Thinning hair is a common concern among many people, especially during the early stages of aging. Hair loss also comes with other causes, such as genetics, medication side effects, and medical conditions. Fortunately, hair tends to return once these factors are treated or resolved.
Most hair begins to thin on the scalp as it ages due to several different factors. As people age, their bodies produce less collagen and elastin—two proteins that make up most of your skin’s supportive structures—than they did earlier in life. Loss of protein reduces the layer of fat under your skin called subcutaneous fat. Because this fat provides an important role for both insulation and shock absorption from everyday pressure within the body, it naturally also affects how much nourishment can reach hair follicles.
Hair also has a cycle of growth and rest. Every day, most people lose about 80 to 100 strands of hair. Hair grows in three stages: anagen, catagen, and telogen phases. The time it takes your hair to grow depends on which phase your hair is in when it starts growing back after falling out—up to 6 years. Usually, at least 90% of the hairs are in the anagen phase when they begin to fall out, with just 10% or less in the other two phases at that time. About 95 percent will be in the anagen phase when new hairs appear within two months after shedding occurs.
Hereditary Hair Loss
Genetics is another cause for thinning hair before age 50. A family history of hair thinning and balding may mean that hair loss is inherited, and it also increases the risk for future or concurrent conditions that can cause more serious or permanent hair loss. Women are generally less likely to have genetic causes of thinning hair, but there are some cases where women may be genetically predisposed as well.
Different medications have different side effects on the body, many of which affect the speed or rate of growth within your body including on your scalp. Hair loss caused by medication is typically temporary, although certain types of medication may produce irreversible side effects depending on how long they were taken before symptoms were noticed. Other types of prescription drugs can cause thinning hair after prolonged usage. Drugs used for chemotherapy to treat cancer, as well as treatments meant to target specific medical conditions do tend to result in lasting effects on the hair.
Finally, a variety of medical conditions can cause hair loss. Some diseases affect your ability to produce certain proteins necessary for hair growth and development. For example, an underactive thyroid gland—hypothyroidism—can make it more difficult for cells within the body to use the nutrients needed for healthy hair production. Other types of hormonal imbalances such as too much or too little testosterone also have negative impacts on hair growth and development. In cases where another medical condition is the underlying cause of thinning hair, getting proper treatment will almost always improve or reverse symptoms associated with the condition including any loss of scalp or body hair.
For instance, a man in his thirties notices that he has been losing more hair than usual during routine brushing and washing for several months. After visiting his doctor who runs some tests, he learns that he has an overactive thyroid gland—hyperthyroidism. He is prescribed medication to treat the condition which will hopefully restore hormone levels to normal so symptoms including any loss of scalp or body hair would resolve on their own by getting treated. If symptoms do not improve or reverse after taking treatment for six months, surgery might be necessary to remove the thyroid gland completely if it is necessary.
A stressful life event can influence the rate of hair loss as well. In fact, there is a condition known as telogen effluvium—which affects up to one-third of women within three months after childbirth—that causes thinning and shedding of hair due to stress on your body from physical or emotional trauma. Getting enough sleep, exercise, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle despite the stress you experience can help keep your body strong and prevent further effects from chronic conditions that may cause thinning hair.
Ways to allow your thinning hair to come back
When it comes to treating thinning hair, there are several possible courses of action. Lifestyle changes can help you address some factors that may be contributing to the problem like getting enough vitamin B12 and iron, eating a balanced diet, quitting smoking, and reducing stress levels.
Thinning hair can happen at any point in life due to genetics, medications, and medical conditions. While there are a variety of ways to go about treating it, the best option will depend on what is causing the thinning hair in each person’s case.
1) Consult A Doctor
If necessary, your doctor might prescribe medication for you to restore protein levels or balance hormones so that your body is more able to create healthy new growth. A variety of different treatments are available, including
Topical medication applied directly on the scalp
Topical medication allows the medication to be directly applied on the scalp, helping it target your hair follicles for better treatment of thinning hair. You can check https://info.nisim.com/ for some more advice on how to choose the best topical medication to deal with hair thinning or hair loss.
