Many of us take pride in our hair. We wear it with gusto, and we don’t feel quite right if it’s not done just the way we like it. But, sometimes, our bodies get in the way of that. Maybe you have a sensitive scalp. Maybe you’ve been dealing with scalp psoriasis for years. Or, maybe you have thinning hair. Thinning hair is an extremely common condition, and if you have it, it’s not the end of the world, even though it might seem like it.
Trust us, there are many solutions out there for hair loss. If you understand the causes and symptoms, you’ll be all the more equipped to find a treatment plan that’s right for you. So, let’s get right to it! Here’s everything you need to know about thinning hair.
What Causes Thinning Hair?
Let’s face it. Genetics hand some of us the short end of the stick when it comes to skin and hair conditions. Hair loss is no different. Most baldness is caused by genetics. This, of course, is not preventable. Plus, we can’t forget about potential risk factors. Risk factors act as a kind of crystal ball; we can peek into your future and see if hair loss might affect you.
First of all, we have to mention age. As much as we may want to, we can’t stop time from keeping its hands off your mane. You get older; your hair gets thinner. It’s just a part of life. Like we said before, genetics also plays a role. If your parents’ families are affected by thinning hair or a condition like alopecia, it’s probably in your future too. We also need to consider significant weight loss, medical conditions like lupus and diabetes, and stress.
How Do I Know if I Have Thinning Hair?
On average, people lose about 100 hairs per day. Sounds like a lot, right? Compared to the amount of hair on your head, it’s not super significant.
You may think it’s easy to tell when you have thinning hair. And, yes, in some instances, it’s obvious. However, there are different types of hair loss, and not everyone’s hair loss looks or acts the same. Some of us lose very little hair over time, while others lose a lot very quickly. Let’s discuss the most common types of hair loss, shall we?
Gradual Thinning on the Top of the Head
The top of the head is the most common place for thinning hair. Across genders and ethnicities, most people begin losing the hair at the top of their heads first. This will also progress with age. Men’s hairlines typically recede from the forehead, forming an M-shape. Women usually keep the same hairline, but the part of their hair will increase in width over time.
Many people with hair loss experience smooth bald spots that are about the size of a coin. Usually bald spots are unique to the scalp, but they can also be found in eyebrows or beards depending on the case. Sometimes, you may even experience a burning sensation in the skin before the hair falls out.
Sudden Loosening of Hair
We all know that stress can affect the body in numerous ways. That’s not a secret. (We’re looking at you, stress-related breakouts.) Stress can also affect the strength of your hair. A deep physical or emotional trauma often causes the hair to loosen. When the hair is loose, that doesn’t mean it just falls out on its own. Loose hair may come out when combing or washing the hair. In extreme cases, just a gentle tug is enough to send a handful or two falling to the floor. This type of thinning hair usually results in overall baldness, not just a patch here and there.
Full Body Hair Loss
Some cases of thinning hair are severe. Severe enough to cause hair loss on the entire body, not just the head. There are also external factors that can cause full body hair loss, including medical treatments, such as chemotherapy. In these cases, the hair usually grows back.
In severe cases, hair loss is attributed to something more than just thinning hair. If you experience patches of scaling on the entirety of your scalp, you might be dealing with ringworm. Especially when the scaling is accompanied by broken hair, redness, swelling, and oozing. Yeah, you’ll want to call your doctor for this one!
Can I Prevent It?
If you have a preventable type of hair loss, like excessive damage, then yes. You can absolutely prevent thinning hair. The easiest way to figure out a prevention plan is examining your hair care routine. Are you styling your hair frequently? Do you smoke or take medication that lists hair loss as a potential side effect? These things can put significant stress on your hair. They can also accelerate hair loss over time. Here are a few ways you can protect yourself and your mane.
Your Hair Care Routine
We all love styling our hair and beautifying ourselves. But, if you’re prone to hair loss, you might want to consider simpler styles. Tighter hairdos like buns, ponytails, and braids involve a lot of tugging. If you’re pulling on your hair, no matter how gently, it’s only natural for a few strands to fall out. When you’re prone to hair loss, it’ll be more than just a few.
