Hair loss isn’t just about the mild to severe physical loss of hair – it’s also about the psychological impact that range from decreased self-confidence to intense emotional suffering that affects the personal and professional aspects of your life. Indeed, you should know how to tell if your hair is thinning, not just falling due to normal combing and styling, so that you can take prompt and appropriate actions.
Mastering a 3 barrel curling iron can help with some volume, but learning about hair thinning is unavoidable.
Keep in mind, too, that both men and women can experience baldness, a condition characterized by excessive hair loss from the scalp.
Hair thinning men like to think can affect their virility and, thus, they will adopt a wide range of methods to prevent, delay or hide it, such as taking medications, undergoing surgery, and using wigs.
Many, nonetheless, accept their baldness and even use it to their advantage, as can be said for the likes of Bruce Willis and Dwayne Johnson.
In women, receding hairline is often the first sign of thinning hair. In most modern societies, a wide forehead with obviously thinning temples isn’t exactly a sign of beauty and, thus, most women affected by it will seek solutions.
How To Tell If Your Hair Is Thinning
Emphasis must be made that hair loss doesn’t appear in just a single way among all men and women who experience it. Instead, it manifests in many different ways depending on its cause, such as heredity or chemical exposure. It can also come either gradually or suddenly, affect both your scalp and entire body, and be temporary or permanent.
The bottom line: Every case of hair loss is different so there’s no point in comparing your case to every Tom, Dick and Harry, especially if you become frustrated by it. But there are common signs to look for where thinning hair is concerned.
Gradual thinning on top of your head
With a naturally high hairline women shouldn’t be too worried since it isn’t necessarily a sign of thinning hair. But if you observe that your hair seems to be going south, then you may have reason to be concerned.
The gradual thinning of hair on top of the head, usually near the forehead, is the most common type of hair loss in both men and women.
But there’s a notable difference between the two sexes that affect the rate in which hair loss becomes more noticeable not only to the affected person but to others, too.
In men, the hair recedes from the forehead in a line resembling the letter “M” so there appears to be a pronounced widow’s peak. The receding hairline women experience is different – the part in the hair becomes wider but the hairline on the forehead is typically retained.
Round spots or patchy bald spots
These can be problematic because it isn’t just hair loss that the affected individuals have to deal with. In some cases, the skin becomes painful and/or itchy before the hair starts falling out! The hair doesn’t fall in large clumps but it falls in such a way that smooth, coin-sized bald spots, usually on top of the head, can be seen.
Furthermore, the baldness can extend to the eyebrows or beard, if you have it. The bald spots can be the cause of embarrassment because of their obvious quality.
Sudden and significant loosening of hair strands
Gradual hair loss is already a big issue as it is so when sudden hair loss occurs, the physical and psychological impact can be a punch in the gut, so to speak. Unlike many of the other types of hair loss, the sudden loosening of hair is generally caused by a severe physical or psychological shock, such as chemotherapy. Also, it doesn’t cause bald patches but an overall thinning of the hair.
Full-body hair loss
The thin hair men experience as they grow older may seem like an apocalyptic occurrence but it isn’t the worst of it either. In some cases, the hair loss can affect the entire body, as is the case for chemotherapy patients. Fortunately, the hair grows back when the chemotherapy treatments are stopped and the body regains its good health.
Patches of scale spreading over the scalp
Not all hair loss can be attributed to heredity, chemical exposure, and extreme stress, among other causes. Hair loss can also be caused by ringworm of the scalp, or tinea capitis, a fungal infection affecting the hair shafts and scalp.
The signs of tinea capitis include round patches of scaly scalp that may slowly expand with non-treatment; gray or reddened areas with a scaly quality; brittle hair that’s easy to pull out; and tender areas on the scalp. The patches may or may not have small black dots.
This is a highly contagious infection that requires medical treatment, especially as it’s a common infection among toddlers and school-age children. Otherwise, the severe inflammation can cause permanent hair loss! The treatments include oral medications and medical shampoos.
