What Does Thinning Hair Look Like?

woman with thinning hair

The signs of thinning hair may often fly under the radar, but if you’re beginning to suspect that your hair is thinning, you’re probably wondering about warning signs to be on the lookout for.

We’ll unravel the details of thinning hair here, as well as highlight how modern haircare products can help.

What Are the Signs of Thinning Hair?

Thinning hair can present itself in several different ways. Some of the most common signs of thinning hair include:

  • Bald or scaly patches on the scalp
  • Hair clumping in the shower or on your pillow after sleeping
  • A noticeably receding hairline
  • Noticing that a greater proportion of the scalp is visible
  • Greater frequency of sunburns on the scalp
  • An unusual, lightweight feel to the hair, alongside difficulty styling as usual

It’s well-known that genetics, hormones, and diet can all affect the health of your hair. It’s even common for hair to change as we age. In most cases, thinning hair is normal; however, if your goal is to upgrade your hair game, you may be looking for ways to encourage healthier hair.

Let’s go over a few of those common signs from above in greater detail.

Hair Clumps

The way our hair sheds can indicate whether it’s thinning. We all typically lose 50-100 strands of hair each day, but if you’re noticing larger clumps of hair in the shower drain or on your pillow in the morning, this could be a sign that you’re experiencing more than just typical hair loss.

Bald Spots 

If thinning hair is a concern, keep an eye out for large amounts of hair loss in a specific area.

Some people tend to lose hair in small, circular patches on the scalp, beard, or eyebrows—that kind of concentrated hair loss may be one of the first signs of thinning hair.

Small Ponytail

A surefire sign of thinning hair is if you notice that your ponytail is feeling a little lighter than it used to be. If you notice your ponytail looking a little sparse these days, thinning hair could be the culprit.

Lightweight Feel

Unfortunately, it’s possible to lose large amounts of hair before you even actually notice it.

Get into the habit of monitoring your hair each time you comb it. Note its weight and thickness. If your hair starts to feel lighter, gets bogged down with hair products more easily, or starts clumping around your brush more than you’re used to, you may be seeing the early warning signs of thinning hair.

Visible Scalp

In women, hair loss tends to begin on the crown of the head near the part. If your scalp is starting to peek through, it could be time to consider solutions for thinning hair to stop hair loss in its tracks.

More Visible Forehead and More Scalp Sunburns

Your hair naturally protects the scalp from sunburns by shielding it from UV rays. Naturally, if you have less hair to shield your sensitive scalp, you’re more vulnerable to sunburns.

Scalp sunburns are common, but they frequently occur near the hair’s part where the scalp sees less coverage from overlapping strands of hair. If you’re feeling the burn on other areas of your head, however, it could be that hair thinning or a receding hairline may be leaving you exposed to the sun’s rays.

Your Hair Doesn’t Style the Same Way

If you’re dealing with thinning hair, it may not style the way it used to. With less volume, it might appear flat and stringy, or you could find yourself changing the direction of your part to hide signs of apparent hair loss.

You Wake Up With More Hair on Your Pillow

Seeing more hair on your pillow each morning that you remember? As your hair becomes more prone to shedding, tossing and turning at night—where the hair strands catch on the fabric of your pillowcase—can cause more strands to shed from the follicle than normal.

How Can I Increase Volume and Prevent Thinning Hair? 

If you’re struggling with thinning hair, you’ve got options aplenty. Modern science has given us products that increase hair’s volume, its thickness, even its overall health. Check out the following list for common ways to boost your hair’s volume and integrity.

Avoid Excessive Hair Styling 

If you’re a fan of heated styling tools, try to cut back on the number of times each week you use them. When you do, make sure to keep the temperature in the correct range—going too high can cause damage, and damage leads to breakage. If you must use a heated styling tool, incorporate a heat protectant into your routine.

Heat protectant creams, oils, and sprays can help to prevent cuticle damage by coating the hair strands with a protective layer, keeping each strand healthy, hydrated, and happy.

