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How to Tell If Your Hair Is Thinning

by: Better Not Younger September 21, 2022 10 min read

Better Not Younger features a woman showing her wide hair part as a sign of hair thinning

If you're like many women over 40, you've probably noticed some of the first signs of hair thinning. Maybe your ponytail looks smaller or your stylist has commented on your thinning locks. Or maybe you've just noticed more hair in the shower drain and on your hairbrush.

While this can be panic-inducing, before stressing too much, remember that it's 100% normal to lose between 50 and 100 hairs per day. And depending on how long your hair is, that might look like a lot of hair in your brush. Just keep in mind that it's completely natural to lose some hair strands every day.

But what if your hair shedding has increased lately and you're starting to notice these first signs of hair thinning?

Keep reading to learn more about some of the first signs of hair thinning, the root causes of age-related hair thinning in women, how to support your hair and scalp by encouraging your healthiest hair and style tips to help thinning hair look thicker and fuller!

 

What Causes Hair Thinning in Women?

 

Hormonal Fluctuations


Going through menopause and being postpartum can both cause hair thinning and hair loss. In these cases, our hormones fluctuate and our bodies undergo major changes. The drop in estrogen we experience during menopause and post-childbirth means that androgens aren't kept in check as well as they were before, which can cause hair thinning in women.

 

Increased Stress


Another huge culprit behind hair thinning and hair loss in women  over 40 is stress—and we don't just mean having a lot on our plate at work (though this is definitely a big part of it!) Stress-related hair loss can also result from trauma, both physical—like a severe illness or accident—and emotional, and it can put hair follicles in a state of rest. Additionally, when we are under a lot of stress mentally, we tend to forgo other important parts of self-care, like good nutrition and exercise. And once we're in a cycle of feeling stressed and run-down, it can be hard to break out of it, and our skin, nail and hair health can suffer.

 

Poor Nutrition and Gut Health


Our bodies absorb fewer nutrients as we age. So when we eat poorly and skip exercise, this only makes matters worse and creates a snowball effect—a nutrient-deficient diet prevents us from feeling and looking our best (and this includes our hair!) and we miss out on the feel-good endorphins and stress release that exercise provides. But that’s not all: Over time, these unhealthy habits can negatively affect our metabolism, which can shorten our hair’s growth phase.

This is why it’s important to incorporate healthy changes into your routine. And the good news is that you can start small! For example, if your diet isn't optimized, you can try adding a supplement to your morning routine to ensure you’re properly nourishing your strands, which can help fight the signs of hair thinning. We love our biotin, retinol and vitamin C–rich Significant Other Hair, Skin and Nails Supplement for this.

Stress can also wreak havoc on our gut health. And if our digestion is messed up, we aren't going to properly absorb the healthy nutrients our hair and scalp need! If stress has also affected your digestion, adding a hair- and skin-supporting probiotic like You Glow Girl Probiotic Skin Supplement can help promote healthy gut flora. You Glow Girl is designed to rebalance the gut with billions of good bacteria. Plus, it's packed with powerful skin super-boosters like hyaluronic acid and vitamin C to support smoother- and brighter-looking skin.

 

Aging


Aging is a fact of life, and along with aging hair signs such as dullness, brittleness and breakage can come hair thinning and hair loss. We know that collagen is important for healthier-looking hair and overall wellness, so this is why we make our Power Within Skin & Scalp Collagen Gummies with marine collagen our go-to supplement for giving our bodies the extra collagen they need after menopause-related collagen loss. Since vitamin C is tied to supporting and maintaining collagen in the body, we take our Power Within gummies with our vitamin C–packed Significant Other gummies to ensure we’re giving our bodies more of what they need while treating ourselves to tons of other hair-healthy nutrients!

 

What Do Hair Thinning Patterns Look Like in Women?

 

The signs of hair thinning can look different depending on the root cause of your hair loss, which we just discussed above. And often, hair thinning can be influenced by more than one factor at a time, for example stress and menopause. It’s important to keep in mind that every woman’s hair loss journey looks a little different as we are all unique with our genetic predispositions. Nevertheless, here are a few of the most common hair thinning patterns in women over 40 and their causes:

 

Androgenetic Alopecia (Female Pattern Hair Loss)

 

Thinning Pattern: Significant allover shedding, plus thinning hair at your hair part, temples or crown of your head

The Cause: Perimenopausal or menopausal hormone fluctuations

 

Alopecia Areata

 

Thinning Pattern: Small, patchy bald spots

The Cause: Inflammation from your immune system attacking your hair follicles, often triggered by stress

 

Telogen Effluvium  

 

Thinning Pattern: Thinning at the top of the scalp

The cause: Too much stress, trauma or insufficient nutrition

 

Postpartum Alopecia (Postpartum Telogen Effluvium)

 

Thinning Pattern: Diffuse hair thinning and patchy bald spots 

The Cause: Postpartum hormone fluctuations, specifically falling estrogen levels

 

10 Signs of Hair Thinning and Hair Loss—Plus Care and Styling Solutions 


1. A More Visible Scalp and Thinning at the Crown


If you’re seeing way more of your scalp than before, you might want to consider a clip-in hairpiece or wiglet. They’re a super easy way to hide thinning hair at the top of your head, and your options these days are virtually endless. Choose from clip-in bangs or hairpieces designed to add volume to the front of your head. And there’s no harm in stocking up on a few different pieces to suit your many styling needs!


