Our hair is often our crowning glory. It is one of the most noticeable aspects of our appearance, so most of us spend time, money and effort making it look as good as possible.
It can then be devastating and confidence-sapping if we notice that it is starting to fall out and thin, with many people no longer feeling like themselves.
Whilst many people think of hair loss as baldness, there are actually a great number of people who suffer from thinning hair, which looks quite different and has a wide variety of causes.
Thinning hair does not happen overnight; it is something that occurs on a gradual basis, which often makes it harder to identify the reasons why it is happening.
It could be down to your lifestyle, medical conditions or good old-fashioned genetics.
Usually, you should expect to lost between 50 and 100 hairs per day, so if it seems to be more than this, there is a chance your hair is starting to thin.
What causes thinning hair?
Thinning hair refers to minor to moderate hair loss.1 There are a number of things you can do to your hair or body that might trigger the problem of thinning hair. For example, over-treating your hair by colouring it or perming it can start a process of thinning.
This is also true of any harsh hair products such as temporary colour and extreme-hold styling products or wearing your hair up too tightly which can tug on your hair and break it from the follicles, causing thin spots.
Stress is also a well-known factor when it comes to hair loss. The negative effects of stress can increase certain stress hormones, such as cortisol, that may kill off the new hairs that are trying to grow.
There are a number of medical conditions that may also lead to thinning hair.
Thinning hair can often occur after you have had a baby or stopped taking birth control. There are also hormonal changes such as pregnancy or the menopause, plus immune system deficiencies that can be a contributing factor.
Certain skin concerns are also associated with thinning hair.
How can you prevent thinning hair?
As there are so many reasons for hair loss, it can be difficult to prevent it from happening, and the reasons are different for men and women.
However, making sure you are looking after your hair and body can play a part.
Maintaining a healthy diet will keep your body in optimum condition, and that includes drinking plenty of water and steering clear of smoking and high alcohol consumption.
You can also think about how you treat your hair, by not subjecting it to high heat and harsh products.
Are there treatments to help thinning hair?
It is possible to manage most cases of thinning hair at home through products and simple techniques.
Scalp massage is an easy way to begin this process as it stimulates the blood flow in the scalp.
Anti-thinning shampoos help to make your hair look thicker whilst also using vitamins and amino acids that can make the scalp healthier.
These can be used on a daily basis to gradually promote normal hair growth over time.
You may want to speak to your doctor before taking anything new to check that it is safe to do so and work out why you might be deficient in anything in particular.
Last updated: 2 October 2020