5 Signs Your Hair Is Thinning & What To Do About It

Every time I wash my hair and clumps of strands fall out, I admit I get a little worried. Is this a sign my hair is thinning? A certain amount of hair fall on the daily is normal though, so to find out some other signs to look for, I emailed with a few hair experts. Karrie Fonte, AVP of Global Education for éprouvage; Jeanie Syfu, TRESemmé stylist; and Brian Hendricks, VP of Global Education at DS Laboratories not only let me in on some of the indicators that your hair might be thinning but also steps you can take to treat it.

Before learning the signs that your hair could be thinning though, it is important to understand what average hair fall looks like, and what may cause hair loss in the first place. According to Hendricks, people will lose, on average, about 100 to 125 hairs per day. And if you've skipped a shampoo or two? It may appear as though you've lost significantly more hair, but Hendricks explains that this is just hair that was clinging to other hair that finally washed loose. So don't fret if it looks like you've lost way too much hair if you haven't washed it in a couple of days— that increased amount is perfectly normal.

If you're still worried that you shed more than you should though, there are many reasons excess hair fall could be happening. Your genetics and hormones play a big role in how your hair count changes over time, says Hendricks. But that's not all. He adds that hair loss can also be attributed to diet, medications, illness, and even stress. Just keep in mind that it's totally normal for hair to change as you become older, and there's nothing wrong with thinning hair. If you even prefer having less to take care of, embrace it! But if you'd rather your hair didn't have a mind of its own, there are also plenty of things you can do about it. If you think one of these factors could be contributing to your hair fall, here are five signs to look out for, and seven ways to help your thinning hair:

The Signs

1. Bald Patches

If you experience greater than normal hair fall, one sign to look for is concentrated hair loss that makes thin or bald patches noticeable, says Fonte.

2. Hair Clumps

Another sign that could signify hair loss, according to Fonte, has to do with the way hair sheds. If you rake your fingers through your hair and come away with clumps of hair rather than a few individual strands, your hair may be thinning.

3. A Smaller Ponytail

OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images

Does your ponytail consistently feel thinner than it used to? Or does it take more turns of your hair tie to secure your ponytail than it did before (and the band hasn't stretched out)? Fonte suggests this is another way to tell if you're experiencing hair loss.

4. A Visible Scalp

According to Fonte and Hendricks, women typically experience hair loss on the top of their heads, near their parts. If you can see your scalp through your hair, especially in this area, it may be because your hair is thinning.

5. Lighter Weight

Hendricks explains that people can often feel hair loss before they see it. Because it's easy to "lose a large amount of hair before even noticing," Hendricks suggests monitoring how heavy your hair feels as you comb it. If you start to notice that your hair feels lighter than it did before, it may be thinning.

The Treatments

1. Use A Scalp Serum

éprouvage Restorative Scalp Serum, $30, eprouvage.com

Fonte recommends using a scalp serum like this one to help encourage the ideal environment to promote the appearance of less hair fall and more hair growth. This one in particular targets the hair follicle in order to stimulate hair's growing phase, explains Fonte.

2. Sport A Shorter Style

Syfu explains that long hair is often more weighed down and so brings more attention to thinning. She therefore suggests opting for a shoulder-length cut to give the illusion of thicker hair.

3. Stop Heat Styling

Because heat styling puts extra stress on thinning hair, Syfu says to give the hot tools a break so you won't accidentally exacerbate breakage and hair loss.

4. Avoid Tight 'Dos

Another thing that puts stress on locks is tight styles, says Syfu. Slicked-back ponytails and top-knots can also make breakage and hair loss worse if you're not careful. Instead, opt for looser braids, buns, and ponytails to give your strands some rest, she recommends.

5. Eat A Balanced Diet

As Hendricks explained earlier, your diet could play a role in your hair fall. To counter this potential source, Syfu recommends staying hydrated, making sure to get your omega fatty acids and greens, and taking a multi-vitamin or biotin supplement.

6. Switch To A Scalp-Stimulating Shampoo

DS Laboratories Revita Hair Stimulating Shampoo, $30, dslaboratories.com

Hendricks recommends finding a stimulating shampoo and conditioner in addition to a topical treatment such as a scalp serum to keep both your scalp and hair in peak condition. This particular shampoo not only stimulates hair growth but also protects existing hair from damage and thinning.

7. Try Fiber Concealers

Toppik Hair Building Fibers, $47, amazon.com

If you want something to conceal thin areas while you wait for other treatments to take effect, Hendricks recommends trying hair fibers. These will help give the appearance of full and thick hair in areas that may be a little sparse.

Because even though thinning hair is totally normal, if you don't like it, there are things you can do about it.

Images: Unsplash, StockSnap, volim_cipele0, StockSnap, Bergadder, Unsplash, Unsplash, Unsplash, Foundry/Pixabay; Courtesy of Brands; Miki Hayes (1)