What are the reasons for hair thinning in women?

About Dr Jaspreet Sarna
Dr. Sarna is an MD (Skin & VD) and Gold Medalist from Baroda Medical College. She has a decade long experience in treating hair loss and working on hair regrowth. She believes stress management is the key to good health.
Read and find out more about the reasons why women experience hair thinning problems. Learn more about how you can maintain the thickness of your hair and all about the right diet and hair care techniques to ensure its health.
What are the reasons for hair thinning in women?

It is estimated that about 50% of women experience significant hair loss. However thinning hair in women is usually about minor to moderate hair loss. It does not usually cause baldness but thinner sections developing on the scalp. This could happen due to a variety of reasons including pregnancy related issues and thyroid disorders. Other reasons could be diet-oriented problems, skin conditions and autoimmune diseases.

Thinning hair is also different from hair loss though hair thinning issues can finally lead to more serious hair loss. Though the loss of hair is depressing for either sex, it is more difficult for women to handle the problem, as it is less socially acceptable for them. 

When they get older, hair thinning in women normally takes the form of hair partings becoming wider. It usually involves 3 different types. In the first type there is usually some amount of thinning around the part. In the second type there is widening around the part and the thinning increases. In the 3rd type there is thinning all over with a small area on the top through which the scalp is visible. This is the typical female hair loss pattern. Hair thinning on the crown in females is one of the more embarrassing issues for them. At times they might suffer from some serious issues like frontal alopecia which leads to hair loss and scarring in front of the head in females.

Factors Responsible for Thinning Hair in Women

Thinning hair in women could be the result of various factors including genetics and lifestyle or a combination of both. This normally happens when you lose in excess of 100 hairs a day. This can happen due to any of the following reasons:

  • Stress: Stress is one of the most important reasons for hair loss. The stress can release hormones which curb the growth of new hair from the hair follicles.
  • Diet: it could also be the result of not getting too much minerals, iron or other essential ingredients in your diet.
  • Too many hair products: Use of too many hair products could cause damage to your hair because of the presence of chemicals which might clog your pores.
  • Excess styling of hair: Use of curlers, perms and other types of heat styling tools could also cause permanent damage to your hair.
  • Tying your hair tightly: Wearing your hair tightly by tying those ponytails and buns against the natural fall of your hair might damage the follicles and create patches in time. 

Apart from these reasons women could also experience hair thinning issues if they

  • have recently delivered a baby
  • have immune deficiencies
  • are going through hormonal problems
  • have developed any skin infection
  • have stopped birth control pills
  • have lost a lot of weight
  • have eating disorders.

Is Your Diet to Blame for Thinning Hair?

A badly managed diet or incorrect food habits can lead to hair thinning problems. Crash diets also disturb the cycle of growth and that is why it leads to hair issues. You need to incorporate good levels of protein, zinc, iron, selenium and essential fatty acids to create strong hair. You have to ensure that your hair gets the appropriate dose of proper nutrients to nourish the hair. 

Importance of Proper Nutrition for Hair Growth

Research has indicated that the inclusion of certain nutritious foods have the potential to increase the strength of your strands and reduce hair fall. Let us look at some of them:

  • Eggs: Eggs have iron, protein, folate and biotin. This helps in enhancing the presence of keratin, which is the main ingredient in your hair. Since follicles are made essentially of protein, a lack of protein in the diet can lead to hair loss. Consumption of egg yolk could help enhance hair growth. 
  • Carrots: The beta-carotene in carrots is converted to vitamin A which is excellent for hair and skin. It improves the softness and adds shine to your hair. Apart from that, it also contains B vitamins which are good for hair growth and contributes to stronger roots. Carrots are also believed to augment blood circulation and curb the growth of grey hair. Drinking carrot juice on a regular basis can lead to healthier hair. Sweet potatoes and spinach also have good beta-carotene content. 
  • Salmon: Salmon is a great source of vitamin D, the lack of which is believed to lead to hair loss. The vitamin nourishes the hair follicles and promotes better hair growth. Salmon also contains omega-3 fatty acids which help build the cell walls; its diminishing levels can lead to dry skin and brittle hair. It could also cause dandruff and an itchy scalp. They lubricate the hair follicles to add to the elasticity of your strands. However, do not take vitamin D supplements without medical supervision as they could lead to constipation and nausea among other things. 
  • Avocados: The minerals like magnesium and potassium present in avocado help in sealing the cuticle to keep hair silky smooth and prevent your strands from breaking. They also have good vitamin B12 and E content which help augment the quality of your hair. Avocados could also be applied topically to hair to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin which help condition your hair.
  • Oysters: Zinc is one of the most vital ingredients in the repair and growth of hair tissue. It is also very important in keeping the oil glands located near the hair follicles in proper working condition. Oyster has one of the highest zinc content and this helps in minimising hair loss. However, when it comes to the intake of supplements take medical supervision to ensure that the levels do not exceed appropriate limits. 

