Once a hair concern dominated by male statistics, today nearly 40% of the country’s hair-loss sufferers are women. And for many, hair loss or thinning hair can result in a loss of self-esteem and cause depression, anxiety, and other emotional issues. Why is hair loss so devastating? It’s mostly cultural. Almost every society in the world associates hair with youth, beauty, and good health. If you’re suffering from hair loss, we have the hair care tips and styling tricks to hide thinning hair and cover up bald spots. We give you everything you need to know to get your locks looking lush in no time!
Why am I experiencing hair loss?
Hair shedding is a part of everyday life — it’s actually pretty normal to shed up to 100 strands per day. But if you’re losing clumps of hair at a time, have bald patches or receding hairline, you’re likely experiencing hair loss. From over-styling to everyday stresses, lots of things can cause your hair to fall out. The key to getting it under control is pinpointing the cause and getting to the root of the problem, literally! Read on to understand why you’re experiencing hair loss and what to do about it.
11 Reasons Your Hair Is Falling Out
The most common cause of hair loss and thinning hair is genetics. If your parents experienced it, you likely will too. Genetic hair loss occurs gradually in predictable patterns; a receding hairline and bald spots in men and thinning hair along the crown of the scalp in women.
Because hair loss is genetic, you’re likely to experience the same type of hair loss pattern as your parents.
Unfortunately, hair loss is something that comes with aging. As we get older, the scalp becomes drier and tighter, affecting blood circulation to the scalp and the growth of your hair follicles.
- Male pattern baldness
The scientific name for male pattern baldness is androgenetic alopecia. This is a hormonal and genetic type of hair loss. Male pattern baldness usually occurs gradually and in predictable patterns — a receding hairline and bald patches in men, and thinning hair along the crown of the scalp in women.
- Medical conditions
Certain medical conditions can also cause your hair to fall out. Those with lupus, Hashimoto thyroiditis (hypothyroidism), autoimmune diseases, anemia, Grave’s disease (hyperthyroidism), and diabetes will often experience hair loss.
Stress can make your hair fall out. This type of hair loss is called telogen effluvium. Hair normally has three cycles (anagen is the growing phase, catagen is the transition phase, and telogen is the resting phase). Sudden severe stress can disrupt the telogen phase resulting in hair loss that occurs several months later.
A poor diet can cause your hair to fall out as well, temporarily at least. Make sure you're getting lots of protein and iron and get at least 20 minutes of exercise a day. Diet and exercise are especially important for healthy hair.
Hair loss is one of the common side effects of many medications. Chemotherapy, high blood pressure medicine, blood thinners, beta-blockers, oral retinoids, thyroid medications and more have side effects that include hair loss.
- Pregnancy and menopause
Anything that sends your hormones out of whack can lead to hair fall out. The rapid rise and fall in hormone levels due to pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, and thyroid problems can cause thinning hair and hair loss.
- Over-processing and over-styling
Over-processing and over-styling your hair (this includes using heat and wearing tight hairstyles like braids and ponytails) can weaken your strands causing major damage. This damage, if left unchecked, will eventually cause your hair to break off and fall out.
- Nutritional deficiencies
Nutritional deficiencies take a toll on your entire body and this includes your hair. Research shows that a deficiency in the following nutrients can lead to hair loss:
- Vitamin B12
- Birth control
Hormonal changes induce hair thinning and even hair loss. So just like with pregnancy and menopause, anytime you go on or off of birth control (or change the type you use) a hormonal shift occurs that can lead to your hair falling out. In most cases, hair loss due to birth control will resolve itself once your body gets used to it.
HOW TO PREVENT HAIR LOSS
These tips and treatments will help you combat thinning hair and hair loss.
Be careful when styling your hair
Avoid over-excessive heat, chemical treatments, and tight hairstyles. Over-using heat tools and chemicals on your hair can weaken your hair follicles, contributing to hair damage, breakage, and hair loss. This is also the case with pulling your hair at the roots into tight hairstyles like french braids.
