What Causes Thinning Hair?

Nearly everyone experiences some degree of hair loss at some point in their lives, if only as a result of getting older. If you’re lucky, the loss will be minimal and not really noticeable to others. But often, thinning hair causes a dramatic change in your appearance, and probably an even more drastic change in your self-confidence. 

Hair loss can occur for lots of reasons. At Advanced Robotic Hair Restoration Centers in Hauppauge, New York, we help men and women understand why their hair is thinning, then we design a custom hair restoration plan using the most advanced techniques and technology. If your hair is thinning and you’re not sure why, learn more about the most common causes.

First — is it really thinning?

Hair grows in cycles. When the growth part of the cycle comes to an end, the hair prepares to fall out, leaving the follicle free to produce the next hair. On average, we all lose between 50 and 100 hairs each day as a result of this cycle. 

These “outgrown” hairs typically fall out when we brush our hair or wash it. Of course, seeing hair in the drain or on a hairbrush can leave you feeling worried. If you’re only seeing a few hairs each time, it’s probably just your hair replacing itself in its natural cycle. Still, having an evaluation doesn’t hurt — especially considering treatment can be a lot less intensive when hair loss is caught early.

Yes, it is — what’s causing it?

Now, suppose you’re losing considerably more hair than those 100 or so hairs each day. Then, there’s a good chance your hair is thinning, being shed at a faster-than-normal rate. There are actually quite a few possibilities.

Extreme stress

When you’re under extreme stress or duress, your body reacts to that stress in some extreme ways. One of the possible reactions is hair loss, typically occurring without two or three months after the stressful event. In this type of hair loss (called telogen effluvium), hair usually falls out from all areas of your scalp, so hair loss is relatively uniform. Typically, hair grows back once your body gets back to normal.

Heredity and hormones

Androgens, including the “male” hormone testosterone, are responsible for a very common type of hair loss called androgenic alopecia. Also called male pattern baldness and female pattern baldness, androgenic alopecia usually begins in the front of your head and the temples, with hair loss moving back over the scalp as time progresses. This type of hair thinning tends to run in families.

Pregnancy

Hormonal changes can also cause temporary hair thinning in women who are pregnant and in the months following pregnancy. In this case, hair will typically grow back once the body returns to normal. Thinning hair is a common symptom of menopause, when hormonal changes cause hair loss that usually doesn’t reverse on its own.

Medication side effects

Sometimes, hair thins as a result of medications. Cancer drugs used in chemotherapy are the most well-known drugs to cause hair loss. Beta-blockers used for some types of heart ailments can cause hair thinning, and so can blood thinners, amphetamines, and levodopa, a medication used to treat Parkinson’s.

Underlying medical problems

Hair loss can occur alongside some illnesses, like lupus or thyroid disorders. One type of hair loss, alopecia areata, is associated with an autoimmune disease that affects the hair follicles. In alopecia areata, hair falls out in one or more patches on your scalp. When it affects the entire scalp, it’s called alopecia totalis. 

Nutritional deficiencies

Your hair follicles need good nutrition to stay healthy. Deficiencies in specific nutrients like protein, iron, and vitamins C and D can result in thinning hair. This type of hair loss is seen more commonly among people with significant dietary restrictions and in women who have heavy menstrual flows. Data indicates too much of some nutrients, like vitamin A, may actually promote hair loss.

Fungal infection

Tinea capitis is a fungal infection of your scalp. If you have this infection, you’ll notice a lot of flaking, and your hair will break off as it exits the follicles. 

Scalp damage

Traumatic alopecia is a type of hair loss that occurs as a result of certain hairstyles that damage the follicles, like very tight braids, hair dyeing or bleaching, or perms and straightening processes. It’s more common to have this type of hair loss when you have these processes or styles on a regular basis.

You don’t have to live with thinning hair

At Advanced Robotic Hair Restoration Centers, we use state-of-the-art technology to restore hair to areas of your scalp where your hair is thinning or completely gone. Our techniques are completely customizable. To learn more about robotic hair restoration and how it can help you restore your thinning hair, call us at 631-215-3947 or use our scheduling tool to book an appointment online today.

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