Common Causes of Hair Loss & Damage (And How to Avoid Them)

Hair loss isn’t just something to worry about when you’re older - what you do on a daily basis can contribute to losing your locks or hair damage. There are many common causes of hair loss in women, many of which you might not even think twice about.

How to Tell if Your Hair Is Thinning

According to hair experts, the average woman loses from 100 to 125 hairs a day. Genetics, diet, and medication can vary an individual’s normal daily hair loss, but there are definitive ways how to tell if your hair is thinning.

First, if you’re losing hair in clumps instead of individual strands, your hair may be thinning. Having a visible scalp and bald patches are also telltale signs and pay attention to the size of your ponytail and the weight of your hair. If your hair is thinning, you’ll have noticeably lighter weight locks.

Common Causes of Hair Loss in Women

There are two main types of hair loss: genetic and reactive. The first is due to a genetic predisposition, while a reactive loss is caused by factors that aren’t built into your DNA. Common reactive causes of hair loss in women are internal bodily imbalances due to diet, stress, or sickness.

Does Creatine Cause Hair Loss?

If you’re trying to bulk up, creatine can be great for building muscle.

But does creatine cause hair loss? If taken for an extended period of time, yes. The supplement blocks nutrients from reaching your hair follicles by producing the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

To prevent hair loss, it’s best to avoid taking creatine and looking into other similar supplements.

Medications That Cause Hair Loss

There are two types of medicine-induced hair loss: Telogen effluvium, which begins within two to four months after taking a drug, and anagen effluvium, which can appear within a few days or weeks.

Some common medications that cause hair loss are:

  • Acne medications
  • Antidepressants
  • Birth control
  • Thyroid medications
  • Weight loss drugs

There are various other medications that cause hair loss, so don’t be afraid to discuss this with your doctor. Usually, hair will grow back once you stop taking the drug.

Can Stress Cause Hair Loss?

Yes. There are three types of stress-induced hair loss: Telogen effluvium (TE), alopecia areata (AA), and trichotillomania.

While TE is reversible, AA is an autoimmune disease with no known cause. Research suggests that trichotillomania is genetic.

Maintaining a diet rich in vitamins C, B, and E and managing your stress will prevent these types of hair loss.

Can Dandruff Cause Hair Loss?

It’s not uncommon to wonder, “Can dandruff cause hair loss?” Dandruff isn’t a direct cause, but scratching the itchy flakes can damage your hair follicles. To control the itch, talk to a doctor, use a medicated shampoo, and keep your scalp moisturized.

Do Hats Cause Hair Loss or Damage?

While wearing hats doesn’t directly damage your mane, it can have some side effects. If sweat gets trapped in your favorite baseball cap, or if it’s on too tight, it can definitely irritate your follicles and potentially cause damage.

Foods That Cause Hair Loss

There are specific foods that cause hair loss, but what’s key is knowing the chemicals in those foods. Consuming the following in excess amounts can lead to loss of your locks:

  • Sugar
  • Fish with mercury
  • Fried foods
  • Diet drinks with aspartame

These are the main offenders, so avoiding them can prevent hair loss that may be due to an imbalanced diet.

Does Smoking Cause Hair Loss?

While smoking isn’t usually the direct cause, it can create conditions that lead to it. Smoking can reduce blood circulation to your follicles and deregulate hormones that promote hair growth, making it difficult to maintain healthy hair.

Can Diabetes Cause Hair Loss?

People with diabetes may have sugar build-up in their blood, interrupting the oxygen flow to their follicles. This can stunt hair growth and even lead to hair loss. Those who deal with diabetes are also more likely to have alopecia areata.

Does Dying Your Hair Damage It?

It’s a common question: Does dying your hair damage it? In short, yes. Hair dye has to literally lift your hair’s protective layer to embed pigment in your hair, causing split and dry ends.

Does Blow Drying Damage Hair?

Understanding does blow-drying damage hair means understanding how extreme heat can damage your hair. Blow drying your hair strips it not only of excess shower water but also natural oils that keep it moisturized. Using the hair dryer too often can fry your tresses.

Does Hairspray Damage Hair?

Hairsprays that contain ethanol can irritate your scalp and damage your follicles, so beware of ethanol-heavy products. Also, brushing hardened hair can break strands and cause split ends. Make sure you style your hair before spraying it!

Does Braiding Your Hair Damage It?

The answer to “Does braiding damage hair?” is complex - braiding can be both damaging and beneficial to your hair. Braids can decrease frizz and even protect natural hair, but too-tight ties will stress out your hair.

Why Does Heat Damage Hair?

It’s common knowledge, but not many know the explanation to why does heat damage hair. High heat can break your hair’s natural shape and strip it of natural moisture, leading to frizzy, dry strands.

The best hair dryer for damaged hair is ionic, preferably with a concentrator nozzle on the end to focus and reduce heat.

Do Cotton Pillowcases Damage Hair?

Weirdly, it’s true: Cotton pillowcases damage hair. The texture can cause breakage, especially to wet hair, and cotton can strip your strands of natural moisture. Switching to silk pillowcases will prevent these effects.