Hair Loss Causes Signs and Symptoms

Redken has partnered with Dr. Nicole Rogers, a board-certified dermatologist, when working to create the Cerafill thinning hair solutions line. She provides her professional expertise on your questions about thinning hair. 

What are the main causes of thinning hair?

Several factors play a role in thinning hair including genetics, lifestyle and aging. The most common cause of long-standing thinning hair is male and female pattern hair loss (also known as androgenetic alopecia, AGA). This is also known as male pattern hair loss (MPHL) and female pattern hair loss (FPHL).

How does hair thin?

The normal growth cycle of a single hair strand can last anywhere from two to six years. When hair is healthy and growing at a steady rate, it grows about a half-inch per month. When hair is thinning, the growth cycle shortens and stays in the actively growing phase for shorter periods of time.

Anagen Phase
Anagen phase is the growth phase, which lasts three to five years and includes 90% of hair
Catagen Phase
Catagen phase is an approximately three-week regression phase in which hair growth stops
Telogen Phase
Telogen phase is the three-to five-month rest phase in the hair growth cycle
Miniaturization occurs at the end of the telogen phase when the hairs fall out, and instead of being as thick as the previous hairs, they are being replaced by thinner, finer versions of themselves
Dr. Rogers Explains Thinning Hair
It is common to lose some hairs on a daily basis during washing or styling; the normal amount is 50–100 hairs per day. If a person loses more than 100 hairs every day, this is considered excessive or premature hair loss.

Signs and Symptoms 

“My ponytail feels smaller”

Many women who wear their hair up in ponytails will report a difference in thickness. For example, they were only able to twist an elastic band once or twice, but now they have to twist it 3 or 4 times. If this has happened over a period of greater than 6-12 months, it may reflect a long-standing inherited female pattern thinning. 
“I can’t style it the same anymore”

Men and women complain that there is a distinct change in texture as hair thins. This can feel like hair is more limp, more breakable, gets weighed down more easily with product, or is too thin to cover the scalp. If this problem has been going on for over a year now, and there are no major physiologic stressors you can identify, you may have early female or male pattern hair loss.
“My hair is coming out in clumps""

When the hair is coming out in large handfuls or collects as wads in the shower drain, you may be suffering from a temporary form of hair loss called telogen effluvium.  This is likely if the hair has only been shedding for 6 or less months. You should consider whether there are any major stressful events in your life. Consider seeing your doctor for a workup of possible medical causes for your hair loss.
""My family says they can see my scalp""

The most common female pattern of hair loss is hair thinning in the frontal 1/3-2/3 of the scalp.  For most women the frontal hairline stays intact. It is still essential to continue to prevent hair thinning using therapies such as topical minoxidil.
""Every time I comb it, hair falls out""
The simple act of combing hair can often result in a distressing amount of hair loss or hair shedding.  Most persons who start using medical therapies such as topical minoxidil will report a significant decrease in daily shedding after  just a few weeks to months of use."

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