Thinning hair and hair loss affects men and women of all ages. The cause of hair loss is often genetic but can also be triggered by certain life stages. Hair cells reproduce at a faster rate than any other in our bodies, so they are also sensitive to changes in our health or environment. Addressing thinning hair begins with understanding what causes hair loss and contributes to it, and the early warning signs to look out for.
Known Factors and Reasons
Genetics - A common family predisposition involves natural, age-related hormonal changes that can trigger hair loss. This is caused by the conversion of testosterone into the toxin Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and can be inherited from either your mother or your father.
Stress and Trauma - Stress can produce increased levels of testosterone, which converts to DHT and interrupts the hair’s growth cycle. Stress also constricts blood supply through the capillaries, restricting oxygen and nutrient uptake and vitamins to the hair follicle.
Medication - The hair follicle is incredibly sensitive to changes in the body. Any hormone therapy (including birth control) can contribute to hair thinning, as can steroids, specific chemo therapies, and medication for blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and acne.
Health Issues - Several underlying health issues can cause thinning hair and hair loss, including a malfunctioning of the hormone-producing thyroid gland and the natural hormonal changes women experience after pregnancy and during the menopause.
Nutrition and Diet - What you eat can play a significant role in hair thinning. A high consumption of animal fats, rapid weight loss and liquid protein diets can result in a lack of amino acids, biotin, iron, protein and zinc - all of which are essential for healthy-looking hair.
Environmental Factors - Air and water pollutants, chlorine, metals and minerals may be left on the scalp and hair as we wash with water every day, contributing to thinning hair. Pollutants and toxins from within our bodies are also a factor.