Maybe you've been losing hair by the handfuls, or maybe you just have a nagging suspicion that your hair isn't quite as thick as it used to be. Either way, you're probably wondering why, and more importantly, what can you do about it? Here are some of the most likely reasons you've been losing hair and how to address the problem.
- Vitamin Deficiency: With today's standard American diet, many of us don't get nearly enough nutrients. Even if you take a multivitamin, it's possible to become deficient because your body can't use the vitamins in a pill as well or as fully as it can the vitamins in food. Make sure you're getting enough B vitamins by eating plenty of berries and green vegetables. Protein is also essential, but most of us get enough easily. Other important vitamins for hair include Vitamin A, D, C, Calcium, and Zinc. If you're a vegetarian, make sure you're getting enough B12.
- Medications: There are plenty of common medications that can cause hair loss as a side effect. Birth control is definitely a big one for women. Usually if you experience hair loss with birth control, you'll see the hair thinning a couple months after starting and stopping the pill. For most women, it's a temporary thinning and your hair will return to normal within a few months. Antibiotics taken long term (for acne, for example) may cause hair loss. Various anti-depressants may cause hair loss. There are many other medications that can cause your hair to thin either temporarily or permanently so be sure to read up on whichever medications you're taking. Just because a medication may have hair loss as a side effect doesn't mean you should stop taking it. Speak with your doctor before stopping any medications.
- Too Many Chemicals: Between daily shampooing, monthly dying or root touch ups, highlighting, perming, and brazillian blow-outs, there's no shortage of harsh chemicals in the daily life of the average woman's hair. You can only torture your hair so much before it starts to fall out. If you have to shampoo daily, then switch to an organic brand. Or if you dye your hair once a month, use an ammonia free formula.
- Too Much Heat: On top of all the chemicals, many of us also blow dry, curl, and straighten daily or every other day. Give it rest! Learn to embrace your natural texture. It's beautiful--we guarantee it! Nature simply doesn't create "ugly" hair. Sure "hot" looks come and go, and it's fun to experiment, but try to find a way to style your natural hair so your experiments don't turn into daily hour long heat styling routines. Your hair will thank you for it.
- Underlying Health Conditions: If you've done what you can to address everything we suggested above and your hair is still falling out, you'll want to see your doctor. In fact, if your hair is falling out in true clumps, forget trying any of the above and see your doctor immediately. Most of the time, heat styling, typical hair chemicals, medications, and vitamin deficiencies won't cause hair to fall out in huge clumps. Usually the thinning with these factors is more gradual, so large amounts of hair being lost may signal a more serious health problem.