Hormonal changes, genetics, vitamin deficiencies, illness, and even bleaching or perming can cause hair thinning or hair loss. Learn how to spot the signs, and what to do about it.
However, a change in hormones, improper diet, stress, genetics, vitamin deficiencies, illness, and even bleaching or perming can cause hair thinning. Diseases more common to women, such as thyroid disease, autoimmune illness, iron deficiency and lupus, are culprits that contribute to hair loss. Oral contraceptives can also contribute to hair loss as the hormones in birth control that suppress ovulation can cause thinning hair and hair loss. But when is it actually time to worry? Here are the top signs of thinning hair and what you can do about it.
1. Hair Clumps
If your hair falls in strands, then chances are, you have nothing to worry about. However, if you notice that your hair is falling off in clumps when you run your fingers through your hair or brush your hair, it’s likely a sign of thinning hair. Keep a lookout for any bald patches on your scalp as these two are usually related. Other signs include an increased amount of hair in the shower after shampooing or even on your pillow case.
2. More Visible Scalp
As hair thinning occurs gradually and not overnight, a decrease in hair volume is generally tricky to spot because we regularly touch our hair each time we shampoo. If you start to notice that your scalp is becoming more visible at the hairline around your face or at your hair parting, that could also indicate that your hair might be thinning. A number of reasons could lead to this, including frequent combing which can result in accelerated hair fall, as well as excessive pressure on your scalp along your hair parting from long hours of tying your hair up into a tight ponytail or hair bun.
3. Thinner Ponytail
For those with longer hair, pay attention to the thickness of your ponytail or hair bun—if your ponytail is getting thinner or the size of your hair bun is getting smaller, you might be facing thinning hair. How tight your ponytail is fastened and how heavy your hair weighs can also contribute to hair thinning. So if you notice that your ponytail feels thinner or that it takes more twists of your hair elastic to fasten your hair, you might have thinning hair.
4. Your Forehead Looks Wider
Another tell-tale sign is if your forehead starts to look wider as your hairline recedes further backwards. Look back on old photos taken at a few months’ interval. As most thinning hair occurs first around the crown of your head, if you’re facing thinning hair, you might notice a receding hairline based on how much larger your forehead appears to be.
5. Excess Shedding
On average, it is totally normal and healthy if you shed anywhere between 50 to 100 strands of hair daily, like mentioned earlier. Of course, we won’t be counting each individual strands that fall off our scalp over the course of the day, but if your hair falls in strands, then chances are, you have nothing to worry about.
However, if you notice that your hair falls off in clumps when you run your fingers through your hair or brush your hair, or even on your pillow case from tossing and turning, it’s likely that you are showing signs of thinning hair. You can also keep a lookout for any bald patches on your scalp as these two are usually related.
What to do to prevent thinning hair
There are many lifestyle changes you can make and bad habits you can kick to avoid hair loss that’s not caused by hormonal changes or hereditary factors.
Avoid tight hairstyles such as braids, buns or ponytails. These styles tug at the hair follicles over long periods of time and gradually weaken and damage them. You can also use a wide-toothed detangling comb as it is less likely to yank at your hair and cause breakage and damage to hair follicles. Keep heat styling and harsh chemical processes to a minimum. These can affect the health of your scalp and hair follicles and cause premature hair thinning. Lastly, protect your scalp like you would your skin. Use an umbrella when you’re outdoors and if possible, apply a UV-protecting mist on your hair and scalp to shield it from harmful UV rays and free radicals.
What you can use
There are many topical products as well as clinical treatments that are designed to restore scalp health for fuller, healthier hair. Here are some to try:
Specially formulated to cater to women above the age of 40, caffeine is the key ingredient of this scalp tonic as it instantly boosts micro-circulation in the scalp so that hair follicles receive more nutrients and oxygen. At the same time, niacin and zinc also help thicken hair growth so your hair becomes fuller and more voluminous over time.
At the heart of this formula is Minoxidil, a powerful ingredient that’s clinically proven to offer visible results for those who are facing hair loss. All you have to do is apply twice daily onto scalp and massage to boost absorption and stimulate micro-circulation. When absorbed into the scalp, it works by rejuvenating hair follicles and helping them function optimally again. Its mess-free spray pump helps reduce wastage and enables you to apply precisely on areas needed effortlessly.
PHS Hairscience products are developed to deliver essential nutrients to hair and scalp for accelerated repair and regeneration of hair cells for denser and healthier hair growth. Made of Korean botanical essences, this is a gentle, hypoallergenic cleanser that restores hair thickness and resilience with its key ingredient, pea protein.
This is a topical serum for your scalp. It contains active ingredients like 5 per cent Minoxidil, Gingko Biloba and Vitamin B6 to strengthen damaged hair and stimulate hair follicles for healthier, thicker hair growth. Designed to be applied directly onto your scalp once or twice a day as directed by your doctor, the lightweight serum doesn’t leave behind any sticky or greasy residue so you can proceed to hair styling as per usual. Avoid rinsing hair and scalp for six hours after application for optimal efficacy.
After showering, reach for this and spritz it directly onto scalp any time of the day to stimulate hair follicles. It is suitable to use on dry or wet scalp, as long as it’s clean. Containing a powerful trio of ingredients, including quinine, caffeine and arginine, it has a triple action on those dealing with chronic hair fall, as each ingredient provides hair follicles with nutrients and energy essential for fuller and thicker hair regrowth.
Just like the rest of our skin, dead skin cells, dirt and grime also accumulate on our scalp. This leads to clogged hair follicles, which eventually restricts healthy hair growth. Taking a two-pronged approach to encourage fuller hair, this scalp serum clears away debris on our scalp while stimulating hair bulbs. Thanks to a blend of AHA, niacin and caffeine, scalp is purged and more nutrients are delivered to the hair follicles. Instantly, your hair and scalp will feel lighter and more refreshed. Your hair should also start to feel thicker over time.