As we age, hair changes are not uncommon. Many people tend to lose volume and thickness, and others deal with thinning hair. Thinning hair can be linked to diet, nutrient deficiencies, and genetics. In most cases, something can be done to improve hair that is not as thick as it once was.
The sooner you spot the problem and start a treatment program, the better your chances to stop hair from thinning. Let’s take a look at the causes of thinning hair, as well as some of the treatments that are available.
Causes of Thinning Hair
There are many factors associated with thinning hair. These can include hormonal changes, medications, heredity, scalp infections, and medical conditions.
The average amount of hair loss is 50–100 hairs each day. New hair will then regrow from the same hair follicles. However, if there is significant hair thinning, such as the development of bald patches, it may be a more significant issue. Hair loss may be caused by the following:
Androgenetic alopecia (male and female pattern baldness) is a frequent cause of hair loss. It is caused by both genes and hormones, and it affects an estimated 50 million men and 30 million women in the United States. In males, hair thinning tends to occur from the hairline to the back of the head. In females, it tends to affect the crown of the head.
Alopecia areata is a condition that causes hair loss in round patches on the scalp. It can also affect the eyebrows, beard, and other areas where the hair is present. The good thing about alopecia areata is that the hair follicles are still alive so that hair can regrow. This can be treated with an injection into the scalp every 4–6 weeks for up to 6 months.
Telogen effluvium is when long periods of significant stress cause thinning hair. When stress causes thinning hair, the hair usually returns to its normal volume once the stressful situation begins to pass.
Hair loss can be brought on by malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies. Vitamin D stimulates the hair follicles and results in hair growth, so when a person does not get enough vitamin D, they may experience hair loss.
Whatever the cause, it is critical to get to the root of the problem. Speak with your doctor and determine the cause so the problem can be corrected.
There are some simple and easy steps that you can take to combat thinning hair. Start by switching to hair care products designed to slow hair thinning. DHT-blocking shampoos and conditioners contain ingredients that help reverse hair loss by potentially disrupting the production of DHT, the hormone linked to male pattern baldness.
Avoid certain types of hairstyles, specifically a tight ponytail, which can also cause hair loss. Rubber or elastic bands cause breakage, which will make hair thinner.
Prescription medication is available for thinning hair. The two most common prescription drugs are minoxidil and finasteride. Minoxidil is applied directly to the areas of thinning hair, and finasteride is an oral medication. Both medications are clinically proven to treat male pattern baldness and even reverse hair loss, and they're approved by the FDA.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a hair procedure that has become very popular in the last few years. It works by extracting one's own blood, separating the plasma, then injecting that plasma back into the patient's scalp. Plasma has active growth factors that can stimulate inactive or weakened follicles. This treatment can also be used with finasteride, minoxidil, or both.
If all else fails, it might be time to consider a hair transplant. They have come a long way from the past and now give natural results. A hair transplant works by extracting thicker hairs from the sides and back of the head and placing them in areas of inactive growth to "fill in" the hair.
With thinning hair, early intervention is critical. The longer you wait, the less effective results are. Men who notice early thinning starting at the vertex of their scalp, but who aren't completely bald, have the best chance to slow down loss and even regrow some or all of their hair.
It's also important not to give up on the treatment too quickly. Sticking with it for at least 3-6 months is optimal. It takes time for hair to grow to see changes.
If you’re experiencing thinning hair or hair loss, Nashville Hair Clinic can help you determine the cause. Contact us today or call 615-994-7130 for a comprehensive evaluation.