Surefire Ways To Stop Thinning Hair
As many as two-thirds of women will experience hair thinning, according to a Harvard Medical School study. So, if you have fine hair already or notice your hair has been thinning as of late , it might be time to make some changes to your routine to prevent breakage and even worse, hair loss. To keep you ahead of the thinning-hair curve, Cosmopolitan.com talked to New York hairstylist Kevin Mancuso, creative director for Nexxus Salon Hair Care, about how to treat, prevent, and plump up skinny strands.
1.Loosen the tension. Constantly pulling on your hair and causing tension on your strands by putting it into tight ponytails, excessively blow-drying it straight with a brush, or wearing extensions without giving you hair a break every few months can permanently damage your hair follicles and actually cause hair loss or traction alopecia . Mancuso advises his clients with thinning hair to choose looser styles rather than tight updos all the time and to opt for a brushless blow-dry first before styling, both of which give hair a break from styling practices that can thin strands out even more.
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How To Identify Stress
Telogen effluvium usually causes diffuse thinning, a type of hair loss that affects your entire scalp. If you have telogen effluvium, your hair will normally look thinner and less dense than normal, especially under bright light.
Normally, telogen effluvium doesnt cause a receding hairline, crown hair loss or other common symptoms of androgenetic alopecia . It also usually doesnt cause patches of hair loss, which are a common symptom of alopecia areata .
Its normal to lose between 50 and 100 hairs every day. Diagnosis of telogen effluvium is usually made if you shed more than 100 hairs daily, or if you dont quickly regrow the hairs you lose as a result of stress-induced hair loss.
Stress-induced hair loss can usually be identified by looking at the hairs you lose. Since the hair loss from telogen effluvium occurs during the telogen phase, many of the hairs you lose should have a small, white bulb at the root.
If youre worried that you might have telogen effluvium, the best option is to schedule a meeting with your healthcare provider. Theyll be able to identify and diagnose the type of hair loss youre experiencing, making it easier to choose an effective treatment.
What Are The Cycles Of Hair Growth
Hair goes through three cycles:
- The anagen phase can last from two years to eight years. This phase generally refers to about 85% to 90% of the hair on your head.
- The catagen phase is the time that hair follicles shrink and takes about two to three weeks.
- The telogen phase takes about two to four months. At the end of this phase, the hair falls out.
Your shorter hairs like eyelashes, arm and leg hair and eyebrows have a short anagen phase about one month. Your scalp hair can last up to six years or even longer.
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What Causes Hair Loss After Surgery
In a typical hair cycle, your follicles go through a growth process that lasts for a few years at a time. Hair follicles dont continuously produce new hairs they cycle through resting phases known as telogens.
According to the American Hair Loss Association, its estimated that 10 to 20 percent of your hair follicles are in a telogen state at any given time.
If the proportion of telogen hairs is greater than 20 percent, its an indication of telogen effluvium, one of the most common forms of hair loss.
Surgery can sometimes put your hair follicles in a longer resting state than normal. Rather than large bald spots associated with alopecia areata, youre more likely to see progressively thinner hair as a result of TE.
Surgery may cause TE-related hair loss in the following ways:
How To Get Growing Again
Luckily, anxiety-induced hair loss is reversibleand you can start by dialing up your self-care, says Dr. Sood.
Dr. Sood says mindfulness is also an important stress buster, and you can start by asking yourself a few simple questions: The first step is to ask yourself, Why is this situation stressful? Is it because you’re overcommitted, feeling you have no control, or can’t find any positive meaning in it? he says. Can you delegate, seek help, simplify, prioritize, better manage time and responsibilities, and connect with others? Or can you choose to accept this situation, acknowledging you’re blessed in so many other ways?
Anxiety-induced hair loss is reversibleand you can start by dialing up your self-care.
You can also help your body find balance through supplementation. Dr. Kogan recommends two Ayurvedic herbs, neem and brahmi. Another MD-approved supplement that addresses stress is Nutrafol, which incorporates soothing turmeric and ashwagandha. Dr. Kogans also a fan of bhringraj oil for hair loss, which she has clients apply topically to their hairline and temples twice daily.
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What Are The Common Causes Of Hair Loss In Women
What causes hair loss?
- Hair style: Your style of hair can cause hair loss when your hair is arranged in ways that pull on your roots, like tight ponytails, braids, or corn rows. This type of hair loss is called traction alopecia. If hair follicles are damaged, the loss can be permanent.
- Vitamin deficiency.
- Over processed scalp hair .
What causes anagen effluvium hair loss?
- Toxic substances, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy and some medications. These cause sudden hair loss that can occur anywhere on your body. It happens to hair in the growth stage. Sometimes, this type of hair loss can be permanent if your hair follicles are damaged.
