What Causes Thinning Hair?


Do you notice your hair is thinning or that there is an acceleration in hair loss? While most hair thinning or loss is genetically or age-related, there are also medical and environmental causes as well as simple solutions. The answer starts with the identification of the cause, so let’s discuss what causes thinning hair and how Bosley will help you overcome these hair loss challenges.

What Causes Thinning Hair In Women?

Are you wondering what causes thinning hair in women? Anything from autoimmune or thyroid conditions to PCOS, hormonal changes, and pregnancy can cause hair thinning and loss. Female pattern baldness is also a common result after women enter the menopausal stage.

What Causes Thinning Hair In Men?

Men suffer from male pattern baldness much more predominantly than women and generally the result of genetics, testosterone, or medical conditions. Male pattern baldness symptoms include shedding, itching, irritation, bald spots, flaking, red spots, and damaged hair strand ends.

Common Causes Of Hair Thinning

  • Special Diet Routines

    If you have an autoimmune disorder that reacts to certain foods, are on a crash diet, or are vegetarian, you have a higher probability of suffering from vitamin and mineral deficiencies. For example, a person with Celiac Disease has issues consuming food, which restricts nutrients to the bloodstream when gluten is present, and gluten-free food often lacks vitamins and minerals. A person with a dairy intolerance would not get critical nutrients like vitamins A, B6, C, D, E, and K as well as niacin and folate.

    If you are crash dieting, it has an even more drastic effect on scalp and hair health as your body is not receiving enough macro and micronutrients to boost cell health. Your hair will quickly show it as your lack of nutrients begin to starve your scalp and hair follicles and disrupt your hair growth cycle because other organs in the body are consuming any nutrition you consume to sustain life. Your hair’s health is a clear reflection of overall well-being, so take a nutritional supplement to reduce thinning.

  • Stress And Hair Loss

    If your body suffers physical or emotional stress, it can cause hair thinning and loss. While temporary, overcoming the stress will allow your hair strands to begin growing back in just two to three months. Using a reviving shampoo and conditioner with DHT inhibitors will rejuvenate your hair and nourish the scalp and hair follicles.

  • Trauma

    Whether from a personal loss or a serious medical condition, trauma plays a serious role in hair thinning and loss. It can also occur from haircare routines that bind the hair tightly or by pulling the strands roughly, which can cause traction alopecia. If you suffer from this condition, the cause is likely hair follicle damage from long-term stress (such as ponytails, weaves, or braids) that typically affects the front hairline. The good news is that using hair regrowth treatments with minoxidil will help restore it. It is important to note that Minoxidil has only been FDA proven to regrow hair in the crown area, not at the front hairline. We would recommend the Follicle Energizer in this area to help increase cellular energy and micro-circulation. Follicle Energizer is a targeted treatment for areas of thinning such as the temples and front hairline.

  • Traumatic Alopecia

    Scalp health is vital to hair follicle and strand healthiness. If you suffer an injury to the scalp, it can cause traumatic alopecia. It is more dominant in women who regularly use strong chemicals, hair rollers, or heating irons to straighten hair strands.

    Excessive combing and brushing your hair or using coloring will additionally cause stress to hair strands that will eventually lead to thinning, shedding, and bald spots on either side of the scalp. People with traumatic alopecia will also notice dead ends, too.

    It is important to realize that by discontinuing the styling practices that are causing the hair thinning will allow you to regrow your hair. In some cases, partial or permanent hair loss can occur when the hair follicles and roots are too damaged.

  • Genetics

    Are you genetically predisposed to balding? The gene responsible for it comes hereditarily from your mother’s side, but research shows that you have a higher likelihood of balding genetically if your father experiences balding as well. Most prominent in male pattern baldness, men experience receding hairlines that turns into a horseshoe shape on the crown area. Thankfully, there are hair transplants and regrowth products on the market today that restores or transplants hair follicles.

  • Pregnancy

    You may experience hair thinning during the first trimester of pregnancy because of the hormonal changes in the body to care for the needs of the baby. The body may also experience stress and shock during pregnancy, so the hairs shed more than normal. The excessive shedding (telogen effluvium) affects as many as 50% of expectant women and can occur through the first and second trimester, although it’s temporary. Thankfully, it won’t cause permanent hair loss and will regrow normally.