Determining the Cause of Thinning Hair
If you have one or more of these signs, you may want to consider seeking medical opinion about the matter. While it’s tempting to buy over-the-counter anti-hair loss shampoos, conditioners and oral medications, you shouldn’t because you’re likely making the matter worse.
The chemicals in these topical and oral products, for one thing, may be contraindicated for the underlying condition causing your thinning hair.
These may also be useless for your hair condition, such as when it’s caused by heredity or by chemotherapy.
Before you and your doctor can determine the best treatment protocol for your thinning hair, you have to undergo a medical check-up to determine the underlying causes of your condition. Before your appointment, you are well-advised to be prepared for the questions that your doctor, usually a licensed dermatologist with the appropriate training in hair loss, will likely ask.
You can list down the following information:
- Your personal information including recent life changes that may have caused major stress or pressure
- Your over-the-counter and prescription medications, as well as dietary supplements and vitamin supplements
- Your observations of when the hair thinning started; whether the hair fall started suddenly or gradually; whether you have experienced it in the past or you have a family history of baldness; and whether you have adopted methods that delayed or stopped thinning hair, among others.
From the comprehensive medical examination, your dermatologist can determine the exact causes of your thinning hair. Indeed, it’s a must-know piece of information in knowing how to stop thinning hair men – the more accurate the diagnosis, the more likely the treatments can work.
The common causes of hair thinning and hair loss are:
- Hormone imbalance, such as in abnormal androgen levels
- Stress including physical illness, childbirth, and emotional trauma
- Drugs including medications used in cancer treatment (e.g., chemotherapy), blood thinners, and birth control pills
- Injuries like burns and severe exposure to X-rays
- Autoimmune diseases resulting in alopecia areata
- Medical conditions, such as lupus, diabetes, and thyroid diseases
- Eating disorders that affect hair growth
- Cosmetic procedures like dyeing, bleaching and even shampooing too often
In some cases, the receding hairline women temples isn’t a serious matter since it’s only a matter of turning down on the hair treatments that actually do more harm than good. But there will also be cases when men or women hairline starting to recede are caused by more serious conditions, such as a hormone imbalance.
Thinning Hair Men Treatment
Once the underlying causes have been identified, the treatment can start. Depending on your case, your treatment plan will likely include two or more of the following methods.
The underlying disease should first be treated in order to resolve the hair loss issue. Also, your doctor may prescribe medications to suppress your immune system or to stop the inflammation so that your hair grows back.
You may also be asked to stop with medications causing the hair thinning for at least three months – birth control pills, for example, can cause a thinning hairline women don’t like to see.
In terms of medications that can bring back normal hair growth, the most common include:
- Minoxidil is a non-prescription medication approved for use by both men and women. It’s available as a foam or liquid, which should be rubbed on the scalp daily. It should be applied regularly and properly for at least six months before results can be seen; the new hair growth stops soon after you stop using it.
- Finasteride is a prescription-only medication approved for use in men only; it may not work well in men over 60 years old. It’s a pill formulated to be taken daily to slow down hair loss and, in some cases, show hair regrowth.
Other medications include dutasteride for men and spironolactone for women.
Hair transplant surgery
Hair restoration surgery can make the most of long thinning hair men usually retain at the top and sides of their head. Keep in mind that it’s an expensive procedure that may or may not be covered by medical insurance. Due to the high price and risk of the procedure, it isn’t a recommended receding hairline women treatment – it’s more suitable for more severe cases.
Hereditary hair loss can be tricky to treat because it’s in the genes, literally. But the FDA has approved for use a low-level laser device as a treatment for it in both men and women. But a word of warning: It may or may not improve hair density in your case, not to mention that only small studies have been made and its long-term effects aren’t known yet.
Lastly, don’t wait for hair thinning to happen, especially as you become older! You have so many ways to prevent it including avoiding tight hairstyles; avoiding compulsive pulling, rubbing, or twisting of your hair; treating your hair gently and using boar bristle brushes and wide-toothed combs; avoiding harsh treatments on your hair like dyes, bleaches, and hot rollers; and protecting your hair from ultraviolet light including sunlight.
In the end, prevention is still better than the cure.