Next, let’s consider the washing and brushing aspect. Nothing beats the feeling of a clean scalp, and if our hair’s a little greasy, we might be tempted to wash a little more vigorously than we need to. I know I’m guilty of it! I also sometimes brush my hair a bit too hard when I’m in a hurry. Washing and brushing too much can cause hair loss to progress. We recommend brushing with a wide-toothed comb, which can help prevent pulling out hair.
Finally, we have to talk about heat tools and hair damage. Experiencing hair loss? You might want to put down the straightener. It’s easy to go overboard with heat tools, and if you aren’t using a good heat protectant, forget it. Hot oil treatments and hot rollers are just as bad. You may even want to rethink your blowouts. These processes can weaken hair strands over time, increasing the likelihood that they’ll fall out.
There are a million reasons to at least consider giving up smoking. Your skin, your internal organs, and the environment will thank you. So will your hair. Multiple studies have shown a potential link between smoking and baldness. A potential link is enough for us!
Additionally, some of us have nervous habits. When we’re feeling shy or deep in thought, we might reach for our hair and twist a strand or two around our finger. Rubbing or pulling your hair can also accelerate thinning hair. Try and avoid this if you can. It takes 21 days to change a habit, so give yourself a little bit of time to do better!
We’re always talking about the importance of SPF in your skin care routine, but we also recommend protecting your hair from the sun. Yes, your hair is subject to sun damage just as much as your skin is! We suggest wearing a hat when you’re going to be in the sun for several hours. You’ll protect your scalp and your thinning hair will thank you!
When thinking about how to prevent hair loss, you may have to look at your own health and healthcare practices. There are certain medications on the market that list thinning hair a side effect. If you can, try and avoid them, especially if you’re already prone to hair loss. We believe in being honest with your doctor about it. When your thinning hair is on your doctor’s radar, they’ll avoid prescribing you something that can aggravate it.
However, there may be times when you can’t avoid treatments that cause hair loss. This is especially true in the case of chemotherapy. Check with your doctor to see if your treatment facility offers cooling caps, which can reduce hair loss during chemo.
What Can I Do About It?
Sometimes, thinning hair is in the cards for you and there’s nothing you can do about it. When it’s out of your hands, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But, we’d never leave you high and dry without a solution! In fact, here are three solutions to get you on the path to the luscious hair of your dreams.
Hair Growth Remedies
One of the easiest (and least invasive) ways to counteract hair loss is an OTC hair growth remedy. There are countless formulas of gels and shampoos on the market. Our personal favorite? Sebamed Scalp Activating Shampoo! Our pH-balanced hair loss shampoo stimulates hair growth naturally by improving circulation to the scalp. It contains caffeine and Vitamin B3 to fight hair loss naturally. Plus, it’s backed by clinical studies, wherein 90% of users saw improved hair density and growth within six months.
Maybe you need something a little stronger than an OTC remedy. Prescriptions for thinning hair differ between men and women. Men often turn to propecia, which slows hair loss over time. Some men who take it even show successful new growth! The only downside? You have to continue taking it if you want it to keep working. It also might not be effective for men over 60.
For all the ladies, oral contraceptives are one of the best methods to combat thinning hair. Many women also choose to take spironolactone, a drug that can be used to treat potassium deficiency and acne.
Many people with thinning hair choose to go the surgical route. The kind of hair loss that affects these people most often takes place at the top of the head. Hair transplants help you make the most of what’s left on your head. During the procedure, your surgeon will remove small patches of skin from the back or sides of your scalp and implant them follicle by follicle into the bald areas. Some patients may find that they need multiple sessions before they get the look they want. Despite the invasiveness and pain involved, surgery may not be a permanent solution. Genetic hair loss will progress nonetheless.
Whether you’re struggling with thinning hair or looking to maintain your healthy locks, Sebamed’s line of hair care can provide you with the solutions you need. We carry a wide range of soothing shampoos and nourishing conditioners that take your hair to the next level. Besides, each product is suitable for even the most sensitive of scalps. Check out our hair care products here, and our complete product lineup here.