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Sudden hair thinning – Everything you want to know about it

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Hair is a thread like extension emerging from the body. It acts as an insulating device and also protects the head from much damage.

Hair has become a matter of utmost importance nowadays. This is large because of increasing complaints of hair loss, balding and hair thinning. Keen observation reveals that this has been so since the beginning of the 1990s.

Why so, you may wonder? Since then, mankind’s lifestyle choices have taken a drastic change. The food we eat, the jobs we work and the gadgets we use have all turned back on us. The lack of nutrition in what we eat; the stress resulting from the jobs we dedicate ourselves to; the radiation emitting from the gadgets we use.

So much more are the cause of hair thinning and hair loss. So before we understand how to treat this epidemic called hair thinning, first we need to understand its origin and etiology.

Related: Understanding And Treating Diffuse Hair Loss

This article seeks to explore the following:

1.    What is hair thinning?

2.    What causes Sudden hair thinning?

3.    How to stop sudden hair thinning?

All set? Now let’s jump into this article and hope that it answers the most pressing of our doubts.

1.    What is hair thinning?

But first, it is important to understand that while both are being used synonymously, they are in fact two separate conditions. Hair loss refers to the decrease in the number of hair attached to the scalp. It is also medically known as ‘alopecia’. On the other hand, hair thinning is hair loss that generally occurs with age and results in fewer, weaker and smaller hair follicles. While hair loss is generally a common event in the life cycle of hair, it is essential to understand that if hair loss or hair thinning occurs suddenly and excessively, it may be due to a medical hair condition.

2.    What causes sudden hair thinning?

Hair thinning may be due to the following causes. But before we delve into those facts first let us take time to understand the hair life cycle. The hair life cycle consists of 3 major stages, they are:

a) Anagen- It is the stage during which hair is in an active state of growth.

b) Catagen- It refers to hair growth that is transitional.

c) Telogen- it is known as the resting phase and at the end of it, hair falls out and is replaced by new hair.

Related: Hair Loss Due To Stress

Hair thinning causes include:

•    Involutional alopecia- It refers to the natural condition in which hair thins due to age.

•    Androgenic alopecia- It is also known as pattern baldness. It is a genetic condition characterized by hairline receding and the gradual disappearance of hair from the frontal scalp and the crown of the head. It commonly affects both genders.

•    Alopecia areata- It refers to the sudden and patchy loss of hair in youths and children.

•    Alopecia Universalis- It refers to the fall of all body hair, even pubic hair, and eyelashes.

•    Telogen effluvium- It is the most common cause of hair thinning over the scalp caused by a large portion of hair suddenly entering the telogen, or resting, phase resulting in hair thinning or shedding.

•    Scarring alopecia- It refers to the condition caused by inflammatory skin disorders. These threaten to destroy the hair follicles and hence prevent the ability of hair to regenerate.

•    Trichotillomania- It is a psychological disorder in which one, usually children, pulls one’s hair out.

Related: Excessive hair shedding and how to deal with it

Other non-medical causes of hair thinning include:

a) Excessive hairstyling and increased strain on hair can cause hair thinning. Hot combs and trying hair in tight braids and ponytails can also cause permanent hair loss. This elongated hair cells causing them to tear and break off.

b) Stress is a major factor that contributes to increasing the rate of hair thinning and hair loss.

c) Hair loss may also be comorbid to a medical disease such as cancer or autoimmune diseases.

d) Hair loss may also be due to increased exposure towards heat and radiation.

e) Hair thinning may also be caused when exposed to certain toxic chemicals or chemical treatment, such as chemotherapy.

These are the most common causes of hair thinning.

3.    How to stop sudden hair thinning?

Before we search for treatment strategies and remedies for hair growth, it is essential that we focus on preventive strategies against sudden hair thinning. The following strategies can help prevent further hair loss from occurring:

a) Hair can be massaged softly, but never put much strain on hair.

b) Avoid the use of chemical hair products.

c) Never comb while hair is wet as wet hair is much more susceptible to breakage.

d) Focus on reducing stress. This can be done by providing enough time for rest and by engaging in healthy distractions.

e) Avoid the right hairstyles.

f) Avoid excessive usage of headgears, such as caps, hats, and helmets.

One can protect his / her hair by following the above strategies obediently. Next, up, natural remedies for overcoming hair thinning and hair loss are:

•    Oil therapy: Oil therapy is the most common and best method for treating hair thinning. Olive oil, Coconut oil, and Almond oil can be used in this therapy. Hair needs to be applied every night and then allowed to set overnight. It is then washed off the next day morning.

•    Apple cider vinegar treatment: Apple cider vinegar solution needs to be applied on the scalp and hair using a brush. This can be applied twice a week. It strengthens hair and makes it appear glossy.

•    Lemon juice hair bath: Lemon juice, rich in citric acid and vitamins, enriches the health of the hair follicles and also helps prevent dandruff.

•    Onion juice hair bath: Onion juice when applied on hair, followed by a hair wash, helps to promote hair growth and prevent hair fall.

•    Aloe vera gel therapy: Apart from being the best natural remedy for dandruff, aloe vera gel promotes the strength of hair follicles and its growth.


In case none of the above techniques work out, the wisest choice would be to consult with a trichologist.

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