Thinning Hair

It is absolutely normal for you to lose a few strands of hair each day. You have nothing to worry about in case you see anywhere between 20 and 100 strands of hair falling each day. But how would you feel if you find that the hair fall has caused your hair growth to become thinner? What if the new strands of hair are not growing at a fast enough pace to replace the strands that are falling out? Thinning hair is a very common problem seen in many men, women and even children around the world. Studies indicate that almost 35% of all men suffer from severe hair fall problems, which leads to thinning hair and perhaps even baldness.

While anyone can suffer from thinning problems, this occurrence is a bit more common in men. Older people too are more prone to hair thinning, as compared to those who are younger. In some cases, the hair fall and thinning is only a temporary occurrence that gets rectified after a period of time. However, in several people, thinning of the hair is a chronic and recurrent problem. In some instances, hair thinning could be an indication of a serious medical problem. Therefore, it is best to get thinning hair checked by a doctor to identify what the possible causes can be.

Thinning of the hair can be a sudden or gradual development. There could be some factors that cause large chunks of hair to fall out, leading to bald patches, a receding hairline or scantiness all over the scalp. When this happens, you will see drastic changes in your hair volume within a matter of a few weeks. On the other hand, thinning of the hair can be a slow and gradual process where it takes months to become evident. This form of hair loss usually starts off with a few extra strands on the comb, towel or sink, which slowly and gradually progresses towards a bare scalp.

There are many who are perfectly comfortable with letting the hair fall and thinning process continue, without making any efforts to conceal or control the problem. However a majority of the people take steps to stop the thinning, by using a variety of treatments, products or services. The association of hair with beauty and appearance makes it a concern for most people, which is why there are various hair care products easily available in the market, most of which claim to prevent hair loss and thinning issues. However, not all of these products deliver the results that they promise and therefore it is important to be careful when choosing any hair care products.

Symptoms of Thinning Hair

In many cases, thinning hair does not become evident immediately. You may only realize that you have a problem, after having lost a significant amount of hair. By then, reversing hair loss is like to be a lot more difficult if possible and could also be a lot more lengthy a procedure. Nevertheless, it is best to control the problem as soon as it becomes evident. There are several signs and symptoms that could be regarded as an indication of decrease in hair volume. Given below are some of the common signs and symptoms that could indicate a hair thinning problem:

  • An increase in the visible number of strands that fall each day
  • Changes in the quality of hair, where the individual strands actually seem finer than before
  • Appearance of bare patches of skin on the scalp
  • Receding hairline or excessive broadening of the forehead
  • You need to consult a doctor in case any of these symptoms last for a long period of time, or if they persist, in spite of using any home remedies. Some of the causes for hair thinning are quite serious and require immediate medical attention.

    Causes of Thinning Hair

    There are numerous factors that could lead to excess hair fall. Given below are some of the common factors that lead to hair loss and thinning problems:

    • Ageing: Gradual thinning of the hair is a natural part of the ageing process. As you grow older, don’t be surprised if you see a drastic reduction in the volume of your hair.
    • Stress: Most of us lead hectic lives and therefore some amount of stress is fairly normal for us. However, excess stress, can lead to many serious health problems. One of the first signs of excessive stress includes hair loss.
    • Infections: The scalp is quite prone to bacterial and fungal infections that can lead to the development of dandruff, skin dryness, flakiness and hair loss. While these infections are not really serious, they need to be treated, or else they can lead to complications and thinning hair.
    • Hormonal Changes: This is one of the most common causes of hair loss in women. The hormonal levels in a woman’s body fluctuate a great deal, especially during phases like pregnancy, menopause, childbirth, or during a monthly cycle.
    • Use of Certain Medicines: There are several side effects that have been associated with the treatment of certain conditions. Therefore, those who are undergoing chemotherapy or are on any medications for cancer treatment can face hair loss problems, through the duration of the treatment. Medicines for treating depression, gout, arthritis and high blood pressure could also have a similar effect
    • Diseases and Disorders: Certain underlying health conditions like lupus and diabetes could cause you to experience hair loss problems.
    • Poor Nutrition: Hair loss can be the first sign of vitamin and mineral deficiencies. The lack of iron, protein and certain vitamins in your diet can cause your hair to fall out.

