Did you know that up to 40% of women experience hair loss as they age?
And while some women rock the bald and buzzed look, most others stress out over it. In fact, in a study of women with hair loss, 29% displayed depression symptoms.
The good news is, not all cases of hair thinning is permanent. That’s because certain habits can actually be causing the issue. Kick these habits, and you can get rid of the root cause behind your hair getting thinner.
Ready to learn about these habits that are making your hair fall out or prone to snapping? Then keep reading, as we’ve rounded up five of them that you should stop doing ASAP!
1. Eating Too Much Fast Food
Of the 100,000 hair follicles in the head, 85% to 90% are in a state of active growth called the “anagen phase”. To produce healthy hair, these follicles require essential nutrients, including vitamins and minerals.
As such, not meeting the body’s required nutritional intake can affect the follicles. It won’t have anything to nourish the hair bulb with, the “container” of living cells that form the hair shaft.
One solid proof is “kwashiorkor”, a condition that results from lack of dietary protein. Although it’s rare in the US, those who suffer from it have considerable hair thinning. Protein, after all, is the main building block of hair follicles.
Vitamin D deficiency is another possible reason why hair thins. Previous research found that this vitamin plays a major role in hair cycling. Though its role isn’t fully understood, findings suggest that lack of Vitamin D can lead to hair loss.
The problem is, many fast food options contain little of these nutrients. While meats contain protein, those used in fast food are often cooked in loads of unhealthy oil. Vitamin D is hard enough to find in food, so you’re unlikely to get it from fast food.
If you’ve been dining mostly on such meals, it’s the likely reason your hair feels thinner. While these feel-good meals are okay from time to time, make sure you eat more wholesome food for the rest of the week.
Go for boiled or poached eggs, fatty fish (like tuna and salmon), spinach, and avocados. These foods contain protein and essential vitamins and minerals that promote healthy hair. Consider taking the best dietary supplements known for improving hair health too.
2. Unhealthy Weight Loss Strategies
Crash dieting can make you cry and exclaim, “my hair is getting thinner!”, just as poor nutrition would. Especially if you enter a low-carb or carb-restricted diet.
Researchers found that a severe restriction in carbohydrates causes hair loss. You need complex carbohydrates as they convert protein into the cells that form the hair. So, lack of carbs means a lack of hair-forming cells, which can translate to hair thinning.
Sudden and excessive weight loss can also result in telogen effluvium (TE). This is a condition that triggers more hair to enter the telogen phase.
Under normal conditions, the telogen phase is when hair goes into a “resting” mode. This lasts between two and four months, after which, the hair falls out.
In people who have TE, up to a third of their hair follicles enter the telogen phase. Meaning, they can lose up to 300 more strands than the normal 100! In some cases, the hair loss could be even up to 50% of the scalp hair.
While losing weight may be crucial for your health, crash dieting is not a good solution. Hair loss aside, it can also cause severe dehydration and muscle cramps. It can also defeat the purpose of your diet and even harm your heart.
3. Not Taking the Time to De-stress
Almost seven in 10 US adults say that they’re stressing out over health care in the country. 56% also say they’re worried about climate change and global warming. Over half also stress over the future elections.
Granted, stress is beneficial during immediate, short-term situations. It prepares your body to go into the “fight or flight” mode, such as during threatening situations.
However, too much of it in the long-term can put you at risk of hair loss or thinning. Like sudden weight loss, too much stress can result in telogen effluvium. Worse, high levels of stress can lead to more serious health conditions, such as heart disease.
So, set aside the time to de-stress now, before you start seeing your hair everywhere. The earlier you melt away all that stress, the healthier your hair and heart will be.
4. Always Skimping on Sleep
Melatonin is a hormone responsible for regulating and maintaining sleep-wake cycles. The pineal gland’s peak production for this hormone is at night, around 9 PM. When it kicks in, your alertness levels go down and your bed appears to be much more inviting.
But scientists say that melatonin appears to affect the hair growth and cycle too. It seems to aid protein synthesis, which then feeds your hair and makes it grow.
Unfortunately, lack of sleep may drive your body to produce less of this hormone. At the very least, it won’t be able to do its job of synthesizing protein, which it does while you sleep.
So, hair thinning is another reason to get more ZZZs. Besides, enough sleep (between seven to nine hours) is crucial for your overall health.
Moreover, chronic sleep deprivation can have adverse effects on your mood. Think about it — you likely feel irritable and easily annoyed after sleepless nights. The longer this goes on, the higher you are at risk of excessive mental distress and anxiety.
All these can then make your stress levels skyrocket. And as explained above, stress can trigger TE, which can then lead to hair loss.
5. Exposing Your Hair to Too Much Heat
The higher the temperature you expose your hair to, the more damage they will sustain. Yes, that means blowdrying or using a straightening iron can cause excessive drying. In fact, researchers say that heat leads to dryness, roughness, and even loss of hair color.
Dryness makes your strands more brittle, which makes them easier to snap and fall out. This can cause some sections of your crown to feel and become thinner.
Stop Worrying About Your Hair Getting Thinner by Kicking These Habits
There you have it, women, the top five habits that can result in your hair getting thinner. So, as early as now, do your best to eat better, sleep longer, and de-stress from time to time. Doing these will not only help you restore your hair — they’ll also help boost your overall health.
Ready to improve your hair’s thickness by fighting the symptoms of telogen effluvium? Then be sure to check out our TE-fighting and hair growth solution products!