  • Scalp Conditions

    Scalp infections or inflammation often causes itchiness, flaking, and short-term hair loss. While using a moisturizing shampoo, conditioner, and a follicle energizer will help restore thinning hair or regrowth, they will invigorate strand health and texture.

  • Medical Conditions

    There are quite a few medical conditions that cause hair thinning, including anemia, hormonal imbalances, hyperthyroidism, postpartum depression, and scalp conditions. Permanent hair loss is also possible with lupus and lichen planus. Since medical conditions like these cause scalp scarring, they result in a more permanent hair loss.

  • Medication

    Some medications will cause short-term and permanent hair thinning and loss. If you are being treated for conditions like arthritis, blood pressure, cancer, heart problems, or depression, you may experience temporary hair thinning or shedding. Once the medication is discontinued, the hair will begin to renew itself and grow normally.

    Some medications can also trigger male or female pattern baldness which eventually results in thinning in women and hair loss in men. Most chemo-induced drugs do not lead to scarring, but it can cause follicle damage that may cause permanent hair loss. Cancer drugs like docetaxel can also cause permanent hair loss.

  • Puberty

    It’s possible for teenagers to experience hair thinning and loss, but thankfully, it isn’t an indicator that a person will suffer long-term. Typically, teen hair thinning is caused by stress, styling, dieting, medical conditions or treatments, or Trichotillomania, which can start as early as childhood. Using a hair care system may help temporarily, but when conditions like trichotillomania cause thinning or loss, intervention is vital.

  • Aging

    Hair thinning, graying, and aging go hand-in-hand for most people, although genetics and heredity can also influence when you begin to show symptoms. As hair strands fall out, they normally enter into a regrowth stage and begin in the anagen stage. As the scalp ages, the hairs remain in the telogen stage, which disrupts regrowth cycles. In time, the hair thinning and loss becomes more noticeable when brushing or styling.
  • Menopause

    Women experiencing menopause are susceptible to hair thinning because of hormonal changes in the body that decrease of normal progesterone and estrogen production. While women can undergo hormonal therapy to reverse menopausal effects, the ultimate result of aging in women will lead to hair thinning along the parting line.

When Should I See A Doctor For Hair Thinning Or Loss?

Prevention is key to minimizing hair thinning and loss, so if you notice abnormal shedding, look for a cause and then transition to professional-grade products formulated for hair loss. If you notice an abnormal amount of shedding on your brush or pillow, you may want to see a doctor to receive a proper diagnosis. After a physical examination and assessment of your family history, doctors typically perform additional testing, such as a pull test, blood test, biopsy, or microscopy. Others who have a high probability of balding develop hair care routines to reduce their thinning.

What Treatments Are Available For Hair Loss?

There are several FDA-approved hair loss treatments on the market. Topical treatments that contain Minoxidil (between 2 and 5%) and Finasteride (approved only for males) are often used for hair thinning and loss. There are also shampoos, conditioners, and nutritional supplements that help counteract hair thinning for scalp healthiness and reduces the likelihood of excessive shedding and balding. There are also prostaglandin analogs currently in the FDA testing phase.

Hair Thinning Restoration Alternatives

Of course, there are also cosmetic enhancements available for anyone who has hair thinning, from hairpieces and wigs to hair extensions and hair transplant surgeries. The significant difference in these options is that hairpieces provide temporary relief while non-surgical laser therapy and transplant surgeries will provide consumers with permanent hair loss solutions.

During non-surgical laser therapy, a person will undergo multiple sessions for hair restoration. A hair transplant procedure requires grafting of hair follicles from a donor site (usually located in the back of the head) and transplants them in the crown or receding hairline areas. The transplanted hair looks and feels like natural hair growth, so you’re going to feel confident.

Scalp reduction is also a surgical technique available for men and women as a hair loss solution that removes scarring and then moves skin on the scalp as a way to cover up any balding. It is often recommended for people who have scalp skin elasticity, a surplus of donor hair, and a hereditary or genetic predisposition to hair loss. It is not a viable solution for anyone who has bald spots, even minute in nature, or temporary hair loss because of symptomatic responses.

It’s important to try Bosley hair products and learn more about treatments to find the one that best suits your needs. We also highly advise practicing early hair care and styling intervention.

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