Though hair thinning is not as serious as hair loss still, it is considered as an early stage of hair loss. Furthermore, studies have shown that it is normal to lose almost 100-150 strands of hair per day. These hairs are usually in the resting phase of the hair growth cycle.
Coming to loss of hair, this condition can be caused by a number of reasons such as genetic predisposition, medical disorders, chronic stress, lifestyle factors, etc. Some such factors are discussed below.
Excessive stress, whether physical or emotional, is often linked with hair loss. In fact, it is likely to cause alopecia areata and telogen effluvium.
It is believed that a stress-related neurochemical encourages hair thinning by prolonging the resting phase (telogen) of hair cycle.
Furthermore, at times, individuals tend to pull out the hair from their scalp or other areas of the body when they are stressed. More often than not, loss of hair triggered by stress is not permanent.
Cigarette smoke is injurious to health, including hair as it contains about 4,000 toxic and harmful chemicals.
Plus, it constricts the blood vessels and hence, restricts the supply of blood to the scalp and hair follicles, thereby contributing in hair loss. As the smoke contains carbon monoxide, it reduces the oxygen-carrying capacity in the blood.
In addition, researchers have found that cigarette smoking tends to damage the DNA of the hair follicle and is associated with moderate and severe male pattern baldness. Moreover, it accelerates the process of ageing and causes premature graying of hair.
Malnutrition, particularly in the form of vitamin B, vitamin C, iron, and zinc deficiency promotes loss of hair. Crash dieting, too, is associated with hair thinning due to lack of nutrition, especially protein.
Basically, a diet rich in iron and protein is considered good for your hair. Besides, consumption of healthy foods that are also rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals facilitates healthy hair growth.
Hormonal imbalance such as high levels of testosterone, estrogens, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and low levels of progesterone may contribute in hair loss.
Furthermore, some women may suffer from postpartum alopecia due to sudden changes in hormone levels after giving birth to a baby. In addition, autoimmune disorders and hereditary factors play an important role in causing pattern baldness.
Poor Hair Care
Frequent use of hair styling products and procedures like straightening, perming, bleaching, etc. can damage your hair, thereby paving the way for hair breakage and thinning. Heating tools, in particular, are harmful for hair.
If you cannot avoid heat treatment, consider applying a small amount of pure argan oil on damp hair, especially the ends as it works as a heat protectant. Factors like washing your hair too often and excessive brushing or combing, however, do not cause hair loss.
Harsh climate, prolonged sun exposure, desalinated water, and environmental pollution are also associated with hair thinning and hair loss.
Furthermore, thinning hair can be a normal part of ageing because hair follicles receive less nourishment with increasing age.
Reactions to certain medications like birth control pills, beta blockers, ACE inhibitors, anabolic steroids, hormone replacement therapy, acne medication containing vitamin A (retinol), anticonvulsants, antidepressants, non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, blood thinners, medicines administered during chemotherapy, and so on can also result in hair thinning and temporary hair loss (telogen effluvium and anagen effluvium).
Besides health conditions like iron-deficiency anemia, renal dialysis, thyroid disease, severe infection, and chronic illness may cause the same. Itchy scalp resulting from ringworm of the scalp or seborrheic dermatitis, too, may lead to mild hair loss.
Thus, when experiencing hair thinning and loss of hair try to identify the reasons that could be promoting the problem and get medical help.
Most cases of hair loss do not actually lead to baldness, but they may cause diffuse hair shedding if not treated in time.