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Causes of hair loss: why you lose hair and how to avoid it

by Lotte Lindgren on Dec 10, 2020

Read through by Dorthe Kristensen

Hairdresser and former co-owner of the award-winning hairdressing chain Zoom by Zoom
With many years of experience in the hairdressing industry, Dorthe has advised many customers about hair and hair care. Dorthe has read through this blog entry to ensure high quality and professionalism. This blog post is professionally updated on April 17, 2024.

Table of contents

Causes of hair loss and how to avoid it

Have you tried standing in the bath with your hand full of hair? Or do you think your hair seems thinner than usual? Then it could be that you are one of the many women who suffer from hair loss. Read here why you lose your hair and how to avoid losing your hair!

There can be many reasons for hair loss. Stress is one of the most common, but it can also be due to illness, medication, age or diet. And whatever the cause, discovering a bare spot on your scalp can be hugely traumatizing.

Do you think you might be losing your hair? Or are you worried that it will happen in the future? Then you are not alone. It is a fear that many women and men live with.

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to reduce the risk of hair loss. And there are some signs that you should be aware of so that you can detect hair loss in good time. All of this can help to ensure that you maintain beautiful hair - for life!

Signs of hair loss

Humans lose an average of 30 to 150 hairs a day, which is quite normal. But if you lose more hair, it can be a sign of hair loss. The earlier you detect hair loss, the easier it is often to treat. In many cases, the hair loss can become permanent if you do not treat it in time. Therefore, it is always a good idea to check the hairstyle 1-2 times a month. That way, you can act quickly if the hair starts to fall out.

Has the ponytail gotten smaller?

Most women lose their hair gradually for various reasons. In contrast to men, very few women get a so-called "crescent". Instead, the hair just keeps getting thinner and thinner.

A good way to keep an eye on the hair is to check the ponytail. Think how many times you can get the elastic around your ponytail. If the hair becomes thinner, it will require more rounds than usual.

You just have to be aware that the elastic has not become slack. The older an elastic band is, the less elastic it becomes. So consider whether it is because the hair has become thinner or because the elastic has become bad before you panic.

En hårbørste fyldt med hår

Is the hairline receding?

If you are worried about whether you are losing hair, it may be a good idea to pay attention to the hairline. Some women lose hair at the hairline, resulting in higher temples or less hair on the neck. However, it is often the case with hair loss in men that the hairline is a visible parameter, for example via high temples.

A good way to keep an eye on the hairline is to take pictures. Create a folder on your mobile or computer with pictures of your hair. Put your hair up and take a picture of your forehead 1-2 times a month if you are worried about hair loss. That way, you can clearly see if your hairline is moving.

Hair care for hair loss

Do you suffer from itching and red spots on your scalp?

If your scalp itches, pay attention. Often it is due to dry skin or dandruff, but it can also be a fungal infection. And fungal infections can cause hair loss. So if your scalp feels uncomfortable, check it with a mirror. Is there dandruff? Then your scalp is probably too dry and you should consider changing your shampoo. On the other hand, is it full of small, red spots? Then it is a sign of a fungal infection such as ringworm.


If you have a fungal infection of the scalp, see your doctor. He or she can help you find the right treatment. And the sooner you are treated, the lower the risk of it developing into hair loss.

Do you have bald spots?

Some women experience hair loss in the form of smooth, bald patches without hair. It can occur all over the body, but is usually seen on the scalp. And often it is only spotted late, because the hair can otherwise appear thick and healthy. Run your hands through your hair and feel your scalp. Are there any smooth or bald spots? You can also use a mirror to examine the scalp.

In some cases, you will feel itching or soreness before the hair falls out. So that is also worth paying attention to.

Why are you losing hair?

One of the first questions you have if you are losing hair is: Why? And it's a difficult question to answer, as hair loss can be caused by many different things. Therefore, it is important that you look at your whole life when you need to find the cause. And it may be a good idea to do it in conjunction with your doctor.

Here it is important to know about the hair's life cycle, which consists of the following:

Anagen phase

This is where the hair grows and receives nourishment from the scalp. About 85-90% of your hair is in this stage.

Catagene phase

Here, the hair strand detaches from the scalp's blood supply in the hair follicle.

