Standing in the shower running your hands over your head, then pulling them away and seeing clumps of your own hair trailing across your fingers. This is the picture of hair loss that most people have in their heads, but the reality is often a lot more subtle. People notice their hair loss in a number of different ways, perhaps you have begun to notice bald spots at your temples or on your crown, maybe your ponytail is just no longer as thick as it once was, or are you noticing your scalp showing through your hair when you look in the mirror.
Hair loss can be devastating, seriously impacting a person’s confidence and self-esteem, but in many cases, hair loss can be treated. Here are five reasons why your hair may be thinning and what you can do about it.
- You are stressed
Our bodies respond to stress in many different ways, one of which is to slow down and to stun the growth cycle of our hair. Emotional stresses such as anxiety or depression and physical stresses like pain and illness, can all contribute to stress-related hair loss, which can then be made worse by other closely related factors like a poor diet or an intake of certain medications. The good news is that stress-related hair loss will usually go away as soon as the source of the stress has been dealt with and the body’s stress hormone level has returned to normal. So it is important that if you are dealing with mental or physical stress, that you seek help from your GP.
- You have an underlying health condition
Hair loss is closely associated with a number of underlying medical health conditions, such as thyroid disorders, and heart conditions which can cause the hair to become brittle and weak, causing it to break more easily and to be lost. For those with cancer, chemotherapy treatment can cause their hair to fall out, and for those on certain medications, hair loss can also be a common side effect. If you are worried that your hair loss could be linked to an underlying health condition or a medication that you are taking, then speak with your doctor about your concerns and they will be able to do tests to determine if you have anything undiagnosed and will be able to discuss possible alternatives to medication that may be making your hair fall out.
- You’re eating poorly
What you eat can have a serious impact on your outward appearance as well as your inner health, and so it is important to ensure that you are eating a well-balanced diet in order to rule out a nutrient deficiency as the root cause of your hair loss. Nutrient deficiencies are closely linked to conditions such as hair loss, dry skin, and poor nail growth quite simply because without certain vitamins and minerals our bodies are not able to carry out their basic functions. If your diet consists of processed foods, or you have a very monotonous and un-varied diet, then try to increase the number of healthy foods that you eat, or, alternatively, take a vitamin supplement.
- You are using the wrong hair products
The quality of our hair is very closely linked to the health of our scalp, which means that if you are using the wrong hair products, then you could risk damaging your scalp and preventing hair growth. All too often, at the first sign of thinning hair, people turn to volumizing products which actually can cause more harm than good by drying out the hair cuticles. Instead, try comparing hair loss medication and hair loss shampoos that are designed to look after your scalp and to promote fresh re-growth.
- It’s in your genetics
Sadly, genetics can also play a big role in determining who will experience hair loss and who will not, which means that if your parents and grandparents experienced thinning hair and hair loss, then there’s a higher chance that you will too. Genetic hair loss is a lot more common in men but can still be passed down into women and no one is safe from their genetic lottery. If you think that hair loss runs in your family, then it is extra important to look after your hair and your scalp while you are younger to give yourself the best chance of retaining your hair thickness as you get older. You may also want to consider speaking with a specialist about a hair transplant or hair loss medications that can help to slow down the hair loss process.
So there you have it – five reasons why your hair may be thinning. Do any sound familiar?