Are you confused about what is happening to your hair? You don’t see much drastic hair fall but then you do see the visible loss of volume. Before you pick up all the volumising hair products and build another disaster for your hair, let’s understand what is the hair concern that you have to tackle. It could either be hair loss or hair thinning. Let’s learn the difference and know how to handle the mane reality!
What happens in hair loss?
Hair loss is the condition where you lose more than average hair strands in a day. It is pretty common to lose about 50-100 strands in a day. In fact, it is healthy to lose old hair and see the growth of new hair strands. Hair loss can occur due to multiple reasons.
1. Hormonal changes
The best example is women after pregnancy. Because there is a drastic shift in hormone levels after pregnancy, women tend to lose hair after pregnancy. Hormonal changes could also be due to stress, medication, diet, menopause, etc.
As a side effect for certain medications, hair loss is cited. Commonly, cancer medications can evenly affect your scalp and lead to hair loss.
When you stress, after a couple of months you will notice hair loss. Stress is like a prolonged disease which is called ‘Telogen Effluvium’. You will see the effect of stress on your hair in a few months. This is simply because stress distorts your biological functions over a period of time.
4. Autoimmune disease
If you’re losing hair in small patches then it could be because you have an autoimmune condition called Alopecia areata. This usually occurs in individuals who have other autoimmune conditions too. There is no known cause for this but a doctor could recommend a suitable treatment path.
5. Fungal infection
You could also be losing hair due to the overgrowth of fungi in certain patches of your scalp. You might see hair loss in just those regions where your scalp is infected. Overgrowth of fungi is majorly due to poor scalp health maintenance.
What happens in hair thinning?
Your scalp has numerous hair follicles that are meant to produce hair just like how you see those cute seeds sprouting life out of it. Hair thinning is when these hair follicles grow smaller in size which will result in a reduction of the hair thickness. This is clearly very different from hair loss. Hair thinning occurs in different patterns and could be affected by hormones majorly. Hence you see the difference in thinning patterns between males and females. Let’s look at the other causes of hair thinning-
1. Medical condition
Due to certain medicines and medical conditions, you can observe hair thinning. A weak immunity or poor nutrition in your body can also lead to hair thinning.
Stress causes mini heart attacks for your hair follicles due to which their sizes can shrink and this will lead to hair thinning. You may observe that hair thinning occurs in different patterns in males and females. For females, when your hair starts to thin, you will see that it shows on the hairline first. In males, they might see their crown being affected first.
If your body produces more male hormones called androgen then it could lead to hair thinning. Your hair could also be thinning due to sudden changes in hormone levels. Women may see hair thinning when they’re approaching menopause.
Hair thinning can be genetic too. You might want to trace your ancestors and check if they faced hair thinning at an early age. If yes, then you can resort to preventive methods.
As you age, your hair loses its density since it can’t synthesise enough protein and nutrition to give you fuller hair. You can ensure a wholesome diet to maintain your hair’s quality for as long as you can.
What is the difference between hair thinning and hair loss?
1. Effect on hair follicles
It’s the effect that it has on our hair. When it comes to hair thinning, your hair follicles shrink. Whereas, in hair loss, you lose the entire strand since your follicle loosens its grip on the hair strand sooner than it should.
2. Visible effect
Hair thinning leads to a decrease in the girth of your hair strand. Hair loss will lead to baldness.
Is it possible to have hair thinning but not hair loss and vice versa?
Totally. It is not necessary that your hair will be thinning and losing at the same time. Thinning is due to miniaturisation of the hair follicle and hair loss occurs when your hair follicle loses its grip over the hair strand sooner than it should because of internal or external stressors. There are chances that you could be suffering from both since they have similar causes.
You might not be able to figure out if it is hair thinning or hair loss or both. Hence, you must visit a dermatologist who could help you break down your scalp health condition.
How to prevent hair loss and thinning?
So far we’ve figured that hair loss and thinning are both due to stress on hair follicles. So to prevent both of them, you want to aim for healthy hair follicles. Here are some common preventive methods for hair loss and hair thinning-
1. Avoid styling tools
Heat and heat styling tools cause stress on your hair follicles and so one must avoid styling machines. You can use the trick of setting your hair overnight to achieve a particular hairstyle when you wake up. For example, if you want voluminous curls then you can wrap your strands around a donut hair tie or make small braids and keep it overnight. This might not stay for as long as heat styling would but then you have to pick- long-staying hairstyle or damaged hair?