    Since some of these causes are quite serious, it is important to consult a doctor and identify why you are losing hair.

    Remedies for Thinning Hair

    There are several ways in which you can mask thinning hair. Alternately, you could use natural and home remedies that can help reduce hair fall problems, thereby increasing the volume and thickness of your hair. Given below are some of the most common remedies for thinning hair:

    • Massage Therapy:This is usually regarded as one of the most effective ways to deal with hair problems. You need to massage your scalp regularly using warm olive
    • Hot Towels:To increase the effect of massage therapy, wrap a hot towel around your head, while the oil is still on. This is great for reducing hair fall and thickening hair volume.
    • Hair Hygiene:There are many clear and natural shampoos and conditioners that are known to increase hair volume. These products need to be used on a regular basis. While applying shampoo pay special attention to the roots, but the conditioner needs to be applied mainly to the tips of the hair. Do not apply too much conditioner on to the roots.
    • Hair Styles:This remedy does not really increase the volume of the hair, but it could give you an illusion of having thick and voluminous hair. Blunt cuts and bob cuts are excellent for thin hair. Alternately, you could also part your hair in one direction and comb it for a few minutes, after which you change the parting, just to add more volume to your hair.

    Diet for Thinning Hair

    There is no specific diet that you can follow, for thicker hair. However, it is a well-known fact that a nutritious diet can help improve the overall health. A healthy diet also reduces nutritional deficiencies, which in turn could eliminate severe hair fall problems. Given below are some of the foods that are the most effective for reducing hair loss and thinning problems:

    • Iron rich foods like prunes, raisins, oysters, liver, mussels, kidney, beans, lean beef, spinach and lentils.
    • Good sources of protein, such as eggs, chicken, turkey, soybean, tofu, soymilk, fish, low fat cheese and yogurt.
    • Silica, a nutrient that increases the collagen in the body, which is found in seeds, cereals, oats, fish, pumpkin, onions, peanuts, raisins, tomatoes, apples, nuts, honey, carrots, raw cabbage, almonds, cherries and oranges.
    • Zinc, an essential nutrient, which is usually present in peanuts, mutton, squash seeds, pumpkin, lean beef, tahini, sesame seeds, veal, liver, wheat germ and oysters, to name a few
    • Vitamin, which is found in legumes, potatoes, brazil nuts, oats, beef, avocadoes, bananas, turkey, tuna and liver.

    Suggestion for Thinning Hair

    Dealing with hair loss and thinning hair can be very difficult for anyone. However, you could minimize this problem if you try to control it as early as possible, with the help of dietary and lifestyle changes. This means that you need to follow a healthy diet and get an adequate amount of exercise each day. You could also use techniques like yoga or meditation, to eliminate stress and reduce hair loss problems.

    There are some medicines too, that can cause thinning of hair. Therefore, you need to keep your doctor informed, in case you are taking any of these medicines:

    • Anti-inflammatory drugs, like cortisones
    • Beta blockers, water pills or other medicines prescribed for blood pressure problem
    • Blood thinners, such as Coumadin or heparin
    • Cholesterol regulating medication
    • Oral contraceptives
    • Thyroid medication
    • Tri cyclic antidepressants and other medicines prescribed for mood improvement
    • Tryptophan or Vitamin A, taken in extremely high doses
    • Zyloprim, or other similar medicines, prescribed for gout treatment

    Never make any changes to your medication, without consulting a doctor and getting a go ahead.

    Thinning Hair Treatments - more information
    Thinning Hair - Frequently asked questions