If you’re one of those women who believe thinning hair is a guy problem, you’re sadly mistaken. In fact, about 40 percent of people who experience thinning hair are female. So before you automatically assume your hubby’s to blame for the wad of hair clogging the shower drain, check out these 5 lesser-known causes of thinning hair, and what you can do to combat them.
1. Telogen effluvium. If that sounds foreign to you, you’re not alone. However, while researching this topic, I discovered that this largely unfamiliar scalp disorder is the second most common form of hair loss. Telogen effluvium occurs when extreme stress results in an alteration of the normal hair cycle. Stress can be physical or emotional, such as stress caused by surgery, childbirth, dieting, an eating disorder, death, or emotional disorders. It’s important to note that women who experience Telogen effluvium don’t actually lose all their scalp hair, it just becomes noticeably thin. Fortunately, thinning caused by this disorder is only temporary. Hair follicles will return to normal when you stop stressing. Women going through menopause may also experience this type of hair thinning because of fluctuations in their hormone levels.
2. Anemia. If you’ve been feeling cold, tired, and weak, it’s a good chance that your thinning hair may be caused by anemia. Anemia is a condition in which your body has a lower than normal number of healthy red blood cells. Pregnant women, women with poor diets, and women who experience heavy periods are often at risk of developing anemia. The best way to reverse thinning caused by anemia is to increase your iron intake. You can do so by taking a complete iron supplement, or eating more iron-rich foods, such as green leafy vegetables, beans, clams, liver, nuts, and lean beef.
3. Protein. Iron deficiency isn’t the only possible culprit causing thinning hair, protein deficiency plays a part as well. A lack of protein means your body doesn’t have the proper nutrients it needs for your hair follicles to grow the way they normally do, which causes them to begin “resting”. Think of your hair follicles as your body before it gets its morning coffee. You have to give your follicles what they need to get them out of the “resting” phase. Keep in mind, the average woman needs over 40 grams of protein every day. You can get protein from meat, fish, beans, nuts, cheese, milk, and eggs.
4. Scalp Conditions. I’ll admit, of all the problems I thought dandruff, psoriasis, and eczema could cause, hair loss and thinning weren’t on the list. But apparently, these scalp conditions often lead to inflammation, which also prevent hair follicles from functioning properly. The best way to deal with these scalp conditions is to use hair products specifically designed to treat them. That includes using dandruff shampoo, and conditioners and hair oils containing peppermint, tea tree, or rosemary essential oils. A highly recommended pick is the Volumizing Keratin Conditioner by Keranique.
With all of that said, please keep in mind that the number one cause of hair loss and thinning in women, is the hereditary condition known as female-pattern baldness. If your grandmother, mother, and her sisters, have all suffered from thinning hair, it’s a great indication that you’re also going to have problems. Although there isn’t much you can do about heredity, knowing how much hair they lost, and when they lost it, gives you a chance to prepare yourself. Once you know what you have to look forward to, you can decide if you want to invest in hair restoration surgery, or stock up on a few cute wigs.