in many cases this hair loss can be stabilized with treatment, and it may be reversible. When its not, there are a number of new cosmetic approaches that can help.
Healthy Diet And Regular Exercise To Prevent Hair Fall
We have mentioned before how nutritional deficiencies can cause hair loss, so you must eat a balanced diet! Make sure you include food items that are rich in Vitamins A, C, D and E, Zinc, B Vitamins, Iron, Biotin, Protein, and Essential Fatty Acids.
You can try adding an iron and multivitamin supplement to your diet if you feel like you are still lacking. When it comes to exercising, at least 20-30 minutes of cardio will help make a difference. Exercise helps in balancing out your hormones, helping those who suffer hair loss due to hormonal imbalances.
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How Is Female Hair Loss Treated
Minoxidil 5% is the only topical medication approved by the FDA for female-pattern hair loss. The once daily use foam treatment regrows hair in 81% of the women who try it.
Liquid options of 2% and 5% solutions are available over the counter. Minoxidil works by prolonging the growth phase of hair — providing more time for hair to grow out to its full density.
You have to be patient, as noticeable results usually take three to four months and the product must be used once a day. It tends to work better if started early.
I put some on my forearm and got a big thick patch of hair. When I stopped, it went away.
Doctors may also test for levels of ferritin . New research suggests levels may be low in women with hair loss. Iron supplements may help.
Also new is the HairMax Laser Comb. It’s a red light therapy hairbrush-like device that increases circulation and the biological march that makes hair. It’s only approved in men and in my experience, is not as good as minoxidil. But in one study, 45% of users reported improvement after eight weeks, and 90% saw improvement after 16 weeks.
In some cases, a hormonal abnormality, such as excess male hormones known as androgens, may be responsible for hair loss in women. One clue that hormones are involved is if the hair loss pattern resembles that of a manâs hair loss. This can be treated with prescription medications such as spironolactone or oral contraceptives.
How Will A Healthcare Provider Diagnose Hair Loss In Women What Tests Are Done
The tests performed to diagnose hair loss in women can be simple or complicated:
- Gently pulling on your hair to see how many hairs come out.
- Blood tests. These check for vitamin and mineral levels and hormone levels .
- Scalp examination under a microscope and trichoscopy.
- Scalp biopsy to remove and examine a very small piece of scalp skin.
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Top Hair Fall Reasons
So, why does hair loss occur? A lot of things can affect the growth of our hair, from something like nutritional deficiencies , dandruff, and an exceptionally oily scalp – which can be corrected relatively easily.
There are some serious causes of hair loss as well, like thyroid issues, hormonal imbalances, damage caused by long term heat application and chemical treatment.
Even chronic stress can be a cause of hair fall in some individuals, and hair thinning due to the hormone fluctuations around and after pregnancy and during Menopause is a routine occurrence for women.
Hair loss can also occur as a result of how you handle your hair, though. Among women, regularly tying the hair too tightly with rubber bands, and using hair brushes which are not wide-toothed, can cause hair loss – this is also known as Traction Alopecia.
Along with old age, genetics can also play a significant role in the loss of our hair – the gene for hair loss can be inherited from the fathers side of the family, or the mothers side of the family, or both as well.
According to Ayurveda, hair fall occurs due to an imbalance of Pitta energy in the body. Regular hair oiling and head massage with a suitable Ayurvedic oil is one of the most effective hair loss remedies. We recommend adding regular oiling with hair growth oils to your hair care regime.
How Common Is Hair Loss In Women
Many people think that hair loss only affects men. However, it is estimated that more than 50% of women will experience noticeable hair loss. The most significant cause of hair loss in women is female-pattern hair loss , which affects about one-third of susceptible women, which equals out to some 30 million women in the United States.
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What Questions Might Your Healthcare Provider Ask To Diagnose And Categorize Your Hair Loss
Your healthcare provider might ask about your habits:
- What kinds of hair products do you use?
- What kinds of hair styles do you wear?
- What types of food do you eat ?
- Do you have a habit of pulling your hair out ?
They might ask about your history:
- Has anyone in your immediate family experienced hair loss?
- Is there anything stressful going on in your life?
- What medications and supplements do you take every day?
- Has hair loss ever happened to you before?
- What foods are in your diet?
And, they might ask about your observations:
- How long have you been losing hair?
- Have you been shedding more?
- Have you noticed hair loss in places other than your scalp, like your eyebrows? Leg and arm hair?
- Does anything worsen your hair loss?
- Does anything improve your hair loss?
- Have you noticed hair loss occasionally or has it been going on continuously?
- Have you noticed if your hair growth has changed?
- Has your hair been breaking more often?
Take Biotin And Collagen Supplements*
Two supplements that have been shown to promote hair health and growth are biotin and collagen, both of which are packed with amino acids.* Amino acids, in case you need a quick refresher, are the building blocks of keratinwhich is what hair is made of. Low levels of biotin have been linked to hair loss, and other studies show that taking these supplements does support increased hair growth in women in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study.* Important note: If you’re taking any other medication or have an underlying medical issue, consult with your doctor before starting a new supplement routine.
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Regular Intake Of Multivitamins
Having healthy hair also has to do with your overall health being nutritional. Malnutrition and eating disorders affect the strength and ability of your hair follicles to produce as such new hair may fail to grow from hair follicles.
