Have you looked in the mirror lately and noticed your hair doesn’t have the same luster it once did? Over time, hair thins for several reasons, ranging from aging to vitamin deficiencies. Your hair may even fall out more than usual. However, thinning hair typically doesn’t mean something’s wrong and can be corrected depending on the problem.
It’s normal to have a few strands of hair on your clothing that have fallen out of your scalp. If you have long hair, it will be more noticeable. However, if you look down at your brush and notice more hair falling out than ever before, it might indicate a problem with your health. If you’re not sure why your hair is thinning and you’re relatively healthy, consider talking to a doctor about treatment options for hair loss. Here are surprising reasons why your hair is thinning.
Hormonal disorders that cause higher testosterone levels in women, including polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), may experience thinning hair and hair loss. These hormonal disorders are also associated with acne and irregular periods since they have a higher testosterone level. But, of course, testosterone is also responsible for hair loss in men, just like it is for women.
2. Sun Damage
Your scalp consists of skin, so it’s essential to protect it from the sun. The sun can also damage your hair cuticles and allow harmful UV rays to penetrate your strands. Many brands offer hairsprays with sun protection to ensure the sun doesn’t damage your hair or scalp. You may also choose to wear a hat if you plan on spending a day out in the sun.
Genetics plays a significant role in your hair. For example, if everyone in your family has curly hair, you probably have curly hair. Of course, it’s not true that you inherit balding from your mom’s side of the family, but genetics can cause you to lose hair, and women lose hair differently than men. Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do about genetics, but you can improve the health of your hair to reduce the risk of it thinning by reducing stress and avoiding tight ponytails. Additionally, you should be eating a diet rich in vitamins and minerals that help strengthen your hair and scalp.
4. Birth Control Pills
Birth control pills are another source of hormones that can cause your hair to thin. Ultimately birth control pills cause your hormones to fluctuate in an unnatural way for your body. As a response, your body might cause your hair to thin as hormone influx can interrupt your hair cycle and force your scalp to shed hair more frequently. Typically, the hormone responsible for hair loss is an androgen similar to testosterone, so it’s ideal to get a low androgen birth control, especially if you already have a genetic disposition to hair loss.
What you eat impacts not only your health and wellness, it also impacts the health of your hair. Hair needs nutrients, just like the rest of your body. Because the hair follicle cells divide quickly, they require nutrients like keratin, which takes a lot of energy. Maintaining a healthy diet full of B vitamins, zinc, and iron can keep your hair cycle from fluctuating and prevent your hair from falling out.
Stress is another culprit of thinning hair. Being stressed affects your body and mind, although in different ways. It even impacts your hair strands. Because stress can impact your hormones, especially cortisol, the stress hormone, you could be at risk of increased hair loss. Luckily, once you reduce the stress in your life, your hair health should return to normal, but the hard part will be managing your stress. You can try several stress management techniques, including breathing exercises and yoga, to help you manage your stress and help your hair get healthy again.
7. Underlying Illness
Illness can impact the health of your hair, just like extreme stress. Ultimately, when you’re sick, your body tries to preserve energy by shutting down non-essential functions such as growing hair. Many types of illnesses impact hair health, including diabetes and lupus. Additionally, COVID-19 has recently been linked to thinning hair and hair loss.
8. Iron Deficiency
Iron is essential for healthy body functions and blood cells. If you’re iron deficient or have a low red blood cell count, you can experience hair thinning. Many women’s vitamins have extra iron in them to help improve hair health, so if you’re not sure whether or not you’re getting enough iron, try a supplement and see if your hair improves over time.
Some prescription medications can also cause hair loss, especially any that affect hormone levels. Additionally, treatments with retinol can impact hair growth, although experts aren’t exactly sure why this ingredient affects hair.
Wearing your hair in a tight bun or ponytail is bad for your hair and can cause hair thinning and alopecia. Wearing a tight hairstyle puts stress on the hair follicles and damages them. Additionally, pulling on your hair can rip strands out, and eventually, those strands may never grow back, which is a form of alopecia. If you must wear your hair up, consider wearing a loose ponytail, but you should aim to wear your hair down as much as possible to prevent further damage.
11. Hair Products
Not all hair products are harmful to your hair, and many of them aim to help improve your hair health. However, if you over-process your hair, you could be damaging the follicles and your scalp. In particular, hair dye is especially damaging due to the harsh chemicals used for bleaching. However, you can also damage your hair by styling it with a hair straightener or curler every day as high heat damages and may even kill hair follicles.
Is Your Hair Thinning?
If your hair is thinning, try not to panic. While it can be devastating to notice more hair falling out in the shower or your brush than usual, it’s likely not a medical concern unless you’re experiencing other symptoms. Instead of panicking, try eating healthier foods full of vitamins and minerals, stop over-processing your hair, and wear it down as much as possible. If you don’t see improvement within a few months, consult a doctor who may be able to help you pinpoint why your hair is falling out.
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