One of the most common hair concerns that affect a majority of women is hair thinning. Seeing your hair steadily lose its volume can be quite stressful situation. The reasons for hair thinning are quite a lot, but the most common ones include ageing, stress and poor diet. The best thing about hair thinning is that this is a slow, gradual process, which means that if noticed and addressed early on, there is a high chance that you’d be able to overcome this battle successfully.
And that’s exactly what we are going to help you with today. We roped in Dr. Niketa from Ambrosia Aesthetics, Mumbai to discuss in detail the various causes and treatments for hair thinning. Once you’ve figured out the main reason behind this issue and figured out a hair thinning treatment that actually works for you, dealing with this problem becomes a lot simpler.
- What is the difference between hair loss and thinning?
- Causes of hair thinning
- Hair thinning treatments to consider
- FAQs about hair thinning treatments
What is the difference between hair loss and thinning?
This is one question that confuses a lot of people, but Dr. Niketa’s here to explain. “Hair fall or hair loss is a condition when you lose more than the normal amount of hair. Some hair fall is normal during day-to-day brushing and washing. It is a part of your hair cycle. The old hair sheds and is replaced by healthy new hair.
Hair thinning on the other hand is always a gradual process. Hair thinning usually refers to individual strands of hair becoming finer, slower growing and less dense over a period of time”, she says.
Causes of hair thinning
The causes of hair thinning can be divided into two main categories – lifestyle or genetics and medical. While it is completely natural to lose about 50 to 100 strands of hair a day, you should consider visiting a doctor if you notice that your hair isn’t growing back at the same rate as the hair fall.
1. Over processed hair
“Other common causes of hair loss include overuse of hot hair tools such as hair dryer and chemical treatments such as hair straightening. These cause damage to the hair shaft and lead to hair breakage”, says, Dr. Niketa. This constant exposure to heat and chemicals without proper care can wreak havoc on your hair, damage the cuticles, lead to breakage and eventually, hair thinning. In case you have chemically processed hair, ensure that you indulge in proper care and use the right products. Also, give your hair a break every few months to allow it some time to breathe, repair and rejuvenate.
Sudden, uncontrolled stress is another major cause of hair thinning in women. “Any type of stress including physical, mental and emotional can lead to hair loss and hair thinning. This type of hair loss is called telogen effluvium. The hair may fall out at an alarming rate and may cause rapid hair thinning” If you are going through or have recently been through any sort of physical or emotional stress, then your body goes into reserve mode, thereby preventing nutrients and vitamins from reaching your scalp, leading to hair loss and thinning. This is why it is extremely important to manage stress for healthier hair growth.
3. Lack of nutrition
“Poor dietary habits and malnutrition from fad diets can take a serious toll on the health of your hair. The body needs nutrients in order to create new hair and maintain healthy hair follicles. Protein, vitamins as well as micronutrients play a key role in the hair follicle growth cycle. Additionally, a deficiency of vitamin D has increased due to the pandemic. This vitamin is responsible for stimulating hair follicles and resulting in hair growth.”
4. Hormonal changes and medical conditions
Fluctuations in your hormone levels due to PCOS, pregnancy, menopause or even medical conditions such as alopecia areata and thyroid irregularities are triggers for permanent or temporary hair thinning. It is best to consult a doctor for these problems from the very beginning to prevent things from getting worse.
5. Tight hairstyles
The way you tie and handle your hair on an everyday basis can also lead to hair thinning. If you tie your hair in tight hairstyles very often, then this can put your hair follicles under a lot of stress and weaken them over a period of time, which is also a common cause of hair thinning, especially in women.
Hair thinning treatments to consider
1. Head massage
Massaging your scalp once a day for at least five to seven minutes, especially before bed is considered to be an excellent hair thinning treatment. Massaging your scalp helps in stimulating dormant hair follicles and increases blood circulation to the area. This ensures that your scalp receives enough nutrients to prevent hair fall and keep your hair strong. Remember to be extremely gentle while doing this to prevent damage to the follicles.
2. Right hair care products
Using the right products according to your hair and scalp type is super important to prevent hair thinning. Using products that are not meant for your hair type can clog your follicles, dry out your hair and scalp and simply lead to damage and breakage over a period of time. Always use anti-hair fall or hair volumising products as they not only make your hair appear fuller, but promote better scalp health and growth over time.
3. Multivitamins and supplements
As discussed earlier, an unhealthy or undernourished diet can also lead to hair thinning and improper hair growth. A simple way to ensure that your hair receives all-around nourishment is to include a multivitamin in your daily diet. “Oral vitamins can quickly replenish vitamin deficiencies and restore your hair health. The best way to get nutrients is from a balanced diet, but supplementation becomes necessary in case you are severely deficient.” Additionally, you could also consider taking iron, folic or biotin supplements, as they are extremely helpful in preventing hair fall, thinning and breakage.
4. Balanced diet
Apart from taking the supplements mentioned above, it is important to consume a well-balanced diet. This not only helps you stay healthy but also helps control blood sugar levels, balances hormones and prevents hair thinning. Ensure that you consume fewer carbs, and more healthy fats, fibre and protein in your diet. Also, consuming foods that are rich in omega-6 fatty acids such as flax seeds also works really well as a hair thinning treatment.
If you have tried all the above treatments and nothing seems to work, then you can try using minoxidil. This is a topical medicine that helps in delivering thicker and healthier hair even on bald spots. It is recommended to apply for this medicine twice a day and be super consistent to see desirable results. Although this is an over-the-counter medicine, we would suggest you speak to your doctor before starting it to avoid any sort of adverse reaction.
FAQs about hair thinning treatments
Q. Can hair regrow after thinning?
A. If the reason for your hair thinning is lifestyle-related, then by changing those habits and adopting healthier hair care methods will slowly, but surely show results. But if the reason for hair thinning is genetics, then home remedies may not show the desired results. In this case, it would be best to consult a doctor at the earliest as the problem can still be stalled or reversed in the earlier stages.
Q. What are some tips to make my hair thicker?
A. Dealing with hair thinning is fairly simple if you follow the tips mentioned below:
- Eat a healthier diet
- Don’t style or process your hair very often
- Avoid washing your hair every single day
- Cover your hair to prevent it from environmental damage
- Take the necessary supplements
- Visit a doctor at the earliest signs of a problem
Q. What should I eat for thicker hair?
A. Consuming a healthy diet is extremely important to prevent hair thinning. Include foods such as eggs, berries, salmon, nuts, seeds, avocados, sweet potatoes, etc., in your diet. Try to include more whole foods and avoid sweet, junk and processed foods as far as possible.