If adding a wavy texture to your hair is your thing, braids could be a safer alternative as long as you don’t pull them too tight. Try braiding your hair in sections and leaving them in overnight to set. The next morning, remove the braids, and even add in a light spritz to enhance the tousled look.

Sport a Shorter ‘Do

When it comes to hair, length means weight, and extra weight straightens the hair strand away from the scalp. By shortening your hairstyle, any waves and curls may hold a little bit tighter to the scalp, giving it the appearance of density and volume.

Opting for a medium- or shoulder-length style can help achieve this hair hack that does more with less!

Try Scalp Serum To Promote Hair Growth

When it comes to giving your hair every tool it needs to be successful, a topical serum, like our Hair Revival Serum, is an effective choice. It reinvigorates dormant hair follicles with a blend of B vitamins, aloe vera, caffeine, and other nutrients, all capped off with our groundbreaking ingredient, ProCelinyl™.

Balance Your Diet

Your hair needs proper fuel to grow, and your hair is only as healthy as the nutrients you give it. If you’ve got any nutritional gaps in your diet, consider talking to your doctor about balancing out your daily regimen or possibly adding a multivitamin or dietary supplement to make up for any shortcomings. Some of the following foods are excellent sources of the vitamins and minerals you need:

  • Fish. Tuna and salmon are high in omega-3 fatty acids that support the production of natural oils.
  • Chicken. Lean protein supports healthy levels of keratin in the body.
  • Spinach. This iron-rich food is excellent for increasing iron levels. Believe it or not, a leading cause of hair loss is iron deficiency.  
  • Dairy. Proteins and lipids in dairy products strengthen hair, and calcium promotes hair growth.
  • Legumes. Plant-based sources of protein and zinc are excellent for supporting hair strength.
  • Nuts. Nuts are excellent sources of zinc, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, biotin, protein, and magnesium, which help strengthen and nourish the scalp.

Remain Hydrated 

It’s not just a meme: Don’t forget to drink water! Drinking plenty of water everyday is key for your overall well-being, and that hydration is essential for keeping your scalp in pristine condition.

Cutting back on alcohol and caffeinated beverages—both of which are diuretics, making you lose more water than you need to—can help keep the water in your body where it needs to be.

Avoid Tight Hairstyles

Tight hairstyles like buns, ponytails, and tight braids can cause friction and tension at the scalp, pulling on the hair strands and stressing the hair follicles. There’s actually a name for this type of hair loss: Traction alopecia.

Repetitive stress from tight hairstyles can contribute to hair loss. Prevent it by tying your hair a bit looser, or wearing it down more often than usual. If you do choose to tie your hair back, secure it with a softer, more forgiving material like satin or silk hair ties.

Use a Scalp Stimulating Shampoo

Scalp stimulating shampoo can help to cleanse and nourish the scalp to prevent hair damage. by exfoliating the scalp and removing building from excess hair product, new hair growth can come in unimpeded, healthy, and strong.

Try a Hair Fiber Concealer

Applying a hair fiber concealer like Topikk can be a clever, short-term solution that cleans up the look of your hair quickly. If you choose to go this route, select a fiber shade that matches the natural color of your hair and apply it to thinning areas. The fibers clump together and give the area the appearance of thicker, denser hair.

If you’re looking for something more serious and long-term, however, our Hair Revival Serum delivers lasting results in as little as six to eight weeks.

Avoid Overprocessing Hair

Hot oil treatments, perms, bleaching, and coloring may contribute to hair thinning with the harsh chemicals and temperatures they require. Continued use can only exacerbate any damage, potentially leading to breakage, thinning, and hair loss.

What Causes Hair Thinning?

It’s frustrating to feel that you’re losing control of your hair. Don’t worry—thinning hair is a common problem, all it takes is finding the right solution to tackle the root cause. 

Here are a few common causes of hair loss and thinning hair.

1. Stress 

Chronic stress puts the body into panic mode, and too much stress can lead to hair thinning. Unfortunately, hair loss can occur even months after the physical or emotional stressor.

