Hair loss is totally a thing that happens. But if you are noticing a worrisome trend and obsessing about the question, "Why is my hair falling out?" there might be more at hand than overzealous hair brushing. Maybe you think of hair loss and you automatically envision yourself as Bruce Willis or have daymares of wearing a cheap wig for the remainder of your days. Don't freak out.
Shedding hair is totally a normal part of the human condition for both men and women. According to the Mayo Clinic, on average, people lose 50-100 individual hairs a day. Yes, those straggly ends that get caught in your brush or you see on the bathroom countertop can be normal. So, if you're somewhere around this ballpark number, stop stressing out — you're OK.
But if you feel there might be a legit medical reason behind the fallout, it's always good to be informed. There may be a health factor that is the catalyst for your hair loss that needs to be addressed. Or maybe something so simple as a lifestyle change will help. Whatever's afoot, if it seems like lately the shower drain is filling with hair — or your hairbrush has collected an uncomfortable amount of escapees — I have some answers for you.
Sometimes hair loss is due to genetics. WebMD recommends looking to your family tree for answers. If your mother, aunts, or grandmothers have thinning hair or patchy spots, it may crop up for you.
Proper nutrition can be an easy fix. Time Magazine reports that low levels of iron, zinc, vitamin B, and vitamin D may be contributing factors in hair loss. Conversely, too much vitamin A can cause loss — so notice if you're overdosing on vitamin A gummy bears and chill out and your locks will thicken back up. Otherwise, eat lots of leafy greens, make sure to get enough protein (seriously, your hair needs it) take supplements if necessary, and try hacks for eating healthy.
Major stress is a trigger for hair loss. A traumatic event, a bad car accident, a surgery, a major illness — sometimes even a super harsh flu can be the culprit. Health Magazine reports that hair loss due to a really stressful event usually isn't noticeable until three-to-six months later. If you're experiencing hair loss now, look back at your recent past for possible causes. With this type of hair loss–telogen effluvium—your hair regrowth will occur as your body recovers.
Hormonal changes can also lead to hair loss. Pregnancy does a major number on your hormones and can impact hair loss, the same goes for giving birth. Menopausal hormone changes can also lead to thinning hair. Be aware that hair loss can sometimes be a sign of thyroid problems. If you notice accompanying fatigue and/or weight gain with your diminishing hair, definitely check in with your doctor.
Good & Bad Medicine
Scalp infections can lead to thinning hair. Totally no fun to think about your scalp having an infection, but a great instance of when to see a doctor and get some good medicine going on your noggin. Bad medicine is when your medications lead to hair loss. Two common culprits are depression meds and birth control. Be sure to talk to your doctor about your concerns.
When To Seek A Doctor
(Rogaine Women's Hair Regrowth Treatment Topical Solution 4oz, $50, www.womensrogaine.com)
If you have female pattern baldness, there is a solution. For women, the thinning takes place on the top and crown of the head. Rarely do women experience all over hair loss. The trick with female pattern baldness is to treat it at the onset. If too much time passes, the thinning becomes permanent. The FDA has approved the use of a cream called minoxidil (Rogaine) to halt the thinning. Or, if you're kind of stoked on how it looks, more power to you. There's nothing harmful about this condition. And who says a lady can't rock a combover?
In all this, be sweet to your head. Use gentle hairbrushes for thinning hair. Don't stress too much—cause that actually aggravates the problem. Try simple meditation techniques if you think relaxing during hair loss seems impossible. Talk to your doctor if you're concerned and remember you're gorgeous.