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Understanding Hair Thinning: Common Causes and Solutions

6 mins

Radhika Bhatia

A complete guide that answers the question ‘why is my hair thinning?’ and explains what hair loss is, its causes, symptoms, and simple home remedies.

Some hair loss is normal. However, it may be worrisome when your strands appear finer or you start seeing chunks of hair on your brush. 

Thinning hair, unlike extensive hair loss, does not always lead to baldness. It does, however, make your hair look sparser in some areas of your head. If you’ve found yourself wondering ‘why is my hair thinning?’, it’s important to first understand what causes thinning of hair.  

In this article, we’ll start with that and move on to some of the most common symptoms of hair loss. Then we'll look at some simple home remedies to stop hair thinning! 

Table of Contents: 

  • Why is My Hair Thinning? Exploring the Most Common Causes
  • Heredity
  • Stress
  • Diet
  • Pattern baldness
  • Alopecia Areata
  • Pregnancy and hormonal imbalance
  • Medication
  • Excessive hair treatments
  • Illness
  • Thyroid problems
  • Signs and Symptoms of Hair Thinning You Should Know
  • Gradual thinning at the crown
  • Bald patches or circular spots
  • Sudden hair loss
  • Hair loss all over the body
  • Patches of scaling on the scalp
  • Simple Home Remedies to Stop Hair Thinning and Promote Growth
  • Scalp massage
  • Anti-thinning shampoos
  • Essential oils
  • Vitamin supplements
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Dietary changes
  • Hair oils, masks, and leave-in treatments

Why is My Hair Thinning? Exploring the Most Common Causes

Many people believe that hair loss is only an issue men come across, however, it affects at least one-third of women as well.  

Females, unlike males, suffer from thinning hair without turning bald, and the condition can be caused by a variety of factors. 

The first step in treating thinning hair is to figure out what's going on within your body that's causing those additional hairs to fall out.  

Let’s take a look at some of the most common factors that may be causing your hair to thin and fall out. 


You may be genetically predisposed to baldness or thinning of hair. In this case, you'll notice a gradual loss of hair volume. 

You can see if your hair loss is hereditary by looking at the thinning or hair loss patterns of your family members. 


Excessive stress can cause your hair to fall out, and this is not a myth.  

What causes this to happen?  

Stress can induce hair loss by increasing the levels of androgen (male hormone) in your body. 

Anabel Kingsley says, "Stress may also trigger scalp problems, such as dandruff, disrupt eating habits and mess with the digestive system – all of which can harm hair". 

Other signs of stress could include fatigue, anxiety, and headaches. If you notice any of these symptoms along with thinning or loss of hair, you may be experiencing hair loss due to stress. 

thinning hair


The food we consume has a direct impact on the condition of our hair.  

Do you eat foods that are healthy and full of vitamins, iron, and other important nutrients? Or do you eat junk food that doesn’t contribute much to your overall nutrition? 

Foods rich in vitamins, iron, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, and biotins (a type of B vitamins) can help your hair grow stronger and thicker. You’re much less likely to experience hair thinning or hair loss if you have a nutritious diet.  

Pattern baldness

Androgenetic alopecia, which is caused by genes and hormones, comprises both male and female pattern baldness. Pattern baldness usually increases over time, although it can affect younger people in rare instances.  

It usually affects males over the age of 50 and affects women after menopause. People with androgenetic alopecia frequently have family members who also suffer from the disorder. 

Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that causes abrupt hair loss. Small clumps of hair from your scalp, and also brows and lashes, may come out.  

If you have these symptoms, you should contact a doctor who can prescribe medicines to help you regrow your hair. 

Pregnancy and hormonal imbalance

Several of your hair follicles may go into a “resting” phase during pregnancy which makes them fall out after pregnancy. However, this type of hair loss is usually short-term and the hair is likely to grow back on its own. 

pregnancy, hair and pregnancy

Hormonal imbalances can cause many health and beauty issues including weight gain or loss, acne, and hair loss.  

Anabel Kingsley tells Cosmopolitan, “hormones play a huge role in regulating the hair growth cycle”.  

She says "Estrogens are hair-friendly and help to keep hairs in their growth phase for the optimal length of time”. She also adds that “Androgens are not very hair-friendly, and can shorten the hair growth cycle". 

So, if you suffer from hormonal conditions such as PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), this might be why you’re losing hair. 


Hair loss is a common side effect of chemotherapy medications used to treat cancer. However, many other popular drugs, such as antibiotics, antidepressants, and blood pressure medications, can cause hair loss or thinning, too. 

If you are on regular medication, you may want to check with your doctor whether the medicine could be a reason for your hair loss. If it is due to the medication, your doctor may be able to switch your medicine to something that won’t trigger hair loss. 

Excessive hair treatments

Treating your hair excessively with heat or hair dyes can also cause them to become thinner and fall out.  

Excessive heat is known to damage your hair right from its follicles to tips. If you use hairdryers, straighteners, curlers, or other heat treatments on your hair regularly, reducing the frequency of use may help reduce hair loss.  