Telogen phase

Called the dormant phase, where the hair has gone to rest, while new hair is produced in the hair follicle. This phase is the hair for up to 2 months. It is shorter if you are young and longer if you are older.

Exogenous phase

Here the hair falls out and is replaced by a new hair - This phase can last anywhere from 1 month to 2 months.

We therefore want to optimize the anagen phase, in order to get the best possible quality of the hair, which in the long term can stay there longer than other hairs.

Read more about the hair life cycle and its different phases here

Illustration af hårets vækstcyklus

Causes of your hair loss

1. Telogen effluvium - hair loss due to stress

Stress and hair loss very often go hand in hand. If you are stressed, it will affect your whole body. It can, for example, contribute to hormonal imbalances. And it can affect you both physically and mentally.

Fortunately, when you get stress spots and hair loss due to stress, it is rarely permanent. Often, the hair will grow back once your stress is treated.

Do you think you are suffering from stress-related hair loss? So talk to your doctor about how to reduce your stress level. You may need time off from work. Or maybe you need to restructure your everyday life so that you have more time for relaxation.

2. Vitamin deficiency

Another common cause of hair loss can be improper diet. If the body does not get enough nutrients, vitamins and minerals, the hair can be one of the first things to suffer. There are a number of vitamins that play a role for the body to maintain normal hair - here are the 4 most important vitamins and nutrients when it comes to hair loss:

Zinc plays a role in maintaining normal hair and skin. So if you are deficient in zinc the body may not be able to produce normal hair.

Vitamin A also helps to maintain normal skin and therefore plays a role in keeping the scalp healthy. If your scalp feels good, the hair strands usually feel good too.

Protein is also an important building block in hair. Your hair strands are made mainly of the protein keratin. So make sure you fill your plate with protein sources.

Vitamin B including, for example, biotin helps to maintain normal hair. Therefore, pay attention to getting enough vitamin B.

Read more about in this guide. If you would like to know more about vitamins and minerals that are good for maintaining a normal scalp and hair.

3. Androgenic Alopecia

Unfortunately, hair loss is sometimes in the genes. This applies especially to men, where as many as 75% will experience genetic hair loss when they get older. For women, it is approx. 25% who suffer from genetic hair loss. So if your mother or grandmother has thin hair, there is also a risk that you will become thin-haired.

It is difficult to prevent hereditary hair loss, also called androgenic alopecia. But you can postpone it or reduce its scope. You can, for example, do by using the right hair products, eating right and living an active lifestyle. Further down the page, you can read more good advice for preventing hair loss.

4. Alopecia Areata – baldness

Do you have bare or bald spots on your scalp, eyebrows or legs? Then it is often due to the autoimmune disease Alopecia Areata. It is a disease where the hair roots change and the hair stops growing. Therefore, people with the disease experience completely bare and bald patches in some places, and thick hair in other places.
The disease can develop very differently from person to person. Someone gets a few bare spots on the body. Others lose all the hair on their heads. And others again lose all hair on their entire body.
If you experience baldness, contact your doctor. There are a number of different forms of medical treatment that can slow down the development.

5. Improper hair care

Your hair care actually plays a big role in whether you will experience hair loss. The wrong hair care can damage both your scalp, your hair roots and the hair itself.

There are several different types of incorrect hair care. Here you can read some examples of the most common errors:

  • Washing your hair too often with bad hair products will result in a build-up of product residue and damage the hairstyle.
  • Conversely, washing your hair too little can also result in a build-up of dead skin cells, hair product residue and extra sebum on the scalp, which can block follicles and slow hair growth. The accumulation of residues can also cause other problems, e.g. dandruff and itchy scalp.
  • Use of heating tools such as hair dryer, curling or straightening iron. Your hair generally does not benefit from extreme temperatures – neither too much cold nor too much heat.
  • Too many different styling and hair products will fill your hair with harmful chemicals. And that will have negative consequences in the long run.
  • Chemical hair treatments and hair coloring can also do permanent damage to your hairstyle. The hair will become thinner and your strands will lose their strength.

Further down the page, you can read good tips on how to take care of your hairstyle in the best possible way.

