Hair loss or hair thinning is something that all men and women will experience over the course of their life. While the cause of it is often hormonal, there are many other factors that play into it—let’s get into it!
Distinguishing Normal Shedding from Hair Loss
A lot of people can often get confused about whether their hair is simply shedding or they are experiencing actual hair loss that should be of concern. More often than not, it is simply your hair going through its natural shedding process. The average human can expect to lose 50-150 hairs per day, and for every hair you lose, a new one begins growing in its place! It may feel like a lot, but we promise it’s normal.
Now, when might it be actual hair loss? If you can visibly notice your hair becoming thinner over time, you may be experiencing some sort of additional loss aside from standard shedding. This can either be a temporary hair loss, or more permanent form of hair loss.
Temporary Hair Loss
There are so many things that can lead to temporary forms of hair loss. These can include something as simple as wearing too tight of ponytails too frequently, to dramatic changes in your body, such as sudden weight loss, giving birth, or high levels of stress. Certain illnesses and medications can also lead to more hair loss than usual, along with deficiencies in certain nutrients. The most common nutrient deficiencies that lead to hair loss include: iron, protein, or B-family vitamins like B12.
Not washing your hair properly can also lead to hair loss. If you are not thoroughly cleansing your scalp, it can lead to buildup that can block the follicle and inhibit hair growth. Keeping your scalp clean, nourished, and free of buildup is extremely important to ensure healthy growth.
Thankfully, with a few lifestyle adjustments, these types of temporary hair loss can all be reversed, so long as your hair follicles haven’t been damaged.
Permanent Hair Loss
Permanent forms of hair loss are often caused by hormonal imbalances and changes over time, and it can affect both men and women. Female pattern baldness usually occurs at the top of a woman's head, and often begins after menopause when her estrogen levels begin to drop. Hair loss in men is related to the male hormone dihydrotestosterone. Over time, it causes older hairs on the scalp to be replaced by shorter, thinner hairs. Hair loss in men most often starts at either the temples or the crown.
How to Slow Hair Loss Down Over Time
While it may be difficult to reverse permanent hair loss, there are things you can do now to reverse temporary hair loss and prevent further loss down the road. The easiest things you can do include: getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, exercising regularly, and taking care of your scalp with clean hair care products.
If you begin noticing your hair becoming visibly thinner and you cannot pinpoint an explanation, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss your concerns. They can help you figure out whether it’s hormonal, caused by a nutrient deficiency, or any other potential factors.