5 Steps To Identify Thinning Hair
Are you parting with more hair strands than usual when you comb your hair? Or have you noticed what appears to be a bald spot?
You’re probably dealing with thinning hair.
Hair loss doesn’t happen in a vacuum but most of us don’t realize we have a problem until it’s too late. Because a flowing, lustrous mane is seen as a sign of virility, vigor, and youth by industry beauty standards, seeing thinning hair can wreck our mental health by making us feel isolated and destroying our self-confidence.
The key to avoiding all this? Early detection.
The best way to identify thinning hair is by keeping an eye out for these warning signs:
1. Widening of the Part
This is one of the most common signs of hair loss. It usually occurs as people grow older. Typically, it will manifest as hair loss in the frontal margin, giving the appearance of a widening part of the hair. In this condition, the hair follicles that are spread across your scalp are either in the prolonged resting phase of the hair cycle or are no longer active.
This condition can be caused by a host of health issues and can be difficult to manage. So, seek help as soon as you start noticing shedding. Your trichologist will examine the underlying cause to evaluate whether or not your hair will regrow, and will work with you to develop an effective treatment plan.
2. You’re Noticing Hair Falling Out
If you’ve started noticing more hair on your pillow, in the shower drain, or on your brush, or have to increase how many times your hair tie loops around your ponytail, you may be experiencing excessive hair shedding.
Hair thinning is easy to overlook because we lose 50-100 strands per day. This is a direct result of the telogen and exogen phases of hair growth where hair is shed from the scalp and is often speeded up by brushing and washing hair. This condition is known as “telogen effluvium.” Though it doesn’t affect the size or diameter of your hair follicles, it can cause more hair strands to enter the resting and shedding phase of the hair cycle.
Unless you have medical or genetic-induced hair loss, you’ll most likely regain most of your hair once the root cause is identified and addressed. This is because new hair strands form in the follicles where the old hair once was.
3. Seeing More Skin on the Scalp When Hair Is Pulled Back
If you’ve started seeing more skin on your scalp and/or forehead when you style your hair, your hairline is likely beginning to recede. This can be a sign of male or female pattern baldness, which affects over 50 million men and 30 million women in the United States alone.
While receding hairlines in men commonly begin at the temple, it typically deteriorates over time. It leaves them with more hair on the sides than in the center, giving their hair an M-shaped appearance. It can also manifest as a bald spot on the back of your head.
While there is no known cure for androgenetic alopecia, or male or female pattern hair loss, early treatment can help slow it down, allowing you to keep your hair for longer.
4. Hair Looks Flat (Reduced Hair Volume)
One of the most common types of hair loss in women is a gradual yet progressive drop in hair volume. This is characterized by hair follicles becoming smaller and hair strands becoming finer in diameter with each passing hair growth cycle.
It is often associated with genetic conditions that predispose follicles to become sensitive to normal levels of male hormones. When this happens, you’ll notice that your hair looks flat and doesn’t hold a style as effectively as it once did.
If this is the reason for your hair loss, complete regrowth of lost hair strands is unlikely as it all depends on your follicle sensitivity. So, seek help as soon as possible.
5. Losing Hair in Round Patches
Alopecia areata, a kind of autoimmune hair loss that causes hair loss in oval or circular patches, affects about 2% of the general population at some point in their lives. It usually affects people between the ages of 25 and 36 and has been found to affect the eyebrows, beard, and other body hair.
Since alopecia areata is a non-scarring form of hair loss, it’s usually temporary. Your hair will regrow and fill in the bald spots because the hair follicles are still alive. Keep in mind, however, that genetic factors and autoimmune disorders might affect the effectiveness of treatment, which consists of a scalp injection every four to six weeks and can take up to six months before showing the desired results.
If you notice one or more of these symptoms, see a trichologist. A trichologist will examine your medical history to rule out or identify medical and genetic causes of hair loss. They’ll also take a look at other factors like your lifestyle, diet, and hair care before prescribing a treatment plan to promote hair regrowth while increasing hair thickness, strength, and health.