Thinning hair 101: All you need to know about shedding and hair loss in women

All Things Hair | 05 April 2018

How to tackle thinning hair: we reveal the causes of hair loss you may not have heard of before…

Thinning hair can affect many women, especially as we age. If you’re wondering why your locks may appear to be losing volume, or just want to get clued up on what a normal amount of shedding is – you’ve come to the right place.

We’ve compiled some of the most common causes for thinning hair in women to help you understand why this may be happening to you. As well as some key pointers on how to help maintain a healthier-looking mane.


Thinning hair: The basics and beyond

Woman with short blonde thinning hair
Thinning hair? We reveal the causes. Credit:

What causes thinning hair?

First of all, it’s important to understand that shedding is a normal part of life – no matter what hair type, length and texture you have. A normal amount of hair loss is considered to be “approximately 50 to 150 hairs daily,” according to Unilever’s Peter Bailey, Global Technical Manager, Hair Care.

Shedding can be attributed to the natural cycle of hair growth which revolves around four key stages. Anagen (the growing phase), Catagen (the transition phase), Telogen (the resting phase) and Exogen (the shedding phase).

After the shedding stage, the hair follicle goes back into the growing phase, completing the cycle.

When the number of hairs in the Telogen phase increases and the number of hairs in the Anagen stage decreases, this is what leads to thinner-looking hair.

Woman with blonde thinning hair
Thinning hair causes and treatments. Credit:

Why is my hair thinning?

There’s no universal answer to why your hair might appear to be thinning, but these factors may come into play…

Age & genetics

Both your age and genetics can determine how your hair cycle functions and, as such, can affect the Anagen and Exogen phases which will lead to hair loss.

“It’s common that the Anagen (growing) phase in your hair cycle will decrease in length over time, so the hair may become weaker and thinner after each cycle as you get older.”

This process of switching off the hair follicle is done is determined by your individual genetic programming, which means it cannot currently be prevented or slowed down.

Hormonal changes

Our hormones are constantly changing, especially when you’ve gone through a major transformation such as a pregnancy or menopause. The change in hormones in your body after giving birth can lead to changes in your hair cycle but we recommend that you visit a medical professional for a clear diagnosis.

Hair damage

If your hair is shedding or breaking easily, it’s especially important to take extra care of it. How you towel-dry, brush, or style your locks can all make a difference to your overall hair health. So be gentle – blot hair softly with a towel after washing to absorb moisture from your hair without damaging the strands.

TRESemmé Biotin + Repair 7 Intensive Mask

Editor’s tip: You can also try using a treatment mask like the TRESemmé Biotin+ Repair 7 Intensive Mask to to nourish and strengthen hair against breakage.

Short brunette pixie cut hair falling out
Hair loss in women Credit:

Thinning hair hacks, tips and tricks

Don’t stress, help for thinning hair is at hand. ATH rounds up your essential thinning hair solutions and our key product recommendations…

For thin curly hair

Not all curly hair is equal. While most women with wavy locks also boast thicker tresses, having curly hair that’s on the thinner side can be tricky to work with. Follow our top tips on how to style curly hair to see how to create the most defined spirals and add body to your tresses.

For thin fine hair

Having fine hair can be a struggle to style on its own but, coupled with hair loss, it can leave you feeling like you have very little to work with. One easy way to fake a fuller head of hair, in this case, is by opting for a shorter hairstyle. In general, cropped looks like a pixie or bob can be easily lifted at the roots to help the hair appear more voluminous.

For thin long hair

If your hair thinning and you don’t fancy getting a shorter look, we’ve rounded up some of the most flattering hairstyles for long, fine hair. Packed with ideas that will give you plenty of options to work with, our inspo gallery is the perfect place to look for an updated ‘do.

Whatever hair type of length you’re starting with, don’t forget to consult a medical professional if you have any questions at all about why your hair may be thinning.



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