First Signs of Hair Thinning

First Signs of Hair Thinning

Temporary or permanent hair thinning affects both men and women alike. Understanding the first signs of hair thinning and its causes helps you stop the process in its tracks. You can minimize hair loss with effective treatments. Keep scrolling to learn more.

What Are the First Signs of Hair Thinning?

Some early signs of hair thinning include:

  • More scalp showing through hair
  • Hair shedding
  • Thinner ponytail
  • Wider hair part

These signs of thinning hair occur in both men and women and may begin gradually. 

What Are the Signs of Male Pattern Balding?

When a man’s hair begins to thin, it starts thinning around the temples, the top of the head, and the forehead. This thinning usually occurs in stages and because hair grows slower, haircuts are needed less frequently. 

Men with a condition called alopecia areata may also notice circular bald spots starting to appear.

Thinning Around Your Hairline

Hair begins to thin and recede around the temples and the crown — this visible hair thinning shows when comparing photographs of yourself from year to year.

Excessive Hair Loss With Brushing or During a Shower

It is normal to lose some hair when you shower or brush your hair, but excessive hair loss may mean your hair is thinning. 

Don’t panic. Sudden hair loss occasionally occurs for a day or two and isn’t cause for concern. Simply observe the hair loss for a week or two to determine how much hair you’re losing.

Stress and high fever may cause a more significant amount of hair lost in your brush or hands for one to six months. You may also notice loose hairs on your pillow after sleeping. If you see a lot of hair loss for an extended amount of time, consider contacting your healthcare provider.

Bald Spots

Alopecia areata causes the immune system to attack the hair follicles, causing hair to fall out. When this happens, the hair falls out in almost perfect circles. This autoimmune disorder also causes hair loss in other parts of the body, such as the eyebrows, eyelashes, or arms. This hair loss may be temporary or permanent.

What Are the Signs of Female Balding?

Many women experience hair loss and balding, but it still doesn’t get talked about enough. 

The stages of female balding have been categorized according to the Ludwig Scale. This scale shows how female pattern baldness progresses based on severity and classifies hair loss as follows. 

Grade 1 Hair Loss

Grade 1 of the Ludwig Scale is minimal thinning, sometimes so minimal that it may go undetected. The hair is thin, but the hairline does not recede.

Grade 2 Hair Loss

Grade 2 involves a widened hair part and decreased hair volume. The scalp becomes more visible, and increased hair shedding occurs.

Grade 3 Hair Loss

Grade 3 is referred to as diffuse thinning because the hair loss reveals the scalp near the crown and is the most severe type of hair thinning.

What Are the Causes of Hair Thinning?

Many different factors can contribute to hair thinning or hair loss. While some of these factors relate to lifestyle choices, others are out of your control. 

Building a better understanding of the causes of hair thinning can help you determine what changes need to be made to slow or treat your hair loss. 

Hair loss is hard to deal with, but you’re not alone, and understanding the causes can help you reclaim your power.

Do Genetics Cause Hair Loss?

Hair thinning and baldness are the most significant factors in how susceptible you are to thin hair or baldness. 

Do Medications Cause Hair Loss?

Some medications affect the normal hair growth cycle, leading to telogen effluvium or anagen effluvium. The hair follicles go into a sleeping phase during telogen effluvium. 

Types of medications that can affect hair by instigating telogen effluvium are:

  • Blood thinners
  • Birth control
  • Blood pressure medications
  • Chemotherapy

Do Infections and Skin Conditions Cause Hair Thinning?

The fungal infection ringworm causes hair loss in patches, known as tinea capitis. If it becomes severe, inflammation in the hair follicles, called folliculitis, destroys the hair follicles, leaving permanent bald spots. Another hair disease known as piedra, an asymptomatic superficial fungal infection of the hair shaft, leaves hard nodules on the hair fibers, weakening them and increasing the potential for damage.

Do Injuries Cause Hair Loss?

Hair loss from injuries and burns usually always corrects itself, but that's another story if you develop scars from the injury. Hair does not grow over scars and may require hair grafting. In severe cases, wearing a wig to provide the illusion of a full head of hair.

Does Stress Cause Hair Loss?

Stress not only causes sleep and health issues, but significant emotional shock, anxiety, and stress may lead to hair thinning. This hair loss may occur for several months, and it is usually temporary, but can still be frustrating. The best way to combat this type of baldness is to practice meditation and relaxation techniques and address the problems head-on.

Does Hair Styling Cause Hair Loss?

Many hair care items cause hair thinning. Heated tools that are too high in temperature and wearing your hair in tight braids, ponytails, and buns may also put unnecessary pressure on the strands, causing them to either break or fall out.

Do Medical Conditions Cause Hair Loss?

Medical conditions may also cause hair loss. Some of these medical conditions include:

  • Thyroid disorders
  • Malnutrition 
  • Trichotillomania (hair pulling due to psychological disorders)
  • Tinea capitis (ringworm)
  • Telogen effluvium (stress or anxiety-induced hair loss)
  • Alopecia areata (when the immune system destroys hair follicles)

Medical conditions are diagnosed by a medical doctor and are most likely treated by the doctor or a dermatologist. Prescription treatment options are available for hair thinning and balding associated with medical conditions.

At What Age Do People Lose Their Hair?

Hair loss is often associated with older people, but since genetics play a significant role in hair loss, some people begin losing hair in their teens and others when they’re middle-aged. Hair thinning may only start as a receding hairline or at the crown of the head, while some people keep a head full of hair until they are past mid-life and never lose their hair. There is no set age for when people begin to lose their hair.

How Long Does It Take To Become Bald?