Medication can also be injected into areas on the scalp where balding is most noticeable and often happens first as a result of thinning. Injections are usually spaced out so that new growth has time to grow in between treatments, but depending on the person’s case, they may need additional shots to regrow any lost hair from earlier injections if their condition worsens.
Oral medications are taken by mouth
To boost your hair growth, you can take oral supplements or medications to increase the number of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals in your body. This is especially true if your hair loss is being caused by an iron deficiency or a lack of protein.
A woman notices more hair falling out every time she washes her hair or brushes it. She goes to see her doctor who performs some tests and determines that she has hypothyroidism and recommends treatment options that may help restore balance within her body, which would hopefully allow her hair to grow back more healthily.
2) Hair Replacement Options
If you have already tried all forms of treatment but your thinning hair continues to persist, it might be time to consider replacement options like surgical solutions or new techniques for styling your hair that disguise thinning patches.
There are various types of surgical procedures including scalp reductions, scalp flaps, laser treatments, and transplants using your own tissue (follicular unit extraction- In this procedure, doctors move healthy hairs from the back of the head where there is still plenty of growth from follicles onto balding areas of the crown. It is important to wait until after age 25 to begin hair transplantation surgery as hair growth is slower in younger people and the procedure is less effective.)
Your doctor will help you make the right choice based on whether you’re a good candidate for the procedure and how much hair loss you have.
Other forms of treatment include cosmetic procedures such as micro-needling, where a fine needle is rolled over the scalp to open up pores and allow topical medications to penetrate more deeply. Experiencing thinning hair before age 50 does not necessarily mean you are going bald, but you should see your doctor if persistent symptoms do not improve or resolve with simple lifestyle changes.
3) Non Surgical Procedures
If surgical procedures are a no-no for you then here are a few other options you can consider.
Minoxidil, commonly known as Rogaine, comes in a foam or liquid that needs to be applied to the scalp daily. You might experience some redness and irritation from the treatment at first, but it will often reduce within a few weeks. Taking supplements like biotin can help your hair grow faster so speak with your doctor before using minoxidil for best results.
What you eat also has a direct impact on your hair’s health, so eating foods that are high in protein, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, zinc, biotin, and silica can help improve the quality of your hair. You should also avoid iron supplements if you are already taking them as they can aggravate hair loss over time.
A woman in her twenties notices she is shedding much more hair than usual each time she combs it. She goes to see her doctor who determines she has an iron deficiency and prescribes medication for this condition along with vitamin supplements. The next time she visits, six months later, her hair has thickened and there is less loss while combing it.
Shampoo with Natural Ingredients
Certain types of shampoo can provide an added boost when it comes to treating or preventing further thinning. Look for shampoos made from natural ingredients that have been proven to work well for thinning hair like biotin, ginseng, or caffeine.
Each person may respond better to certain treatment options than others depending on their specific condition.
When Is Hair Loss a Concern?
At any age though, if you notice rapid hair loss over a short period of time, it’s important to see your doctor for an assessment. Often, people attribute their symptoms to experiencing excessive hair shedding from brushing, washing, or styling. In reality, it’s usually a sign of a more serious underlying condition causing hair loss such as an illness or disease.
In general though, once the root cause is identified and treated appropriately, your healthy hair will grow back within six months to one year. However, if you were to go through another episode of significant trauma—chronic illness or physical stress—it may trigger another type of telogen effluvium that could result in temporary thinning and shedding again even after seeing your doctor. And just like before, your body should recover back to normal within six months or so as long as you address any underlying issues such as getting diagnosed and properly treated for the condition which is leading to hair loss symptoms.
Successful treatment for balding depends on a number of factors including your genes, prescription drugs you have taken, and underlying medical conditions you might have been experiencing alongside your thinning receding hair. Lifestyle changes can often help improve symptoms associated with thinning hair, while medications or surgery may be necessary to restore balance within your body.