2. Noticeably Finer Hair Strands


Even if we aren't experiencing hair loss, active hair follicles tend to grow finer hair strands as we age. So, even if we have about the same number of hairs on our head, our locks can appear thinner—add actual hair thinning to the equation and you can see how this quickly adds up! To make aging hair look thicker and healthier, we swear by our Lift Me Up Hair Thickener because it's loaded with hair-healthy ingredients like ceramide, biotin and niacinamide that nourish and support the scalp while instantly thickening the appearance of hair!


3. Patchy Bald Spots


Also known as alopecia areata, patchy bald spots aren't fun to deal with, but we can camouflage these patches by styling your hair to cover the bald areas. Patchy spots are common on the top of the head and at the crown, so a deep side part can help with patches (be sure to pin hair in place by your ear!). If your bald patch is at your crown, pull your hair back into a bun and pin gently in place over the spot. Finish off both styles with a volumizing hairspray to lock the style into place.


4. A Widening Hair Part


To hide a wide hair part, try a mini zigzag part! Part your hair as usual, and then use the thin end of a comb to pull a few alternating pieces to the opposite sides of your part. Do this from your hairline to the end of your part to make a wide hair part one less thing you have to worry about!


5. A Thinner Ponytail


Pulling our hair up into a ponytail is sometimes one of the first times we realize our hair has begun to thin. That’s why we’re all in on this TikTok-trending hair hack for a thicker ponytail. To start, gather the top half of your tresses into a ponytail as if you were going to wear it half up, and secure the ponytail at the back of your head. Next, take the rest of your hair and sweep it back into a second ponytail, securing it directly below the top ponytail so you have two ponytails stacked. Finally, fan out the top ponytail so it mostly covers the ponytail holder of the bottom one.


6. Thinning Near the Temples


Thinning in this area is most noticeable when you wear your hair pulled back. To camouflage signs of hair thinning at the temples, try wearing your hair down or in a low ponytail or asking your stylist for a cute cut with bangs to mask the area. Wispy bangs and curtain bangs are super cute options to hide hair thinning!


7. Less Volume


If you're dealing with a loss of volume in your hair, extensions can help to pump it up. While salon extensions can be expensive, clip-in extensions are a much more affordable option you can try at home. Simply clip in a few extensions here and there to cover any thin spots—you might have to play around with different types of extensions to see which work best!


8. Flatter Hair


If you've noticed your hair lying flat against your head despite being freshly washed, it might be time to switch up your part! Our hair gets used to laying a certain way after a while, so moving your part somewhere else can give your hair some much-needed lift. If you're a middle-parter, try moving the part an inch or two to the side. And if you're a side-parter, try parting your hair on the opposite side. A volumizing shampoo and conditioner designed to amp up the volume in aging tresses might also be in order: We love our Wake Me Up Volumizing Duo to gently cleanse and condition thin, flat, aging hair while adding body and bounce without weighing it down!


9. Dry, Itchy or Irritated Scalp


When your scalp feels itchy, inflamed and uncomfortable, it's hard to focus on anything else! That’s why for daily scalp-nourishing care we turn to our Superpower+ Advanced Duo for a more toned and balanced scalp with the feel of soothing scalp relief. An itchy scalp can result from increased sensitivity to environmental factors, which comes with age, but also from the buildup of dirt and oils. So having a clean scalp is super-important—and for that we have our New Dawn Activated Charcoal Scalp Cleanser. It's formulated with our proprietary blend of activated charcoal, lactic acids (AHA) and nourishing birch extract to deep clean, detoxify, rebalance and soothe dry, itchy-feeling scalps for healthier-looking hair. Plus, the unique built-in massaging applicator helps invigorate the scalp while brushing away excess oils, dirt and debris and unclogging pores!


10. Significant Hair Shedding


We created our new Superpower+ Advanced Hair Densifying Scalp Serum  to support women dealing with more advanced hair thinning concerns. The Superpower+ Advanced gel serum is designed to refuel mature hair that’s experiencing significant shedding and noticeable thinning for thicker-, denser- and stronger-looking hair. Putting up with thinning tresses and scalp issues? Not us!

For more hairstyling hacks to hide thinning hair, click here!

 

Why We Love Superpower+ Advanced Hair Densifying Scalp Serum for a Thinning Hair Solution

 

As we age and enter menopause, our hormones can become imbalanced and we can experience more advanced hair thinning concerns as well as a distressed scalp that includes feelings of dryness and discomfort. We supercharged our Superpower+ Advanced gel serum with our gentle yet extra-potent Superpower™ blend and proven hair-nourishing and scalp-soothing ingredients like rosemary extract and apple cider vinegar to support hair that looks thicker and fuller.

Plus, after using this lightweight, refreshing gel serum for 8 weeks, 84% of women said their scalp was less visible, and 84% of women said their scalp felt relief after the first application!* We love to hear it!

 

*Independent consumer trials with daily usage. Individual results may vary.

 

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Better Not Younger has all your thinning hair concerns covered, from the first signs of hair thinning in your 40s to more noticeable hormone-related hair thinning and hair loss that may progress as you travel through menopause. Specifically created to support mature hair that’s experiencing significant shedding and a sensitive scalp, our Superpower+ Advanced Hair Densifying Scalp Serum is designed to tone, balance and soothe the scalp to support thicker-, denser- and stronger-looking hair. Let us help you find the perfect hair-thinning solution for your unique needs!




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