Can Hair Products Really Make Your Hair Thicker?

You cannot change the essential quality of your hair but there are certain steps to make sure that your hair appears thicker. You can also use different ingredients to add to the strength of your hair. Let’s find out about more tips to get thicker hair and how to increase hair volume. 

  • Aloe vera: The use of aloe vera for your hair may help make it strong and probably increase its thickness too. You could use a number of products that have aloe vera as an ingredient like gels and creams that you could apply to your hair. Use this gel with coconut oil, and let it sit on your hair for half an hour before washing it off.
  • Eggs: Eggs are one of the best remedies to ensure that your hair remains robust and has good elasticity. The protein content helps keep your strands healthy and strong. Beat 2 eggs and apply it to your hair and scalp. Keep it on for 30 minutes before washing it off with warm water and shampoo.
  • Olive oil: Olive oil is rich in omega 3 acids and is an excellent way to improve the thickness of your hair. It eliminates scalp dryness and helps soften your strands. Massage olive oil heated to body temperature to your scalp and hair, let it stay for 45 minutes before washing it off with mild shampoo and water. 
  • Orange puree: Oranges have vitamin C, acids and pectin which add to the shine and bounce of your hair and make it look thicker. The acid also helps clear the follicles of dirt and residue which helps the nutrients reach the hair to expedite growth and hair quality. 

Hair Expert Tips to Manage Thin Hair

Thinning hair in women is one of the very common problems. There are a number of simple things that you can do to keep your hair thinning problems at bay.

  • Do wash and condition your hair on a regular basis, take care not to overdo it. Also try to rub the shampoo gently into your scalp instead of your hair. 
  • After using a shampoo and conditioner use a leave-in conditioner before styling it. This will provide moisture to your hair and offer protection from heat styling. 
  • After shampooing your hair air dry it gently, using a serum before doing it helps.
  • Do not tie your hair too tightly as they put a lot of pressure on your hair follicles and could damage them permanently.
  • Bleach and colour your hair very rarely. Try to use natural products instead of products loaded with chemicals. 

FAQ's

  • What are the reasons for thinning hair in women?

There are  a number of reasons that could trigger hair thinning issues in females including pregnancy, anaemia and thyroid issues.  Diet issues, immune deficiencies, sudden and drastic weight loss, and immune problems are some of the other problems responsible for thinning hair in women. 

  • Can you grow your hair back after thinning?

Hair can grow back but there are times when you might have to seek professional help. If genetic factors are responsible for your thinning hair issues it will definitely not grow back on its own and you will have to seek expert medical opinion.

  • What precautions can I take to stop hair from thinning ?

There are quite a few steps that you take to avoid aggravating the problem of hair thinning including

  • Minimal use of heat styling tools
  • Avoiding tying up your hair in a tight manner that pulls your hair follicles
  • Use mild shampoos for your hair
  • Use a softer brush to comb your hair
  • Incorporate proteins, minerals and other essential ingredients for a healthy diet
  • Use as few chemical-based hair care products on your hair as possible

Though hair thinning might not cause baldness it could nevertheless deteriorate to such an extent so as to affect your looks and confidence. It is therefore advisable to take those precautions and arrest this problem before it becomes a major problem and you frantically start looking for ways on how to regrow thinning hair. For thinning hair in women and more such hair issues do visit us at Traya and learn more from our experts about how to take excellent care of your hair.

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