Getting older comes with both the good and the bad. The pros: wisdom, life lessons, and life-long memories. The cons: wrinkles and fine lines, feeling older, tiredness and thinning hair. But even if you’re not fully experiencing some of these age-related changes, it’s quite possible to see a difference in your hair growth, and, chances are, you may not like it.
While aging is the number one reason for overall changes in hair thickness, there are a few other causes of hair loss, which may seem to happen all of a sudden, even though it doesn’t. Truth be told, you don’t wake up one morning to less hair than what was on your head the day before. It’s a gradual process that can take heed over the course of a couple of months or longer.
A variety of triggers can cause hair loss and thinning (medically known as telogen effluvium). But here’s the good news. Although hair loss may affect your self-esteem, it can be corrected. As long as the follicles have not suffered extreme and permanent damage and you can pinpoint the cause of your hair loss—be prepared to do a little research and possibly some trialing to determine the true culprit—you can get back your hair on track and healthy again.
Here, the five most common cause of hair loss that you may not realize are contributing to less-than-perfect strands:
1. Thyroid disorders
Unbeknownst to many, the thyroid has a greater effect on hair growth than you may think. The thyroid regulates and controls hormone and protein production. But when the thyroid is out of balance, the amount of hormones it is able to produce may be too much or too little. Both an overactive and an underactive thyroid can affect hormone levels, which in turn influences how the hair grows. With the right medication prescribed by a doctor, plus nutrient-dense hair supplements, this type of temporary hair loss can be fixed.
2. Pregnancy and childbirth
If you’ve ever wondered why some women brag about long, lush, thick waves while they’re pregnant, it’s because of a surge of hormones, namely estrogen and oestrogen, which cause hair to feel thicker and longer than normal and also slows hair shedding. But once the pregnancy is over and hormone levels taper off and recede back to normal, the hair shifts back into its normal growing patterns and shedding resumes. After months of very little shedding, when shedding does commence (this can take two to four months for this to be noticeable), hair can be lost around the temples and at the crown. For the most part, pregnancy-related hair loss doesn’t last longer than six months or so. Once the body balances itself out and the hormones shift back to normal, thinning hair and patches of hair loss should be less noticeable and hair will return to its pre-pregnancy state.
Just like how pregnancy affects how hair grows, the same goes for stress (we’re not talking about minor daily stress but rather life-changing stresses that last for an extended period of time). Perpetual stress can shift hair from a regular growing cycle into the resting phase for longer-than-normal periods of time. A stressed body produces exorbitant amounts of the hormone cortisol—it’s the rise of cortisol within the body that causes hair to thin and fall out. Limiting and controlling the root cause of stress, reducing inflammation to the scalp and incorporating a supplement that contains ashwagandha as well as other stress reducers, like DeeplyRooted will help mitigate changes in the hair.
4. An iron deficiency
Healthy levels of iron are necessary for proper bodily functions. But when the body is void of normal amounts of iron, this deficiency can negatively impact the look and feel of the hair. Iron is crucial for proper cell growth and a lack of it can thwart the body’s ability to grow new cells. Plus, research points to the fact that hair follicles are especially delicate when it comes to low levels of iron, which is why thinning hair and hair loss can be seen.
5. Weight loss
If you’re one to crash diet or lose a tremendous amount of weight in a very brief time frame, you may experience temporary hair loss. That’s because quick weight loss equates to a nutrient deficiency, specifically when it comes to protein—there’s almost no healthy way to drop a serious amount of weight in next to no time. A lack of nutrients and protein affects the hair because the follicles can’t function normally and whatever nutrients the body does receive are not given to the hair. But, weight loss-related hair loss is not permanent. Once the body receives a healthy amount of protein and nutrients and can redistribute those essential elements to the hair, it should resume its normal growth patterns.