Use gentle hair care practices
Washing a dry scalp too often can lead to excess hair fall out. Don’t wash your hair every day and be gentle with your strands when you do. Avoid combing your hair when it’s wet, as this is when it’s most prone to breakage. Use a wide-toothed comb to untangle your strands before you shower and let your hair air-dry before styling.
Eat a healthy diet
Eat lots of leafy green vegetables, filled with antioxidants to ward off free radicals (which contribute to hair thinning), up your protein intake (protein deficiencies lead to hair loss too- see above!) and avoid anything overly processed or high in sodium to keep strands from thinning or falling out.
Supplements are vitamins or herbs you can take in addition to the foods in your diet. They strengthen the hair (and assist the body in general) from the inside. Ashwagandha and turmeric are great supplements to incorporate into your diet to support your immune system, reduce stress, and balance the body (which in turn gives you healthy hair!) It’s also a good idea to incorporate hair vitamins, which usually contain biotin, collagen and vitamin C to combat hair loss.
Manage your stress
Integrating movement into your lifestyle is a very effective way to relieve stress. Set aside 20 minutes a day to exercise and prioritize your self care. And try to live mindfully, paying attention to all of your thoughts and feelings. This increases your ability to manage difficult situations. Not sure where to start? Try mindfulness meditation.
Apply a follicle stimulant
A follicle-stimulating product applied directly to the scalp can stimulate new hair growth and reinforce weak strands to prevent future breakage. Be sure to use a formula free of harmful toxins, parabens, and sulfates. These ingredients irritate the scalp and disrupt the natural hair cycle, leading to more hair loss. Try our gel for thinning hair
Use the right hair products
And speaking of products, lots contain the harmful ingredients we talked about above. Especially to combat hair loss, make sure all the products in your routine use only natural and sustainably sourced ingredients like the ones from Davines. One of our favorite products for hair breakage and split ends is a vegan conditioner for damaged hair. And one of our favorite hair loss products to combat hair thinning is the Energizing Shampoo for thin hair. All of our hair care products are free of harmful toxins, parabens, and sulfates.
See a dermatologist for prescription medication
Medications like Rogaine and Propecia can stimulate new hair growth and prevent further hair loss. It can take about 3 to 6 months to see results, and once you stop using them it’s possible to experience even worse hair loss than before you started using it. See a dermatologist if you’re interested in these types of medications.
Try an in-office laser treatment
Also referred to as red light therapy and cold laser therapy, this treatment for hair loss is done by a trichologist or dermatologist. Laser therapy irradiates photons into scalp tissues. These photons are absorbed by weak cells, encouraging new growth. In other words, it stimulates the hair follicles to grow.
Get a hair transplant
A hair transplant is a procedure done by a plastic or dermatological surgeon. Hair transplants entail adding more hair to an area on the head that may be thinning or balding. This is done by taking hair from thicker parts of the scalp, or other parts of the body, and grafting it to the thinning or balding section of the scalp. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, most patients see results between six and nine months after surgery.
How to prevent and control hair loss
Losing up to 100 strands of hair a day is a totally normal part of life. But if your hair is coming out in clumps, or you’re experiencing bald patches or a receding hairline, you’re likely experiencing hair loss. Lots of things can contribute to your hair falling out, and finding out the cause (or causes) is the key to stopping it. If you’re dealing with hair loss and wondering how to make your hair thicker, the Davines line of hair care products can help you cope. Our products are free of harmful toxins, parabens, and sulfates. And they aren’t just good for your hair, they’re good for the planet. All of our formulas use natural ingredients and are made with renewable energy and packaging minimizing the environmental impact. Incorporate our tips and favorite products for thinning hair into your routine and make sure you're eating a vitamin-rich diet, and you should notice less hair fall out. However, if your hair loss is persistent and you’re not noticing any new hair growth, see your doctor, as it may be an indication of more serious concern.