Thinning hair

My hair is thinning! Expert tips and common hair loss causes

Why is my hair thinning? Find out what's causing your hair to fall out - and what you can do to help it.

Googling “my hair is thinning!”? Hair loss can really hit a person’s confidence, so having all the facts is important not only to know why it’s happening but also what you can do to treat it.

Is there anything you could be doing that could be making your hair thinning worse? And can you really ever reverse it? Below, find the answers to all these hair loss questions and more, including the most common causes of thinning hair in women.

Why is my hair thinning? Causes and expert advice

My hair is thinning: Close-up scalp shot of a brunette with straight hair
Thinking “my hair is thinning”? Find out more. Credit: Verity Jane Smith

What counts as hair thinning?

‘Why is my hair thinning?’ – If this is something you’re asking yourself, know that we all shed hair and that on average “approximately 50 to 150 hairs can fall out daily” says Peter Bailey, Global Technical Manager, Hair Care at Unilever. This is completely normal and not a cause for concern.

Our hair grows in cycles of growth, transitioning, resting and shedding, but most people will regrow new hair at a rate that the shedding won’t be noticeable.

However, if you notice your hair starting to shed really quickly or it’s falling out in clumps, then we’d recommend paying your GP a visit. They may refer you on to a trichologist (someone who specialises in hair and scalp health), who will be able to best advise you.

My hair is thinning: Older woman with long grey hair with soft curls, using a pink backcombing brush
Causes of thinning hair include ageing, as the rate of hair growth slows as we get older. Credit: Verity Jane Smith

Why is my hair thinning? The top causes of thinning hair

Unfortunately, there’s no one definitive answer for what causes thinning hair, as there are a number of different contributing factors that can come into play and it’ll differ from person to person. It may be just one of these things that’s affecting you or it could be a combination of a few.

Ageing – Just like our skin, our hair also goes through changes as we get older. The rate of hair growth slows down over time, meaning less new hairs are growing to replace those that are lost.

Next read: 5 things that happen to your hair as you get older

Hereditary – Genetic factors can play a big part in hair loss, so looking at whether or not your parents suffer from thinning hair can sometimes be a pretty telling indicator! Medical conditions like diabetes are also known to make a person more prone to issues with thinning hair.

Hormonal changes – Major bodily changes such as the menopause and pregnancy can wreak havoc with our hormones, leading to increased hair loss.

Stress – There’s a reason we say we’re losing our hair over a stressful situation! Stress and trauma can have a negative impact on not only our mental health, but also physical health, including our hair.

Diet – Our hair is one of the most visible signs of a poor diet and vitamin deficiencies. Have you read about the 9 foods to eat to get gorgeous locks?

How to stop hair thinning

Now, onto the solutions. Peter offered up some valuable tips on how to treat thinning hair. First up – limit heat as much as possible. “Heat styling (should) be kept at a minimum as it leaves hair dehydrated and prone to damage”, If you are going to use heat though, a heat protectant is a must.

Likewise, “chemical treatments should be avoided i.e colouring, bleaching, straightening, perming.”, so if you’re a slave to your regular full head of highlights, it may be worth cutting back and seeing if your hair improves.

In terms of styling, he says to “avoid or reduce styling hair in tight styles such as braids, twists, buns or (sleek) ponytails” and to “avoid twisting or rubbing hair”, so loose styles that don’t pull on the scalp are the way to go.

Editor’s tip: While you (sadly) can’t get back the hair that you’ve lost, volumising hair products can help to reverse the visible effects and cover up any sparser areas.

A great option for those with fine hair, the TRESemmé Collagen+ Fullness Shampoo and Conditioner are infused with collagen and glycerin to plump up strands and provide instant fullness. The shampoo also contains micellar technology for gentle cleansing, too, so won’t strip your hair of its natural oils.


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