Excessive hair treatments

The chemicals in hair dyes and other chemical hair treatments can cause severe hair loss rather than just thinning. It could be the result of an allergic reaction to the chemicals or simply because the products are too strong for your scalp. 

In any case, you may benefit from switching to natural hair treatments and hair care products. 


Some conditions, such as the flu, an infection, fever, or even the recovery process following surgery, can cause hair loss. This type of hair loss can usually be stopped by treating the issue. 

Thyroid problems

Excessive hair loss can be caused by hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid gland) or hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid gland). You may be at risk of this type of hair loss especially if you suffer from hormonal imbalances or diseases such as PCOS. 

It’s best to see a doctor if you experience any other symptoms of thyroid problems.  

Signs and Symptoms of Hair Thinning You Should Know

Hair loss can show up in several ways, depending on its root cause. It might strike abruptly or slowly and can affect your entire body or just your scalp.  

Here are some common symptoms of hair loss. 

Gradual thinning at the crown

It's the most prevalent form of hair loss, which occurs as individuals become older. Hair begins to recede near their hairline in males. Women usually experience a widening bald patch from the center. 

Bald patches or circular spots

Hair loss on the head, beard, and eyebrows can occur in circular or spotty bald areas. Before hair falls out, your skin may feel uncomfortable or itchy. If it gets too uncomfortable, it may be best to see a doctor.  

hair brush

Sudden hair loss

Hair might loosen suddenly as a result of physical or mental trauma. When brushing or washing your hair, or even after light pulling, a few strands of hair may fall out. Hair thinning is a common effect of this kind of hair loss, but it’s temporary. It usually restores itself once your stress starts to wear off. 

Hair loss all over the body

Hair loss can occur as a result of some medical treatments and medications, like chemotherapy for cancer. Hair normally regrows on its own, however, your doctor may be able to help you if the hair loss is happening as an allergic reaction to a medicine.  

Patches of scaling on the scalp

This might be a ringworm symptom. Ringworm is a type of fungal infection that could lead to hair loss. Ringworm on your scalp can leave you with bald patches on your head. Broken hair, redness, swelling, and bleeding or oozing blisters are all possible symptoms. Your doctor might recommend an antifungal or antibiotic medicine if the ringworm doesn’t clear on its own. 

Simple Home Remedies to Stop Hair Thinning and Promote Growth

Some causes of hair thinning or loss may require medical attention. However, some simple home remedies may work for most other types of hair thinning. You can try one or more of the following remedies to stop hair thinning and hair loss. 

Scalp massage

Scalp massage is one of the simplest and cheapest ways to grow thicker, healthier hair. It doesn't cost much, and it isn't damaging if properly done.  

hair massage

Apply a bit of pressure using your fingertips across your scalp when washing your hair to stimulate blood flow. You may also use a scalp massager to exfoliate the skin for even better results. 

Anti-thinning shampoos

Shampoos with anti-thinning properties act in two ways. First, they add volume to your hair, giving it a fuller look. People with thinning or already fine hair may benefit from this. Vitamins and amino acids are included in shampoos for fine or thinning hair to promote a healthy scalp. Use these items exactly as instructed to achieve the best results. 

Essential oils

Essential oils are commonly used in aromatherapy and other forms of alternative medicine. However, many of them can provide healing benefits to the skin and some oils can help give your hair a thicker, fuller look. Some oils such as lavender may be used to treat pattern baldness. 


essential oils, essential oils for beautiful hair

Vitamin supplements

If a poor diet is the cause of your hair loss, you may benefit from taking vitamin supplements to allow your hair to grow healthier naturally. A blood test can help you find out if any of your nutrient levels are low. If you’re deficient in several areas, your doctor may prescribe a daily multivitamin supplement. If you’re only low on a few areas such as B vitamins or iron, they may prescribe specific supplements.  

Lifestyle changes

If your hair loss is happening due to stress, you may benefit more from making lifestyle changes than taking medicines. It may still help to try topical treatments such as hair oils, masks, leave-in conditioners, or shampoos. However, your main focus should be to reduce the levels of stress in your life and build a routine that helps you relax.  

Dietary changes

You can switch to healthier foods such as nuts, leafy vegetables, and pulses to allow your body to ingest nutrients naturally. While supplements can help, it’s better if you’re getting all your nutrition through food. 

Hair oils, masks, and leave-in treatments

It’s important to provide your hair with ample nutrition and care to keep it healthy. If you’ve found yourself wondering ‘why is my hair thinning’ very often, you might benefit from using natural hair remedies such as oils, masks, and leave-in treatments. 

Onion Black Seed Hair Oil from Wow Skin Science is a great hair oil option to try for thinning hair or if you’re experiencing hair loss. It can help your hair grow back faster and healthier.  

wow onion black seed oil, hair oil

You can also try the Red Onion Black Seed Oil Hair Mask to strengthen your hair, add volume to it, repair weak limp strands, and add shine to it. 

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Radhika Bhatia

I'm a content writer, copywriter, and blogger with a background in marketing, planning, and eCommerce. I specialize in beauty writing, including skincare, cosmetics, wellness, aesthetics, and health. Classically trained and idea-savvy, I love living in the present.

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