At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.
Many different factors can cause hair loss, and the best way to prevent thinning hair is to minimize those risk factors. Some factors are genetic and may be linked to metabolic rate or hormone levels. Others are linked to poor diet and nutrition. A third set are the result of serious but temporary stresses on the body, both physical and mental. A man or woman hoping to prevent thinning hair has options when confronting any of these risk factors.
Both men and women are subject to hair loss caused by genetic factors. This hair loss produces thinning of the hair in both genders but tends to go on to produce complete hair loss in men. Total baldness is not unheard of in women but is much less common.
Some medications can be effective in treating the underlying biological causes of this variety of thinning hair that is the result of a genetic predisposition. Some products may be used topically to foster the growth of hair and to preserve and protect hair follicles. Other products may alter the hormonal balance of the body, and minimize the risk of thinning hair. Any product that has an effect on the hormonal balance of the body should be used only after consultation with a physician.
One of the other common causes of thinning hair is related to diet and nutrition. A healthy and balanced diet is necessary for the body to produce and maintain a full head of hair. Protein and iron are especially useful in building and preserving hair, and ensuring an adequate supply of these and other nutrients can be very helpful in preventing thinning hair.
In some instances, trauma, either physical or mental, may cause hair to thin very abruptly. Purely physical trauma, such as repeated vigorous hairstyling, can cause a great deal of hair loss, and even the permanent loss of many hair follicles. Avoiding this type of hairstyling can help to prevent thinning hair.
Emotional and mental trauma can have an impact on normal hair growth, as well. It is impossible to avoid every traumatic event in life, but some physical and psychological causes of stress can be avoided. Stress stemming from work or life issues can cause hair to fall out. Finding ways to reduce overall stress levels can help to prevent thinning hair, in addition to making life more pleasant in a myriad of other ways.
A certain amount of hair loss is an inescapable part of the aging process. It is not normally possible to entirely prevent thinning hair that results from normal aging. Products and hairstyles that color or thicken hair can cover a great deal of thinning, however, and are often the best option for preserving the hair’s appearance.