Symptoms of thinning hair include fewer hairs in the areas of the corners of the hairline and at the crown of the head. In addition, people may notice that there are more hairs in their hairbrushes as well as excessive amounts of hair deposits on furniture and clothing. Men can start losing their hair by adulthood, while women usually don't start losing their hair until later in life. Temporary conditions such as pregnancy can cause thinning hair in women, as can hormonal imbalances.
When symptoms of thinning hair occur in a woman, she will typically notice general hair thinning over the entire head. It also becomes more of a challenge to style the hair as the hair begins to thin. More of the scalp becomes visible and even when hair spray is applied liberally, the hairstyle sometimes fail to hold its shape. Symptoms of thinning hair can sometimes be disguised with topical cosmetic sprays or flocks. If applied carefully, a realistic result can be obtained.
Other causes of thinning hair include medical conditions such as hypothyroidism, lupus, and low estrogen. In addition, medications such as corticosteroids and birth control pills can contribute to symptoms of thinning hair. Chemotherapy can cause the hair on the head to thin, as well as a body-wide loss of hair. This is typically temporary and hair generally grows back after chemotherapy has been discontinued.
Because symptoms of thinning hair appear gradually, it often goes unnoticed until the effects are dramatic. Treatments for thinning hair include products that contain volumizers which give the hair a thicker appearance, and medications than can help stimulate hair follicles. These medications are also prescribed to treat high blood pressure and can sometimes cause side effects. In addition, getting a perm can plump up the hair so that it looks fuller, however, if done improperly, can cause breakage and worsen symptoms.
If symptoms of thinning hair become severe or obvious, treating them may be challenging. A hair transplant can improve the appearance, but it can be costly and good results are not guaranteed. In addition, since it is a surgical procedure, the risk of infection should be considered. Wigs and hairpieces can also mask the symptoms of thinning hair and can look so realistic that they are often mistaken for a person's natural hair.
Since certain medical conditions can contribute to thin hair, diagnostic medical tests may be recommended by the physician. These tests can include blood tests to determine the presence of thyroid disorders, autoimmune diseases, and hormone imbalances. It is important to note, however, that many times, the cause of thinning hair is never determined, and it may not be known if the condition will be temporary or permanent.