What are the Causes of Thinning Hair? (with pictures)

Sarah Mireles
Sarah Mireles
A man with thinning hair.
A man with thinning hair.

A large number of people experience hair loss at some point in their lives. Some of the causes of thinning hair include genetics, medication and hormonal changes. If the causes of thinning hair are genetic, regrowth of hair is unlikely. Hair loss that occurs because of hormonal changes and medication is often able to be halted or reversed, allowing the hair to regrow.

Hair follicles can be transplanted to bald areas of the head.
Hair follicles can be transplanted to bald areas of the head.

Alopecia is the medical term for hair loss. Androgenetic alopecia refers to hair loss that is permanent, and it is a genetic condition. It is referred to as male-pattern baldness in men and female-pattern baldness in women. Men often experience a receding hairline and thinning hair at the top of the head. Women experience thinning at the front and crown but rarely experience full hair loss.

Women experience hair loss after pregnancy and menopause due to hormonal changes.
Women experience hair loss after pregnancy and menopause due to hormonal changes.

Hormonal problems are one of the causes of thinning hair. Women going through menopause or postpartum often experience rapid shifts in hormone levels. These changes can cause the hair to thin or fall out. Hair loss because of hormones is temporary in most cases.

People who are on certain medications might experience temporary hair loss. Antidepressants, blood thinners, cancer medications and birth control pills can all be causes of thinning hair. Hair is likely to regrow after the medication has been stopped.

Birth control pills that contain high doses of androgen can cause hair loss in women.
Birth control pills that contain high doses of androgen can cause hair loss in women.

If a person experiences thinning hair, it is important for him or her to consult with a physician to determine the cause. A physician consultation will involve a series of questions to determine whether the hair loss is related to medications, stress or hormones. A physician might perform a biopsy of the scalp to help determine possible causes of thinning hair in the patient's individual case.

Male-pattern baldness is a genetic condition.
Male-pattern baldness is a genetic condition.

Thinning hair that occurs because of medication or hormonal imbalance is likely to regrow without the use of medication. For people who suffer from a more permanent form of thinning hair because of genetic factors, certain medications can be taken to help slow the process and aid in hair regrowth. The use of hair regrowth medications should be monitored closely by a physician.

Aging, hormonal changes, medications and stress can cause thinning hair.
Aging, hormonal changes, medications and stress can cause thinning hair.

Minoxidil is used to treat patients with androgenetic alopecia. The use of minoxidil must be continual in order to keep new hair growth. Hair transplants are another option for people who suffer from permanent thinning hair or hair loss. A hair transplant is a surgical procedure that involves moving hair follicles from one part of the body to the scalp. Although a hair transplant is costly, it can be a more permanent solution to thinning hair and hair loss.

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Discussion Comments

rachelsjulia

Hair loss is usually caused by genetics, stress and lack of nutrition. You should try taking Vitamins like Nioxin and Reloxe. I heard someone used it and had great results from both.

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    • A man with thinning hair.
      A man with thinning hair.
    • Hair follicles can be transplanted to bald areas of the head.
      Hair follicles can be transplanted to bald areas of the head.
    • Women experience hair loss after pregnancy and menopause due to hormonal changes.
      Women experience hair loss after pregnancy and menopause due to hormonal changes.
    • Birth control pills that contain high doses of androgen can cause hair loss in women.
      Birth control pills that contain high doses of androgen can cause hair loss in women.
    • Male-pattern baldness is a genetic condition.
      Male-pattern baldness is a genetic condition.
    • Aging, hormonal changes, medications and stress can cause thinning hair.
      Aging, hormonal changes, medications and stress can cause thinning hair.
    • Thinning hair can be caused by genetics, medical conditions and hormonal imbalances.
      Thinning hair can be caused by genetics, medical conditions and hormonal imbalances.
    • Cancer treatment can cause hair to thin and fall out.
      Cancer treatment can cause hair to thin and fall out.