To grow your hair normally, your body needs a balanced supply of folic acid, zinc, and iron. They will help your body system and hair follicle to develop solid and thick hair. To help detect the vitamins you need, you must consult your physician to conduct the necessary blood test. Let us quickly run through some essential multivitamins
As They Age Women Lose Their Hair Too Which Treatments Really Work
There are treatments that can slow the hair loss down, but they won’t bring back what you’ve lost. Women of African descent have extra problems, but treatment works if done quickly.
Women expect their hair to turn gray as they age, but they may be far less prepared for another ego-challenging aspect of aging: Their hair falls out.
You can cover gray with dye, but it’s harder to disguise the sparsely covered scalps that millions of women start to notice in their 50s and 60s. Some unlucky ones have thinning hair long before that. This kind of hair loss is unrelated to cancer treatment or other serious health problems.
Of course, there are plenty of men who wish desperately to restore their youthful locks, and a few we can think of one powerful one who cling to elaborate comb-overs, but many balding men simply clip their hair short and go on with their lives. Dermatologists say hair loss is emotionally harder for women, who are often deeply embarrassed by thinning hair even though it’s quite common. By the time they reach 50, about 40 percent of women are experiencing what’s known as female-pattern hair loss, said Gopal Patel, a dermatologist with Aesthetic Dermatology Associates in Media. Women of African descent struggle with even more conditions that can damage hair follicles and cause bald spots.
Like other doctors, Cotsarelis decried the lack of funding for studying hair loss. Said Patel: “The biggest challenge we face is we don’t really have great data.”
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Low Light Laser Therapy
LLLT treatment can be administered at home or in a hair salon thats certified for LLLT. This treatment can be done in the form of a comb or a funny looking hard hat contraption. Basically the low-level laser omits waves that are said to stimulate hair growth.
A 2014 research review found LLLT helped hair growth in mice as well as men and women in controlled clinical trials.
Use Anti Thinning Shampoo
Shampoos for thinning hair do not just perform the cleaning function they come with necessary vitamins and amino acids that support a healthy scalp. Thus they can grow more hair over some time.
To get the best result from such products, you should use them daily. Also, you can ask your health care provider for advice to prescribe an excellent thinning shampoo.
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Too Many Manly Hormones
Hyperandrogenism is when a womans body makes too many male hormones, called androgens. These extra male hormones can cause hair loss. Polycystic ovarian syndrome is the most common cause of extra male hormones. PCOS is linked with hair loss, obesity, acne, irregular menstrual cycles, and infertility.
Hormones play a big part in our hairs growth cycle. We need estrogens to help our hair stay in the growth phase for the right amount of time. Male hormones, aka androgens, arent as hair friendly and make hairs growth cycle shorter.
When these hormones are out of whack, hair can suffer.
Causes And Risk Factors For Thinning Hair
As your hair continues to thin, you probably want to ask, or even scream, Why is my hair falling out?! Its a very frustrating and often bewildering occurrence when the hair thins. According to Mayo Clinic, the exact cause of abnormal hair loss is not completely clear, but typically its related to one or more of the following:
- Physical or emotional shock
- Excessive hair styling and/or hair treatments
The No. 1 reason why both men and women experience excessive hair thinning and hair loss is hereditary. For men, its a more well-known phenomenon called male-pattern baldness, but women can also exhibit female-pattern baldness. Both of these predictable, gradual hair loss patterns are linked with a family history of hair loss. For men, it can start as early as puberty. In addition to thinning hair, men may also notice their hair becoming shorter, softer and finer.
2. Hormonal Imbalances
Hormone imbalances and changes can contribute to thinning hair. Some hormone changes are temporary, like with pregnancy or menopause, and hair thinning or loss resulting from these temporary changes should be temporary as well. However, if you have an ongoing imbalance of hormones, you may have a thyroid problem that needs to be corrected.
3. Thyroid Problems and Other Medical Conditions
Many different types of medicines may contribute to hair thinning, including some of the following types of medications:
- Acne medications
- Thyroid medications
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Avoid Harmful Treatments To Prevent Hair Fall
To keep your hair as healthy as possible, avoid any type of chemical treatments that damage the hair or scalp in form. Avoid coloring your hair with chemicals and only use natural dyes. For dying your hair chemically, bleaching is usually required, which is terrible for the health of your hair.
You should also avoid straightening/curling or perming your hair and avoid blow-drying your hair with the Heat – on setting. Applying heat to the hair can cause the hair to essentially boil up – leaving it brittle and extremely prone to breakage.
Can Hair Grow Back After Thinning
The good news: You absolutely can regrow thinning hair. In fact, the answer may already be in your pantry. Read on to find out how typical items in your kitchen honey, apple cider vinegar, and even an avocado can help thicken hair naturally and solve some common age-related hair problems that may have you feeling less than confident.
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Increase Exercise And Eating Nutrient
If your thinning is caused by stress a regular exercise routine can greatly reduce your stress. Implementing practices such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing in your every-day routine can lead to better mental health which in turn leads to improved physical health. Eating nutrient-rich whole foods also can provide relief to your thinning hair woes. Having a diet full of protein, fruits, and vegetables can help your hair grow from within. Getting too little vitamin C, for example, can make hair dry and weak so eating broccoli, leafy greens, citrus fruit, and strawberries are great ways to prevent vitamin C deficiencies. Bananas and oats are great for the mineral silica that helps promote hair thickness. Foods like eggs, avocados, and salmon are good sources of biotin, a B vitamin that promotes hair growth and overall scalp health. Though completely avoiding stress may not be feasible, you can prevent excessive hair loss due to stress by living a more healthier lifestyle.