On the bright side? Hair loss from stress is often temporary, but prolonged stress means that the period of hair loss may be prolonged, too.

2. Vitamin D 

Vitamin deficiencies have been shown to cause complex issues, but a small study found a correlation between lower levels of vitamin D in patients with alopecia areata than in patients without the condition. The research continues, but preliminary evidence seems to suggest a connection between vitamin D deficiency and hair loss.

3. Genetics 

With hair loss, sometimes it’s nurture, but sometimes it’s down to nature. Genetics can play a major role in hair loss in both men and women. For women, that thinning tends to occur near the top of the head or near the hair’s part; in men, that hair loss typically occurs near the hairline above the temples, or on the back of the head near the crown.

4. Thyroid 

Your thyroid controls more than you think: Hormone levels, metabolism, and even hair growth. If your thyroid isn’t working properly, a symptom could be hair loss. As always, if you suspect thyroid issues may be the root cause of your hair loss, see a doctor to receive a proper diagnosis and make sure you aren’t dealing with a more complicated condition.

5. Medications 

Medicines are a modern marvel, but unfortunately, some may contribute to thinning hair and hair loss. Some medications used to treat cancer, depression, anxiety, hypertension, and heart disease have all been implicated in contributing to hair loss. If you’re worried that your prescriptions are contributing to your hair loss, make sure to consult your doctor.

6. Hormones

Hormones are part of the body’s signaling system, and anything that impacts hormone levels can disrupt the delicate balance of that system. Menopause, pregnancy, childbirth, birth control—all of those conditions and life events can alter the body’s hormonal balance, and those fluctuations may affect hair growth, loss, and thinning.

7. Medical Conditions 

Many forms of alopecia—alopecia focalis, alopecia totalis, alopecia universalis, to name a few—can lead to hair loss directly as the immune system attacks the hair follicles. Even mental health conditions like trichotillomania can cause compulsive hair-pulling.

  • Alopecia areata. An autoimmune disorder that causes the body to attack the hair follicles, leading to damage and patchy, circular bald spots. Alopecia areata has many types and may present itself on the scalp, the entirety of the skull, the beard, or even the entire body in the case of alopecia universalis.
  • Trichotillomania. Trichotillomania is a chronic hair-pulling disorder similar to obsessive-compulsive disorder that causes an individual to pluck out hairs on different parts of the body, most often the scalp. Medications that treat the underlying anxious compulsion and cognitive behavioral therapy are options to resolve trichotillomania.

Is Hair Thinning Permanent?

When caused by stress, short-term weight change, or nutritional deficits, hair loss can be temporary. Some diseases, disorders, and life events can also lead to transient hair thinning, and addressing any underlying medical conditions promptly can make a huge difference in your road to regrowth.

If you think you’re dealing with an underlying condition that’s causing your hair loss, make sure to consult a medical professional as soon as you notice symptoms.

Bottom Line

Hair loss is complex, but it doesn’t have to leave you feeling powerless. Simple solutions exist: Taking a daily multivitamin and eating a balanced diet can go a long way to promoting better overall health, while changing up your hairstyle and avoiding harsh hair products can reduce the wear and tear on your hair. Even if the underlying cause is a medical condition, treating that medical condition promptly and properly may reverse the hair loss you’re seeing.

Another option? At Revela, we’ve discovered ProCelinyl to make thinning hair a thing of the past. It’s clinically proven to work, with results coming in as little as six to eight weeks.

Don’t let thinning hair control you—reclaim your confidence today with Revela.

Profile photo for Enzo Benfanti

Reviewed by: Enzo Benfanti, MEng

Enzo is a chemical engineer and data enthusiast with a background in industrial chemicals. His previous experience is in developing catalysts and designing industrial chemical processes to produce the precursors to detergents, polyester fibers, and other specialty materials. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University at Buffalo [Go Bills!] and his master's degree from Columbia University, both in chemical engineering.

Written by: Revela Editorial Team

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