What causes telogen effluvium hair loss?
- Extreme physical stress or shock to your body: This causes temporary hair loss. This category includes events like losing a lot of weight, surgery, anemia, illness and having a baby.
- Extreme emotional stress: mental illness, the death of a loved one, etc.
- An abnormal thyroid.
- Medications and supplements: blood pressure medicines, gout medicines and high doses of Vitamin A.
- Hormone changes caused by pregnancy, menopause or birth control pills.
What causes FPHL ?
- Genes: Your familys genes can cause thinning of hair along the top of your head.
- Aging: Hormone changes as you age can cause balding.
- Menopause: This type of hair loss often gets worse when estrogen is lost during menopause.
There are also some conditions that affect hair loss:
Stress And Hair Loss: The Basics
Contrary to popular belief, stress is not linked to male pattern baldness the form of hair loss that causes you to permanently lose hair around your hairline, temples and the crown of your scalp.
However, stress can trigger and potentially worsen a form of temporary hair loss called telogen effluvium.
Telogen effluvium affects your hair by interrupting the natural hair growth cycle.
Normally, there are four different growth phases during the hair cycle as it grows from below the skin to its full length, then falls out to be replaced by a new hair:
The first phase is the anagen phase, during which the hair grows to its full length.
The second phase is the catagen phase, during which the old, fully grown hair follicle detaches from the skin.
The third phase is the telogen phase, also known as the resting phase, during which a new hair starts to grow from the follicle to replace the old one.
The fourth phase is the exogen phase, during which the old hair falls out, with the new hair growing in its place.
Just like your skin and nails, your hair is constantly undergoing this growth cycle. Weve covered each phase of the hair growth cycle in more detail in our guide to the hair growth process.
Each phase of the hair growth cycle varies in length. Hairs usually stay in the anagen phase for up to six years during which they grow to their full length.
About 90 percent of your hairs are in the anagen phase at any time, meaning that most of your hair is constantly growing.
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When To See A Doctor For Thinning Hair
Although its common to lose hair throughout the day, its a good idea to speak with your doctor if youre losing more than 100 hairs per day.
You should also talk with your doctor if youre worried about persistent hair loss or a receding hairline, or if you notice sudden patchy hair loss. Patches of hair loss could signify an underlying medical condition.
Why Does It Happen
Sudden hair loss usually occurs in the 2-3 months following a specific event.The triggering event may be:- Seasonal changes- Surgery or illness- Some drug treatmentsAll will have an impact at cellular level. The resting phase of the hair will begin before the end of the growth phase. This hair loss is very dramatic. It can naturally decrease after a few weeks/months, but without treatment it may last longer.
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How To Stop Hair Falling Out And Thinning From Stress
Its really not the nicest experience to end up with handfuls of hair whenever you brush it. In fact, it can be downright alarming! The thing is, losing 100-150 strands of hair per day is completely normal, but there are some women and men out there losing far more and that is where the worry starts. This is known as stress hair loss, and its a problem. Stress can cause hair loss as it can affect other areas of the body, too, but the good thing is that there are plenty of things that you can do to prevent and treat stress hair loss.
Stress causes hair thinning for both men and women, and thinning due to stress happens to a lot of people. It can begin feeling like your hair just isnt as thick as it once was. When life is full of stress and pressure, your body reacts to it, affecting the hair follicles. This causes them to fall out far more than is normal.
Stress hair loss is not permanent and once you relax, your hair will stop falling out and your hair can restart its natural cycle. There are treatments out there including Finasteride that will help to put your hair back to its original healthy fast-track.
How To Prevent Hair Loss Due To Stress
This article was medically reviewed by Sarah Gehrke, RN, MS. Sarah Gehrke is a Registered Nurse and Licensed Massage Therapist in Texas. Sarah has over 10 years of experience teaching and practicing phlebotomy and intravenous therapy using physical, psychological, and emotional support. She received her Massage Therapist License from the Amarillo Massage Therapy Institute in 2008 and a M.S. in Nursing from the University of Phoenix in 2013.There are 15 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 13 testimonials and 86% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 860,616 times.
Sometimes emotional or physical stress can lead to hair loss, which is a serious concern for most people and something they wish to reverse. However, due to the length of the hair growth cycle, people often only begin losing their hair weeks or months after the stressful event has occurred, and the hair loss can continue for several months afterwards. Luckily, hair will usually grow back on its own once the source of stress has been removed, but there are several things you can do to help the process along. By easing your stress and taking good care of your hair, you can reduce the effects of hair loss.
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Stress And Female Hair Loss: What You Need To Know
Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP
Feeling stressed? According to data from the American Psychological Association, Americans are feeling more stressed than ever.
