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Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow: Why You May Have Thinning Hair

Is your forehead growing taller? Is the part in your hair getting wider? You’re far from alone if your crowning glory is looking a little less glorious these days.

Genes are a very common cause for hair loss in both men and women. But there are several other possible causes as well. Here’s what you need to know.

Blame Your Parents!

Hair loss is often the normal result of having specific genes. In addition, hormonal changes may play a role in women’s hair loss after menopause.

Regardless of the cause, it can be unsettling to look in the mirror and see more of your scalp staring back. Hereditary hair loss typically follows a predictable pattern:

  • Men may have a receding hairline or a bald patch that starts in the center of their scalp.

  • Women may notice that their part is wider or their ponytail is skimpier. Eventually, this may lead to all-over thinning.

Without treatment, this kind of hair loss tends to gradually worsen over time. But you may be able to slow it down with prescription or over-the-counter medicine. Talk with your primary care provider or a dermatologist about your treatment options.

Other Possible Causes

Don’t just assume that hair thinning is hereditary, however. There are several potential causes that aren’t genetic, including:

  • Emotional or physical stress

  • Health conditions such as diabetes and lupus

  • Medications such as those for heart problems and gout

  • Chemotherapy and radiation therapy

  • Hairstyles that pull your hair too tightly

  • Harsh hair treatments such as perms and hot-oil treatments

This kind of hair thinning is often treatable or temporary. It may also provide crucial clues about the state of your overall health.

So even if you’re fine with seeing more of your scalp lately, you should still discuss hair thinning with your health care provider and face the issue head-on.

© 2000-2020 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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