Thinning hair and hair loss can be a real issue for many women. Learn more about the causes and the options you have for treating it:
Do you have thinning hair?
Women make up 40% of the population seeing hair loss or thinning hair. It usually becomes noticeable at the top of the head (instead of the front hairline for men). You may also see your part is wider and your scalp more visible, in addition to more strands than usual on your pillow or brush.
What causes it?
The range of factors that can cause thinning hair or hair loss ranges from genetics, nutrition, hormones, and more.
Certain medical conditions and lifestyles can trigger hair loss in women. One of the most common is androgenic alopecia, which affects about 30 million women in the US and is thought to be caused by genetics and aging. For some, sudden hair loss can be triggered by medication, pregnancy, thyroid disorders, anemia, skin conditions, tight hairstyles, alopecia areata (patches of hair loss on the body), nutrition deficiency, cancer treatments, and extreme stress or trauma. And for some women, there is no specific cause.
Due to the nature of the hair growth cycle, thinning can be delayed by a few weeks or months after the cause. This can make some triggers difficult to pinpoint since you may not see immediate hair loss.
What you can do
Treatment options: For some types of hair loss, once the causal factor has been resolved the hair grows normally again. But have patience – it can take a few months to see a full head of hair again. Other types may require treatment to keep your mane full of life. Consult with a medical professional about which options may be the most effective for you. Here are a few to consider:
- Minoxidil (Rogaine) is a common over-the-counter treatment and may be able to help slow, stop, or reverse hair loss in women. Use continuously because it stops working when you stop using it.
- Some people apply laser devices, which emit laser light to stimulate hair growth and reverse thinning hair.
- In some cases, vitamin B12 may help promote healthy, thicker hair growth.
- A dermatologist may recommend special scalp products to help hair grow thicker.
- One more extreme option is a hair transplant, which can take hair from a donor site and move it to thinning areas on your scalp.
- Some oxygen treatments work to clarify the scalp and promote circulation and thicker hair growth
- Always consult your doctor first and discuss the available options that can be effective for you.
Easy styling ideas to fake thicker-looking hair:
- Apply hair color. Permanent and demi-permanent color can add body and volume to your strands. Plus, a quality product will increase shine, which helps make hair appear fuller.
- Use volumizing products designed to create thicker-looking hair. Try volumizing shampoo and a lightweight root-lifting product. An extra-cleansing shampoo can help clear the scalp and allow follicles to grow thicker hair.
- A multi-layered haircut or face-framing bangs can help hair appear fuller. Getting regular trims can also help prevent thin hair from appearing flat.
- Some products can help increase the diameter of each strand and provide thicker-looking hair.
- Find a hairstylist who specializes in treating thin hair and can recommend products, styling ideas, haircuts, or extensions that will work best for you personally.