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If your hair has gradually started thinning, there are varying causes and treatment options on offer in the UK. We understand it can be a worrying time, and we’re here to offer help and advice on why your hair may be thinning. In many cases, there may also be remedies and treatments for thin hair too. However if your hair has suddenly started thinning at an unusually fast rate, we recommend booking in with your GP for a consultation.
What causes hair thinning in men?
The most likely cause of gradual thinning hair in men is male pattern baldness, which is linked to your genes and hormones. For men, it usually begins with a receding hairline and thinning hair on the crown.
It is caused by a sensitive reaction to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a type of testosterone. The body’s reaction to DHT causes your follicles to shrink and in turn lose the ability to grow new hair. As the follicles shrink, the hair that grows is finer and weaker. As the follicles close up, the combination of losing hair more quickly and the slow replacement rate results in thinning and baldness.
Can your hair grow back after thinning?
There is good clinical evidence for the effectiveness of finasteride (branded as Propecia) in the treatment of male pattern balding. So if you are in the early stages of balding then this may be a good treatment option for you. Finasteride works by blocking the effect of the dihydrotestosterone (DHT) hormones that shrink hair follicles. This means the follicles can continue to allow hair growth again, which reduces shedding and thinning of hair.
Minoxidil is another option if you are looking to revert the effects of thinning hair from male pattern baldness. It was the first hair loss treatment proven to reverse genetic male hair loss, branded as Regaine for Men. It is a topical treatment that increases the blood supply to the areas that it is applied and increases the nutrients absorbed by the hair follicles. By preventing shrinkage of hair follicles, it results in prevention of hair loss and in many cases promotes regrowth of thinning hair.
What products can I use to make my hair appear thicker?
If you are looking for a non-medicinal way to make thinning hair appear thicker, hair fibres may be a good solution for you. They are especially good if you already have hair, but the early stages of thinning mean you would like to add volume and disguise any bald patches. Brands such as Viviscal sell a variety of colours and shades in hair fibres and concealers, as well as a locking spray to keep them in place all day.
What can I do about thinning hair as a woman?
If you are woman with thinning hair from the top of your parting, you may be experiencing female pattern balding. In this case, minoxidil scalp foam, branded as Regaine for Women, may be a good treatment for you. Minoxidil increases the blood supply to the areas that it is applied to, increasing the nutrients absorbed by the hair follicles and ultimately promoting the regrowth of thinning hair.
There are many other reasons why you may be noticing thinning hair, so if you are concerned it is best to see your GP. You may need some blood tests to check for vitamin and mineral deficiencies and your thyroid status. If you are pregnant or have recently had a baby, you may want to read more about thinning hair during pregnancy.
There are many causes of male hair loss; if you are concerned or have experience fast hair loss, book in to see your GP as soon as you can. Causes of hair loss include:
- Hereditary male pattern balding, known as androgenetic alopecia (95% of cases)
- Certain medical disorders such as iron deficiency or hypothyroidism
- Prescribed medication
- Poor nutrition
- Bad hair care techniques
- Severe stress
If you have male pattern balding, the early stages will start with thinning and gradually lead to hair loss. Thinning hair in males is often the start of hair loss as it is a sign that the follicles are shrinking. At the thinning stage there are still available treatments that you can discuss with a medical professional, such as minoxidil, finasteride/Propecia.
Deficiencies in vitamin B3, vitamin C, Zinc and Iron can cause hair loss and thinning. However if you are experiencing male pattern balding this is likely to be hereditary and not related to a lack of vitamins.