Help, My Hair is Thinning! What Should I Do?
It can be a jarring moment that can quickly become an ongoing and serious concern. You start to notice an unusual amount of hair in your shower drain, or on your pillow, or on your hairbrush. Then the same thing happens the next day, and the day after that, and the day after that. You look in the mirror and see the impact in areas of your scalp that have less hair than they used to. You know that it’s normal to lose about 50-100 hairs each day, but this is clearly more than that.
Your hair is thinning, suddenly, and for reasons you can’t figure out. You want to know why this is happening and what you can do about it, starting right now. Instead of wallowing in worry and self-pity, starting taking action to address your hair loss; one way or another, there are almost always things that you and a hair restoration physician can do to fix the problem or at least slow down your hair loss.
Consider taking some or all of these steps after you discover that your hair is thinning:
- Schedule an evaluation with a hair restoration physician. You can’t fix a problem without first knowing what the problem is. Hair loss can occur for several different reasons, such as genetics, hormone imbalances, diet deficiencies, reactions to medications, or autoimmune conditions. Understanding the why behind your thinning hair is the first step in determining how to remedy the situation. Only a professional can get you the definitive answers you need.
- Stop smoking. Smoking limits blood flow in your body and reduces the amount of essential nutrients that go to your hair follicles. Without a sufficient supply of those nutrients, your follicles will grow weak instead of just growing and will ultimately fall out.
- Get enough sleep. Getting sufficient rest sleep is critical for our health overall, as we expend enormous amounts of energy each day and our bodies need the time to recharge so they can function like they are supposed to. A lack of quality sleep prevents our bodies from repairing and regenerating hair follicles. This causes hair to stop growing, weaken, and eventually fall out more than it otherwise would. Even hair that doesn’t fall out will noticeably suffer, losing volume and shine.
- Manage your stress. Overproduction of stress hormones contributes to adrenal fatigue, which occurs when the body produces too much cortisol. This excessive production of cortisol leads to a corresponding underproduction of hormones like androgens and aldosterone. Since we need these hormones for healthy hair growth, an insufficient supply will cause thinning or balding hair. Find methods to alleviate day-to-day stress that work best for you.
- Stop wearing destructive hairstyles. Some hair loss issues are caused by the way we style, treat, and wear our hair. Tight ponytails, braids, or pigtails can lead to a condition called traction alopecia. Constant and severe tension on hair follicles because of such hairstyles will damage and weaken those follicles and eventually kill them, causing them to fall out. Avoid these styling habits and avoid hairstyles that require hair to be tightly wound for a prolonged period or hairpieces and weaves that must be affixed or clipped to the hair.
- Get more vitamin D. Research suggests that vitamin D, along with the receptors in the skin that bind to the nutrient, plays a significant role in promoting healthy follicles and hair growth. In contrast, a lack of the vitamin may lead directly to hair loss. A 2014 study published in Molecular Endocrinology found that hair regrew in mice two weeks after introducing vitamin D receptors. Other studies also have made the connection between hair loss and vitamin D.
- Increase your iron intake. As with vitamin D, an insufficient amount of iron is one of the more common causes of dietary-related hair loss. Low iron levels limit proper blood flow – something hair follicles need to receive and absorb growth-stimulating nutrients.
- Use conditioner. If you don’t regularly use conditioner, your hair can become dehydrated, brittle, and damaged. Try incorporating a lightweight conditioner into your hair care routine to help moisturize your hair and keep it strong.
Schedule an Appointment for a Hair Loss Evaluation Today
As noted, the first thing you should do after noticing thinning hair is to reach out to a physician who can help you determine the cause and develop the solution for your condition. At the Hair Institute of Miami, we evaluate each hair loss patient with a comprehensive and proven methodology, obtaining a detailed medical history, performing an in-depth scalp examination using state-of-the-art diagnostic tools and, if indicated, blood tests to detect any underlying imbalances or deficiencies that may be contributing to the hair loss problem. With this information, we can determine the cause of hair loss and the most effective treatment option.
To schedule your personalized hair loss evaluation, contact us online or call our office directly at 305-925-0222.