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Thinning Hair Causes & Treatment Solutions

Why your hair keeps falling out? It’s true that men are more likely to lose their hair than women, mostly due to male pattern baldness. But thinning hair and hair loss are also common in women, and no less demoralizing. Reasons can range from the simple and temporary—a vitamin deficiency—to the more complex, like an underlying health condition. Here are main thinning hair causes and treatments.
In many cases, there are ways to treat both male and female hair loss. It all depends on the cause. Here are some common and not-so-common reasons why you might be seeing less hair on your head:
Physical stress
Any kind of physical trauma—surgery, a car accident, or a severe illness, even the flu—can cause temporary hair loss. This can trigger a type of hair loss called telogen effluvium. Hair has a programmed life cycle: a growth phase, rest phase and shedding phase. Hair loss often becomes noticeable three-to-six months after the trauma.
Solution: Try your best to restore physical fitness, for your hair will start growing back as your body recovers.
Pregnancy
Pregnancy is one example of the type of physical stress that can cause hair loss (that and hormones). Pregnancy-related hair loss is seen more commonly after your baby has been delivered rather than actually during pregnancy.
Solution: If you do experience hair loss, rest assured that your hair will grow back in a couple of months. Listen to your doctors’ advice, for It’s a normal thing and it will work its way out.
Vitamin A Overdose
Overdoing vitamin A-containing supplements or medications can trigger hair loss, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. The Daily Value for vitamin A is 5,000 International Units (IU) per day for adults and kids over age 4; supplements can contain 2,500 to 10,000 IU.
Solution: This is a reversible cause of hair loss and once the excess vitamin A is halted, hair should grow normally.
Lack of protein
If you don’t get enough protein in your diet, your body may ration protein by shutting down hair growth, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. This can happen about two to three months after a drop in protein intake, they say.
Solution: There are many great sources of protein, including fish, meat, and eggs. If your are a vegetarian, you can also take in protein from green peas, quinoa, nuts and nut butter, beans, etc.
Male pattern baldness
About two out of three men experience hair loss by age 60, and most of the time it’s due to male pattern baldness. This type of hair loss, caused by a combo of genes and male sex hormones, usually follows a classic pattern in which the hair recedes at the temples, leaving an M-shaped hairline.
Solution: There are topical creams like minoxidil (Rogaine) and oral medications such as finasteride (Propecia) that can halt hair loss or even cause some to grow; surgery to transplant or graft hair is also an option.
Heredity
Female-pattern hair loss, called androgenic or androgenetic alopecia, is basically the female version of male pattern baldness. If you come from a family where women started to have hair loss at a certain age, then you might be more prone to it. Unlike men, women don’t tend to have a receding hairline, instead their part may widen and they may have noticeable thinning of hair.
Solution: Minoxidil (Rogaine) is available over-the-counter and is approved for women with this type of hair loss.
Female hormones
Just as pregnancy hormone changes can cause hair loss, so can switching or going off birth-control pills. This can also cause telogen effluvium, and it may be more likely if you have a family history of hair loss. The change in the hormonal balance that occurs at menopause may also have the same result. The androgen (male hormone) receptors on the scalp becoming activated, the hair follicles will miniaturize and then you start to lose more hair.
Solution: If a new Rx is a problem, switch back or talk to your doctor about other birth control types. Stopping oral contraceptives can also sometimes cause hair loss, but this is temporary. Don’t make your problem worse with hair-damaging beauty regimens.
Emotional stress
Emotional stress is less likely to cause hair loss than physical stress, but it can happen, for instance, in the case of divorce, after the death of a loved one, or while caring for an aging parent. More often, though, emotional stress won’t actually precipitate the hair loss. It will exacerbate a problem that’s already there.
Solution: As with hair loss due to physical stress, this shedding will eventually abate. While it’s not known if reducing stress can help your hair, it can’t hurt either. Take steps to combat stress and anxiety, like getting more exercise, trying talk therapy, or getting more support if you need it.
Anemia
Almost one in 10 women aged 20 through 49 suffers from anemia due to an iron deficiency (the most common type of anemia), which is an easily fixable cause of hair loss. You doctor will have to do a blood test to determine for sure if you have this type of anemia.
Solution: A simple iron supplement should correct the problem. In addition to hair loss, other symptoms of anemia include fatigue, headache, dizziness, pale skin, and cold hands and feet.
Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism is the medical term for having an underactive thyroid gland. This little gland located in your neck produces hormones that are critical to metabolism as well as growth and development and, when it’s not pumping out enough hormones, can contribute to hair loss. Your doctor can do tests to determine the real cause.
Solution: Synthetic thyroid medication will take care of the problem. Once your thyroid levels return to normal, so should your hair.
Thyroid Problems
This butterfly-shaped gland at the front of your neck pumps out chemicals that keep your body humming along. If it makes too much or too little thyroid hormone, your hair growth cycle might take a hit. But thinner locks are rarely the only sign of a thyroid problem. You might lose or gain weight, become sensitive to cold or heat, or notice changes in your heart rate.
Solution: Turn to your doctor immediately to diagnose and treat thyroid disease. And your hair will regrow since you become healthy physically again.