In general, balding begins with a receding hairline and may take decades to fully present. You may notice thinning at the front of your scalp, crown, or temples. 

There is no definite time frame for becoming bald, and genetics may play a role in this. If you are curious, ask family members when their hair began thinning, or see your doctor with questions or concerns you may have about your hair and treatment options.

How Do You Treat Thinning Hair? 

If you have thinning hair, finding a solution to prevent further shedding and thicken your hair may be your top priority. It can be frustrating to search for a solution that really works, but there are solutions available that are effective, safe, and trustworthy.

We’ve compiled a rundown of some of the best options available today to prevent, stop, or treat hair thinning. 

1. Hair Serums 

First and foremost, hair serum are topical solutions applied directly to the scalp. The direct application allows concentrated formulas to focus ingredients only on the areas of concern and reach hair cells directly. 

Revela’s Hair Revival Serum is unlike any other, containing a proprietary breakthrough ingredient called ProCelinyl, which jumpstarts dormant follicles by activating the dermal papilla. The serum itself is highly effective, safe for thinning hair, and free of all known toxins and harmful side effects. Many hair serums make these claims, but they do not have the laboratory and clinical data to back them up. At Revela, we stand by our money-back guarantee. Results reveal themselves after six to eight weeks of daily use and our customers are speaking up about their success and results.

2. Hair Thickening Shampoo 

Hair thickening shampoos help thicken the existing hair shaft, making the hair appear fuller. The shampoo infuses each strand with nourishing ingredients such as panthenol and keratin that plump the hair and add volume and strength. Hair thickening shampoo takes about one to two months to begin showing results. However, this does not affect new hair growth, only the hair that has already grown.

3. Stress Reduction 

Stress zaps your energy, makes you feel sick, and causes hair loss. If you have stress-induced hair loss, then stress reduction practices may help. Meditation, yoga, and breathing exercises may help reduce stress and hair loss. 

Results are immediate, with a sense of well-being, relaxation, and a decreased stress level. Hair should begin growing back within three months of consistent stress-reducing activities. Talk to your doctor before starting a new stress reduction program.

4. Vitamins & Supplements

Vitamin supplements can be a helpful addition to those who need them. However, there is some vitamin and supplement information to be wary of. Vitamin supplements such as biotin make hair and nail growth claims; however, no proven efficacy is available on these claims. Studies are limited, but they suggest that results from biotin reveal themselves within 90 days. Seek advice from your healthcare provider before beginning any vitamin regime.

Other vitamins and minerals that help hair growth include zinc, iron, amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids, and oils. Deficiencies in these vitamins and minerals can contribute to hair loss.

While supplements can claim large doses of supplemental nutrition, be wary that certain sizes, forms, and varieties of vitamins are not efficiency absorbed by the body. Therefore the quantities that you thought you were giving your body might not actually be making it to the parts that need them. 

Most vitamin requirements can be achieved with a balanced diet that includes leafy greens, nuts, and healthy fats.

5. Minoxidil

Minoxidil is a common chemical ingredient in hair products designed for hair loss, and its use for scarring alopecia, hair shaft disorders, and other forms of hair growth is common.

Minoxidil is available in serum, liquid spray, foam, and shampoo and does not require a prescription. It comes with side effects such as headaches, low blood pressure, and skin irritation.

Minoxidil takes a bit longer (sometimes up to 6-8 months) to see hair regrowth, if at all, after the initial hair shedding. A side effect that many minoxidil users report is that after ceasing minoxidil usage, thinning hair can quickly revert to post-usage conditions or worse.

6. Prescription Medications 

Prescription medications may work by slowing the rate of hair loss and stimulating new growth. Hair loss medications generally work to stop the body’s production of a hair-destroying hormone, and results may show in about four months. 

However, medications come with side effects, and hair loss may reoccur if you discontinue the use of your medication. Talk to your doctor about these side effects.

7. Antifungal Medications

Dermatologists may prescribe oral antifungal medications if your hair loss results from ringworm. This treatment lasts several months, but results reveal themselves within one to two months.

8. Hair Transplants 

Hair transplants are designed to be both a more immediate and permanent solution for hair loss and is most often intended as a last resort. It is a procedure that removes hair from thicker parts of the scalp or body and grafts them into the thinning or bald areas of the scalp. 

Hair grafting is a costly procedure, and the results can vary widely. Between 10 and 80% of transplanted hair grows back within three to four months, meaning the success of the procedure can be somewhat unpredictable. 

In Conclusion: Know The Signs and Tools to Fight Hair Loss

The first signs of hair thinning may gradually become more noticeable over time, possibly leading to baldness. There are many causes of hair thinning, including genetics, medications, stress, hormones, medical conditions, and infections. Noticing these signs can be concerning and upsetting — but know that you have real, effective options.

Finding a solution to your hair thinning and baldness may seem overwhelming. There are many options available, some being safer, faster, or more effective than others. When one or several of these early signs of hair thinning occur, you may want to consider a topical serum that has ingredients designed to target dormant follicles.

Whatever your option is, make sure it is backed by data, clinical studies, and most importantly by others like you who have succeeded in revitalizing their hair.


Hair loss - Symptoms and causes | Mayo Clinic

A Review of the Use of Biotin for Hair Loss | NCBI

Minoxidil and its use in hair disorders: a review | NCBI

Body to Scalp: Evolving Trends in Body Hair Transplantation | NC

Profile photo for David Zhang

Reviewed by: David Zhang, PhD

David is an immunologist and bioengineer with over a decade of medical research experience. He completed his PhD at Harvard University, where he worked on developing life-saving cancer therapies. He received his undergraduate degree in immunology from McGill University and his master's degree from the University of Toronto

Written by: Revela Editorial Team

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