2. Include a wholesome meal
Many hair conditions like hair loss, early greying, hair thinning, receding hairline are because of a lack of essential macro and micronutrients. To ensure that we get all of it include superfoods like eggs, berries, seasonal fruits, vegetables, etc. Berries are rich in Antioxidants and that helps you achieve a stronger scalp barrier. For stronger hair growth and healthy hair follicles, you must focus on receiving essentials like Zinc, Magnesium, Potassium, etc.
We love Cosmix What Women Want that has everything natural to maintain the many bursts of hormones that a woman’s body goes through every month. Balancing hormones helps maintain hair health.
3. Avoid certain hairstyles
Everyday hairstyles like high ponytails, buns, or cornrows can tug at the root of your hair. This irritates the hair follicle and leads to hair loss. Pick hairstyles like a loose bun, loose ponytails, or braids that won’t tug at the root of your hair.
4. Don’t rub or comb wet hair
When your hair is wet, your hair follicles have softened and you will be able to easily pull off the hair strands if you tug at it. So avoid rubbing or combing wet hair. Let your hair dry naturally and apply a leave-in serum to restore moisture, in case there has been a loss of moisture due to hair wash.
Sublime recommends Earth Rhythm Fenugreek, Tamarind Fruit & Shikakai Hair Serum that has Shikakai to soothe your scalp and Fenugreek seeds that address many hair concerns like hair fall, drying, etc. Makes it a perfect serum for those with damaged or treated hair.
How to treat hair loss and thinning?
If you’re suffering through hair loss or hair thinning due to your genes or ageing, then you must consult a dermatologist to know a holistic treatment plan. However, if your hair concerns are due to lifestyle, environment, diet, etc then these changes could help-
1. Use Gentle shampoo
All shampoos contain washing ingredients but if these are harsh detergents then they can wash off your entire hair strand by irritating your hair follicles. So resort to shampoos and conditioners that won’t inflame your scalp. For this, you might want to know your scalp type before picking hair products so that it serves your hair right.
Sublime recommends Maui Moisture Thicken & Restore + Bamboo Fibers that have Bamboo fibers, Castor oil, and Neem oil to strengthen and gently wash your locks.
Once your hair is dry, you can spray it using a treatment spray/lotion. We love Fixderma Kairfoll Hair Lotion Spray. It just need a few spritz and then massage your scalp. It absorbs well on dry and clean hair and you can go about your day without the oily feeling!
2. Oil frequently
We often skip or avoid using oils but they might be the game changer in your hair care regime. Opt for Amla, Onion, Bhringraj, etc that can stimulate your hair follicles for hair growth and also strengthen its hold on the strands to reduce hair fall. The answer to a strong and luscious lock is just oiling consistently and massaging to improve blood circulation.
Learn more about hair oiling here.
Sublime recommends The Switch Fix Nourishing Viva La Sativa Hair Oil For Damaged Hair. It has Moringa, Avocado, Hemp Seed oil to nourish your scalp. This makes the best for a good day ‘champi’.
3. Change your diet
Pay attention to how you start your day. Make sure that you are starting with a fresh juice of seasonal fruits or vegetables. That sure may sound a little too much effort for your hair everyday but a solution to that could be healthy teas or powders that could be a quick glass of nutrition to slosh down your breakfast with.
Learn more about superfoods that can nourish your hair here.
Sublime recommends Cosmix Healthy Hair. It has all the superfood that your hair needs every day to reverse the damage done. It has Amla, Goji berries, Bamboo shoots, Cranberry, Lemon, Monk fruit, Horsetail. This can even reverse early greying signs with consistent usage.
4. Include supplements
As you age, your body might stop making certain nutrition since it is slowing down. What you can do is include supplements as you are near your mid-twenties. Hair loss and hair thinning could majorly be dealt with if your scalp is getting enough nutrition every day.
Learn more about healthy gummies here.
Hair loss is when your hair follicles cannot hold on to your hair strand due to external and internal stressors. Hair thinning is miniaturisation of hair follicles due to multiple reasons like heredity, ageing, pollution, lack of nutrition, poor lifestyle, etc. While hair loss and hair thinning are two different conditions, their causes are more or less similar which is why their preventive and treatment methods are similar too. It is possible that one can be going through both these conditions or just either one of them. To heal and answer these hair concerns, one must always start with nourishing from within. Diet is one of the important keys to a healthy crown!
- Divya Salvi