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How to prevent thinning hair and hair loss

lady in the mirror checking her hair

Our hair is often our crowning glory. It's one of the most noticeable aspects of our appearance, so most of us spend time, money and effort making it look as good as possible.

Noticing your hair start to thin or fall out can sap your confidence. You might not even feel like yourself for a while.

Learn more in our article about why your hair might be thinning and the things you can do to help keep your hair healthy and strong.

What do we mean by thinning hair?

Whilst many people think of hair loss as baldness, there are actually a significant number of people who experience thinning hair, which looks quite different and has a wide variety of causes.

Thinning hair refers to minor-to-moderate hair loss and does not happen overnight.1 Instead, it’s something that usually occurs on a gradual basis, which often makes it harder to identify the reasons why it is happening.

Usually, you should expect to lose between 50 and 100 hairs per day, so if it seems to be more than this, there’s a chance your hair is starting to thin.

Thinning hair can look very different in men and women, too. Generally, men may notice a receding hairline, while thinning hair and even hair loss in women is more subtle and tends to happen slowly.

 Most women will notice thinning at the crown of their head instead of at the hairline. This can lead to a wider part or exposure of more of their scalp over time.2  

What causes thinning hair?

It’s thought that thinning hair could be down to your lifestyle, medical conditions, or good old-fashioned genetics, but there are several things that might trigger thinning hair. 

These include:

Hair products

Over-treating your hair by colouring it or perming it can start a process of thinning. This is also true of any harsh hair products, like temporary colour and extreme hold styling products. Even wearing your hair up too tightly can tug on your hair and break it from the follicles, causing thin spots.3

Stress

Stress is also a well-known factor when it comes to thinning hair and hair loss. The negative effects of stress can increase stress hormones, like cortisol, that can prevent new hairs from growing.4

Medical conditions

There are some medical conditions, and treatments for some illnesses, that may also lead to thinning hair. In some cases, even losing weight can cause your hair to thin.2,3

Hormonal changes

Thinning hair can often occur after you have had a baby or stopped taking birth control. There are also hormonal changes, such as pregnancy or menopause, plus immune system deficiencies that can be a contributing factor. Hair loss after pregnancy is particularly common, but you’ll likely notice hair regrowth over time.3

Skin concerns

Certain skin concerns, like psoriasis, are also associated with thinning hair, as they can affect your scalp.3

6 lifestyle changes to help prevent thinning hair

As there are so many reasons for hair thinning, it can be difficult to prevent it from happening, and the reasons are different for men and women. However, making sure you are looking after your hair and body can play a part.

Here are 6 things you can do to keep your hair healthy and help to stop your hair from thinning.

1. Maintain a healthy diet:

Maintaining a healthy diet will keep your body in optimum condition, and that includes drinking plenty of water and steering clear of smoking and high alcohol consumption.

2. Avoid harsh chemicals:

Try not to subject your hair to harsh chemicals, like some hair dyes and styling products. These will often damage your hair, which, if your hair is already fragile, isn’t ideal!

If you use heat to dry or style your hair, try to remember to protect it beforehand and use low heat on your hair tools to keep your strands healthy and happy.

3. Cut back on tight hairstyles

If you find yourself frequently wearing tight hairstyles, like buns or ponytails, the continuous pulling can cause hair strands to break or fall out and damage your hair follicles. Over time, damaging your hair follicles can even cause your hair not to grow back!5

These hairstyles are fine occasionally, but why not try more relaxed hairstyles like a loose braid or using a hair clip instead? These will help reduce the tension on your hair and scalp and keep your locks in place.

4. Be gentle

When brushing or combing your hair, try to be as gentle as possible and only brush it occasionally. Frequent brushing tugs on your hair strands and can cause them to break or weaken.

Be gentle when it comes to washing or styling your hair, too! Some products on the market contain ingredients that can be damaging to your hair. Instead, choose gentle, moisturising products that steer clear of harsh ingredients like alcohol and artificial fragrances.6

Quit the habit

If you have a habit of twisting your hair around your finger or pulling at your hair strands, this can weaken your hair and, in some cases, lead to hair loss.6

Massage your scalp

A daily scalp massage is an easy way to stimulate blood flow to your scalp and hair follicles. The increased blood flow will allow your hair follicles to thrive by getting all the necessary nutrients!

You could just use your hands, or for a more relaxing, spa-like treatment, why not try a scalp massager and nourishing hair oil like rosemary oil? Rosemary oil is thought to help support your hair growth journey.7

Are there treatments to help thinning hair?

It’s possible to manage most cases of thinning hair at home through products and simple techniques. But, if you become concerned about sudden hair loss or are worried in general about thinning hair, speaking to a doctor can help you figure out the root cause.

You may also want to speak to your doctor before taking anything new, like supplements, to check that it is safe to do so. They may also recommend other forms of treatment, like medication.

The final say

Your hair is an important part of your identity and plays a huge role in how you express yourself. So, it can be difficult if you start to notice changes in your hair density or notice an area of hair loss.

We all know that caring for our hair is important, but sometimes hair loss and thinning can be inevitable due to age, genetics, or other factors - no matter how well you take care of your hair.

Taking on board these easy lifestyle changes to help keep your hair healthy and strong will play an important part in preventing hair thinning and loss.

If you do find yourself concerned with rapid hair thinning or loss, or if your scalp also burns or itches, always speak to a doctor. They’ll be able to help you figure out the reason behind it.

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