We’ve all seen the numerous shampoo and conditioner advertisements. All those models are shown to have hair that can magically bounce the right way, or fall perfectly straight. After all, they’re aimed at women who have the ability to explore all the possibilities with their thick, healthy hair. But they fail to address the women who have to deal with thinning hair or hair loss. 

According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), it’s normal to lose 50 to 100 hairs per day. However, any more than this could be a cause for concern. For some people, it might point to thinning hair while for others, it could be a sign of severe hair loss. But what causes it?

Hair thinning

Healthline defines thinning hair as minor to moderate hair loss. Thinning hair doesn’t always lead to baldness, though it can give the appearance of slightly balding patches on your head. It also happens gradually which gives you enough to pinpoint the reasons behind it and implement treatment for it. 

While advanced age is a factor in a decrease in hair thickness, here are some of the other reasons you might be facing thinning hair. 

Lifestyle habits play a role in your hair health. Some of them include:

– Over-treating your hair with treatments like coloring, straightening, relaxers, perms and more. 

– Using harsh hair products like hair sprays, gels, temporary colors and more. 

– Tying your hair up too tightly can damage the strands and pull it loose.

– Having a deficiency of iron, folic acid and other hair-boosting minerals in your diet. 

– Experiencing uncontrollable stress which leads to the release of excess cortisol that kills off new hair trying to grow from the follicles. 

– Starting new medications. 

– New workout regimens can throw your body and the hormones for a toss. 

– Lack of sleep can also mess up your hair cycle.

However, there may be underlying medical reasons that could contribute to thinning hair:

– Genetics

– Hormonal changes

– Extreme and sudden weight loss

– Undergoing treatment for autoimmune diseases

– Immune system deficiencies

– Pulling at your own hair 

– Eating disorders

– High fevers

Thinning hair can be battled through certain treatments such as scalp massages, essential oil application, use of hair thinning shampoos, multivitamins ingestion and doctor-prescribed methods. 

Hair loss

While hair thinning and hair loss might seem the same, they aren’t. According to Mayo Clinic, hair loss can affect more than just your scalp. It can affect your entire body. It can come in the form of gradual thinning on the top of the head, circular or patchy bald spots, sudden loosening of hair, or full-body hair loss. It can be caused by various reasons:

– Genetics play a big role in hair loss. It is one of the most common causes of hair loss which results in baldness patterns. This is usually a gradual process and happens as you age. 

– Hormonal changes and illnesses can cause permanent or temporary hair loss. Changes in hormones due to pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, significant weight loss, and thyroid can cause you to lose hair in clumps. Diseases like cancer and alopecia areata can lead to patchy hair loss. 

– Certain medications and supplements list hair loss as a side effect such as the ones used for cancer, arthritis, depression, heart problems, gout, and high blood pressure. This includes radiation and chemotherapy to the head. 

– Extremely stressful events can lead to temporary hair loss.

– Certain hairstyles and hair treatments like coloring, straightening can also cause temporary hair loss. 

In order to get these conditions treated, a visit to the doctor will help clarify the true cause of your hair loss. They may be able to find out if you have an underlying medical condition that is harming your hair health. However, including certain minerals and vitamins in your diet can help slow the process down. Even protecting your hair from ultraviolet rays, using wide-tooth combs and avoiding tight hairstyles can help.