9 Key Signs You Are Losing Your Hair
Detecting hair loss or the early signs of balding can be important for those who are concerned about their hair health, because it is often said that the earlier you do something about hair loss, the more hair you're likely keep.
Spotting the early sings of hair loss isn't always easy, which is why many men and women do not act on the issue until it is too late. This is why it is important to know the key signs. Here are some common indicators that you could be losing your hair:
Increased Hair Shedding
It's normal to lose around 50-100 hairs per day, but if you notice a significant increase in the amount of hair you're shedding, it might be a sign of hair loss. Check your pillow every morning, and also your shower plughole. If there's excessive hair in these areas, then it could be a sign that you are going bald.
Pay attention to the thickness of your hair. If you notice that your hair is becoming noticeably thinner, especially in specific areas like the crown or temples, this could be a sign of balding. Check the strands, and assess whether they look to have shrunk in thickness. If they have, then it's likely to be early stages of androgenic alopecia.
Receding HairlineA receding hairline is a common early sign of male-pattern baldness. It typically starts with the hairline receding from the forehead, creating an "M" shape. This is an easy pattern to spot, and if you are noticing this, then it's almost certain that you are experiencing early stages of baldness. For androgenic alopecia in women, the receding hairline is not as common, but you should expect diffuse thinning across the centre parting area of the scalp.
Bald SpotsIf you notice small, round bald patches on your scalp, it might be an indication of a condition called alopecia areata, which causes sudden hair loss. This can be quite severe, and quick, but the good news is that this hair loss condition is normally temporary, and the hair does, more often than not, grow back.
For more information about alopecia areata, click here.
Widening PartAs already mentioned, for women, a widening part is often an early sign of hair thinning. You might notice that your part looks wider than usual, and your scalp becomes more visible. This is a definite sign of female-pattern baldness, and this should be treated as soon as possible to avoid it becoming more aggressive.
Changes in Hair TextureHair that is undergoing thinning might become finer and more brittle over time. Hair may also look and feel different, and be more difficult to style. The general look and feel of the strands may change, which is a sign that the hair is thinning, and falling out in certain areas of the scalp.
Family HistoryIf baldness runs in your family, you might be genetically predisposed to it. Look at your parents, grandparents, and other close relatives to get an idea of your potential risk. If baldness is common in your family members, then there's a big chance that you may also suffer from hair loss.
Increased Scalp VisibilityIf you can see more of your scalp than before, it could be an indication that your hair is thinning. For men this tends to occur at the crown region of the scalp, and for women it tends to occur at the centre parting area, slowly spreading across the whole scalp. If you are noticing this, then seek treatment options. Minoxidil can be a good place to start for androgenic alopecia sufferers. A safe alternative to minoxidil is keratinocyte growth factor serum.
Excessive Hair on Pillow or Shower DrainAs, as mentioned in the first point, if you're noticing a significant amount of hair on your pillow after sleeping or in the shower drain after washing your hair, it could be a sign of hair loss. Be sure to act as soon as possible, in order to prevent this from happening in the long term future.
Treatment optionsHair loss can be caused by various factors, including genetics, hormonal changes, medical conditions, medications, and more. The appropriate treatment option depends on the underlying cause of hair loss.
Here are some common hair loss treatment options:
Minoxidil (Rogaine)This over-the-counter topical solution is applied directly to the scalp and can help stimulate hair growth. It's most effective for people with hereditary hair loss (androgenetic alopecia). However, being a medication, it can give negative side-effects, so caution is advised. Learn more about minoxidil.
Finasteride (Propecia)This prescription medication is primarily used for male pattern baldness. It works by reducing the levels of the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) that contributes to hair loss in genetically susceptible individuals. Again, this is a medication, and it comes with the risk of long-term, and even permanent side-effects, so be sure to research the drug thoroughly before use. Learn more about finasteride.
Hair Transplant SurgeryThis surgical procedure involves removing hair follicles from one part of the body (often the back or sides of the scalp) and transplanting them to areas of thinning or baldness. It's commonly used for male and female pattern baldness. This can be effective, but it is expensive, and not always guaranteed to give the desired results.
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) TherapyPRP involves drawing a small amount of your blood, processing it to concentrate platelets, and then injecting the concentrated plasma into the scalp. This is thought to promote hair growth by providing growth factors to the hair follicles. More research is need to define exactly how effective this procedure is. Learn more about PRP treatment for hair loss.
Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)LLLT devices, such as laser combs or helmets, emit low-level lasers or light energy to stimulate hair follicles and promote hair growth. Results will be minimal, and more testing and research is needed to establish its effectiveness.
Prescription Shampoos and TopicalsSome prescription shampoos, foams, or creams contain active ingredients like ketoconazole, corticosteroids, or tretinoin that can help manage hair loss and promote hair growth. Keratinocyte growth factor (KGF) serum has shown to be effective in stumping hair loss and promoting healthy hair growth, but again, more testing is needed. Learn more about Keratinocyte Growth Factor (KGF) Serum.
Hair SupplementsHair supplements are often marketed for hair health, but their effectiveness varies and should be discussed with a healthcare provider. Some of the more developed hair supplements like HR23+ can help prevent early stages of hair loss, and support the function of healthy hair growth in men and women. What's more, hair supplements are safe, and free from any major negative side-effects. Learn more about how HR23+ works.
Lifestyle ChangesMaking changes to your diet, managing stress, and ensuring proper sleep can indirectly impact hair health. Be sure to eat a high-protein diet, healthy foods, drink lots of water, and getting plenty of exercise. A healthy lifestyle can lead to healthy hair.
Medical Treatments for Underlying ConditionsIf hair loss is due to an underlying medical condition (e.g., thyroid disorders, hormonal imbalances), treating the underlying cause may help prevent further hair loss.
It's important to note that not all treatments work equally for everyone, and some may have side effects or limitations. If you're experiencing significant hair loss, it's recommended to consult with a dermatologist or healthcare provider to determine the underlying cause and discuss the best treatment options for your specific situation. They can help you make an informed decision based on your medical history, the severity of your hair loss, and your individual needs and preferences.