Stress can originate from a variety of sources. A difficult personal life, challenging job or tough financial situation can all cause and worsen stress, lead to symptoms ranging from insomnia and fatigue to headaches, aches, pains and a weakened immune system. Hopefully, you are doing all you can to overcome stress by engaging with essential wellness resources. Managing stress is different for everyone so be patient with yourself as you find what works for you.
Physical stress is one of several factors that can contribute to hair certain types of hair loss. If youre feeling overly stressed, its possible that you might notice your hair starting to fall out and thin, even if youre not genetically prone to female hair loss.
Below, weve explained how stress can affect your hair health, as well as what you can do to treat hair loss from stress. Weve also listed other potential causes of hair loss in women that are easy to mistake for stress-induced hair loss.
Talk With Your Doctor About Hair Loss Concerns Before Surgery
Its also important to discuss the possibility of surgery-related hair loss with your doctor before your operation.
If you expect a long surgery or an intensive care treatment, you may ask about the medical teams plan for head turning schedules to help prevent positional alopecia.
Your doctor can help assess other risk factors for hair loss, and potentially offer an action plan to help minimize it. This may involve the preventive strategies listed above, as well as potential post-surgery treatments.
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Other Hair Loss Factors
There are other factors that can also cause hair loss, including but not limited to:
- Nervous habits
- Pregnancy, childbirth, and birth control pill usage
If your hair is thinning, or youre experiencing baldness and it seems abnormal its a good idea to see your doctor in order to determine the cause.
Also, if youre concerned that stress is the culprit, its always a good idea to cut down on lifestyle stress and find some effective coping techniques for the stress that remains. Specifically, the following resources can help.
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What Can I Do About Traction Alopecia
To protect your hair from traction alopecia and prevent further damage:
- Ask your stylist to create looser braids or dreadlocks.
- If you have braids, remove them after three months.
- If you wear a weave or hair extensions, remove them after eight weeks.
- If you have relaxed or dyed hair, make sure these treatments are applied by a professional. If you still notice breakage or hair shedding, avoid chemical treatments completely.
- Minimize heat styling, including hair dryers, flat irons and curling irons. These wear out the hair and can lead to major hair loss.
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What Are The Telltale Signs Of Hair Shedding And Hair Loss That You Notice On Clients
JW: If Im shampooing and I find a few excess hairs in the sink, or if I see the client losing hair while Im combing their hair before the cut, Ill ask a few questions to find out if theyve noticed hair shedding and, if so, how long its been going on. Seasonal shedding is very common. That said, its tricky, because hair loss can of course start with shedding and move into telogen effluvium if not diagnosed and treated in time. Its all about a conversation.
Habits And Lifestyle Changes
Changing your lifestyle and habits can often help to reduce stress. If you often feel stressed, try using the techniques below to limit your exposure to sources of stress and manage stress when you experience it:
If your hair loss is caused by chronic stress, understanding and coping with the stress in healthier ways may help you to regrow some or all of the hair that youve lost.
This is something that youll need to discuss with your healthcare provider.
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Solution: Control The Heat
“I highly recommend everyone uses heated hair tools that have a temperature gauge, so you can lower it,” says the hair stylist Neil Moodie. “This will cause less stress to the hair shaft.” Ghds Helios Hairdryer and Dyson’s Supersonic are two great examples, while avoiding going over the same section of hair with a temperature-controlled pair of straighteners or curling iron can help minimise the damage too. You should also double the protection by using a heat defence spray and towel dry your hair gently but thoroughly before picking up your tools to minimise the time spent using them.
Causes And Risk Factors For Thinning Hair
As your hair continues to thin, you probably want to ask, or even scream, Why is my hair falling out?! Its a very frustrating and often bewildering occurrence when the hair thins. According to Mayo Clinic, the exact cause of abnormal hair loss is not completely clear, but typically its related to one or more of the following:
- Physical or emotional shock
- Excessive hair styling and/or hair treatments
The No. 1 reason why both men and women experience excessive hair thinning and hair loss is hereditary. For men, its a more well-known phenomenon called male-pattern baldness, but women can also exhibit female-pattern baldness. Both of these predictable, gradual hair loss patterns are linked with a family history of hair loss. For men, it can start as early as puberty. In addition to thinning hair, men may also notice their hair becoming shorter, softer and finer.
2. Hormonal Imbalances
Hormone imbalances and changes can contribute to thinning hair. Some hormone changes are temporary, like with pregnancy or menopause, and hair thinning or loss resulting from these temporary changes should be temporary as well. However, if you have an ongoing imbalance of hormones, you may have a thyroid problem that needs to be corrected.
3. Thyroid Problems and Other Medical Conditions
Many different types of medicines may contribute to hair thinning, including some of the following types of medications:
- Acne medications
- Thyroid medications
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