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What Are the Causes of Fine Thin Hair?

author image Kay Ireland
Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.
What Are the Causes of Fine Thin Hair?
Talk to your doctor about your thinning hair. Photo Credit sodapix sodapix/F1online/Getty Images


Whether you're male or female, fine, thinning hair can be a source of embarrassment. When your scalp beings to peek through the strands of your hair, you may need to investigate the source of your thinning hair, especially if it's a sudden occurrence. Together with your doctor you can find the source of your thinning hair and explore options to remedy the situation.


Some medications cause your hair to fall out or thin over time. Some of these medications include blood thinners, antidepressants and even birth control pills, notes FamilyDoctor.org, a website maintained by the American Association of Family Physicians. If you notice a change in your hair after starting a new medication, you'll need to see your doctor about choosing another type of medication to manage your condition.


If you have a family history of fine, thin hair, then it may be a fact of life for you and your family. Male pattern baldness is the most common reason for thinning hair in men, according to MedlinePlus. Even if you're a woman with fine, thin hair, it could simply be genetics that causes hair to grow finely, thin with age or fall out altogether. Anti-hair-loss drugs and products may be employed to slow the loss of hair.

Medical Condition

Fine, thin hair could be the result of a medical condition. Thyroid issues, hormonal issues and malnourishment can all cause hair to become finer and thinner, notes TeensHealth, a division of the Nemours Foundation. If you notice sudden hair thinning, it's important to see your doctor for testing to rule out a possible medical problem as the underlying cause.


The way you treat your hair may have a bearing on the condition and thickness of your hair. For instance, if you routinely use track hair extensions, you could be afflicted with a thinning called "traction alopecia," which is a thinning or balding near the crown of the head due to excessive pulling and braiding, notes the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery. Using too many chemical processes or styling your hair roughly with heated styling tools can also lead to thinning, especially for those prone to fine, weak hair.


Stress can cause your hair to thin, according to Mayo Clinic psychiatrist Daniel K. Hall-Flavin. When you experience something stressful, such as a death in the family, a divorce or a high-stress job, your growing hairs are pushed into a resting phase instead of continuing the growth cycle, so your hair appears to be finer and thinner. Once you regain some peace in your life, the hair likely will begin to grow again, although it may take months, Hall-Flavin notes.

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