7 Reasons Your Hair is Thinning
One in four women will experience hair loss at some point in her life. And, while hair shedding is relatively common, the reasons why we lose hair vary. Here, the top seven causes of hair loss, as well as strategies that can help stop your hair from thinning.
1. Your Mom or Dad
“The most common underlying cause of hair loss is genetics,” says Alan J Bauman, M.D., a Boca Raton dermatologist who specializes in hair restoration. As a woman ages, an inherited tendency toward hair thinning passed down from one (or both) parents can result in what Dr. Bauman calls a “gradual miniaturization of hair follicles.” What does this look like? “A widening of your part, more scalp peeking through your hair, or a receding hairline near the temples. Hair in certain spots may also become shorter, thinner and wispier,” says Dr. Bauman.
2. Hormone fluctuations
“A change in hormones from childbirth, perimenopause, menopause, or even thyroid imbalance can also impact the density of your hair,” says Dr. Bauman. In particular, higher than normal levels of DHT (a.k.a. Dihydrotestosterone), a male hormone, has been shown to shrink hair follicles, making it harder for them to produce healthy hair.
Prolonged stress—coupled with the corresponding spike in cortisol, coined the aging hormone—can impact hair growth by pushing follicles into a temporary “resting phase.” This can limit the number of strands each follicle can sprout, and in some cases of severe trauma, the immune system may even attack the hair follicles and halt hair growth altogether.
4. Nutritional deficiencies
Nourishment, carried by the circulatory system, travels first to vital organs, such as your heart and liver, which keep you alive. The areas that get last dibs on nutrients? Your nails, skin, scalp…and hair. Thus, if you are suffering from any kind of nutritional deficiency (low iron or protein levels, for instance), this will typically show up in your hair and nails first in the form of weak, fragile strands and nails, slow growth, and (in the case of hair), noticeable fallout.
5. Illness and/or medication
A high fever, going under general anesthesia, and certain medication can all also trigger some hair loss. Dr. Bauman also lists these meds as the most frequent offenders: birth control, hormone replacement, antihypertensives, statins, mood modulators, GABA analogues, and chemotherapy.
“New evidence supports the idea that inflammation on the scalp can impair healthy hair growth,” says Dr. Bauman. What causes inflammation? Typically, an imbalance of some sort, such as too much or too little oil—or an overgrowth of fungus or bacteria.
7. Overzealous hair services
“Strong chemical perms can burn the skin, damage the follicles and produce a scarring type of hair loss called scarring alopecia,” says Dr. Bauman, “Also tight braids and hair extensions can pull on the hair too, damaging the underlying hair follicles.”
How to Reboot Hair Growth
If the cause of your hair loss is past illness, post-pregnancy hormonal shifts, or stress that’s been mostly alleviated, then your scalp and follicles should, eventually, return to their normal productivity, causing the shedding to cease. For every other cause, some intervention is probably needed. Of courses, even if your illness is over or your hormones are stabilizing, these strategies may also be helpful in accelerating your hair’s return to normal.
This topical treatment is believed to work by widening hair follicles so they are able it to grow fatter strands, counteracting the effects of the miniaturization Dr. Bauman mentioned.
Lower levels of iron, protein and certain B vitamins are believed to cause hair thinning. Thus, popping a daily supplement with your morning latte is a little like an insurance policy to fill in deficiencies on days when your diet isn’t stellar.
Scalp balancing hair care
Products that help regulate sebum production, improve the ratio of good to bad bacteria on scalp skin, and quell inflammation all create an environment that is optimal for healthy hair growth. At Prose, we have ingredients that help with all three issues: A proprietary cocktail of Kale, Spirulina and Peppermint stabilizes sebum production; a new prebiotic sourced from non-GMO corn supports good skin bacteria, minimizing the impact of bad bacteria; and an anti-inflammatory blend of Cannabidiol (hemp extract), Licorice and Provitamin B5 helps reduce scalp irritation.
Support scalp nourishment
As we mentioned previously, the hair is among the last parts of the body to receive nutrients. It is believed, however, that using certain topical ingredients may increase blood flow to the scalp, thereby upping its nutrient intake. At Prose, we use Pea Sprout Extract for this purpose.
Ready to create a regimen that supports healthy hair growth? Get started here.