Hormonal hair loss during menopause

Menopausal hair loss, also called hormonal hair loss, is a common condition that occurs in women at some point during menopause. It is characterized by thinning of the hair and increased hair loss. This condition is caused by a drop in estrogen levels as well as an increase in androgen production. Estrogen plays an important role in maintaining healthy hair and scalp, while androgens are hormones that can cause baldness in both sexes. During menopause, the combination of these two forces leads to reduced blood flow to the scalp, which can cause hair follicles to weaken or even die. In addition, the decrease in estrogen production can alter the cycle of normal hair growth, leading to increased hair loss. Menopausal hair loss can affect women differently depending on their genetic makeup. Women with a higher testosterone level may experience an earlier onset of this condition due to increased sensitivity to the hormone.

Hair loss treatment: How to reduce the risk of hair loss

Are you afraid of experiencing hair loss? Or do you already think you are losing your hair? Then don't despair. There are several different tips and advice on how to best take care of your hair. And if you follow them, it can significantly reduce the risk of hair loss.

Take care of your beautiful hair with good products

As mentioned under causes of hair loss, the right hair care is the alpha and omega for your hairstyle. Are you in doubt about how to best care for your hairstyle? Then you get 5 good tips for good hair care right here:

1. Don't wash your hair too often

It only makes it more greasy and unmanageable. Try to reduce your hair washing to 1-3 times a week. In this way, the hair is cleaned, but is still allowed to retain its natural oils.

2. Use the right hair products

There are lots of cheap shampoos and conditioners on the market - and they can damage your hair's beauty. That's why it's worth shelling out and buying some decent hair products. Feel free to choose sulfate-free varieties with plant extracts and without parabens.

Sulfate and silicone free shampoo and conditioner

 

3. Avoid coloring your hair or filling it with styling products

You can dye your hair or try getting highlights, but limit yourself. The more often and the wilder colors you dye your hair, the more damage it takes. So avoid bleaching, save on styling products, and take breaks between hair dyes.

4. Be careful with tight ponytails after the shower

Anything that pulls on your hair roots risks damaging them. So be careful when handling or tying up your hairstyle.

5. Make sure to moisturize the hair

Dry hair is unhealthy hair. So use plenty of conditioner and treat yourself to a delicious hair treatment a few times a month. Your hair and scalp will thank you.

Keep an eye on the hairstyle

As I said, it is a good idea to be aware of beginning hair loss. Especially if you know that you are at extra risk due to heredity or medication. And the earlier you discover problems, the sooner you can begin treatment.

Therefore, make sure to check your hairstyle a few times a month. Check the ponytail – can the elastic go an extra round? Take pictures of your hairline and see if it moves in the wrong direction? And notice if you have any bare spots.

And if you simply take care of your hair, you are already doing a lot. Because the healthier your hair is, the less likely you are to ever lose it!

Product recommendations

I want to take a holistic approach to hair care, optimising both the internal and external care of the hair. I recommend our hair vitamins, they provide you with a high content of biotin, which helps to maintain normal hair. Hair vitamins are not a miracle cure that will give you healthy and full hair overnight. Many studies show that it takes between 3-5 months before you can see an effect of hair vitamins. However, I can assure you that our hair vitamins are one of the best supplements on the market. We've nerded out the composition and created what we believe is the ideal supplement for maintaining normal hair. The vitamins are free from sugar, gluten, lactose and gelatine. Plus, they are recommended by a number of Danish hairdressers + you have a 30-day satisfaction guarantee so you can try them risk-free.

Hair care for hair loss

Now we come to the outer part of hair care. Here we have a number of products that I can recommend for those with hair loss

Grow and Glow - the hair loss series

I would recommend the Grow and Glow range. The perfect set to put an end to hair loss. With its ingredients, including Capilia Longa, which has won international awards and in one study demonstrated up to 89% (average 56%) effect on hair loss after 150 days, it makes these 3 products essential if you want to stop hair loss. If you want to read more about the Capilia Longa ingredient and its results, read here. The products also help to balance the scalp's microflora, which can be a hidden culprit for thin or damaged hair. We have learnt through experience that when using Grow and Glow, the hair can benefit from a hair mask to give the current hair strands deep care. Our Grow and Glow hair mask is the perfect match. With its rich content of ingredients such as Biotin, Capilia Longa, Hydrolysed Wheat Protein and Keratin, you get a powerful hair mask. Perfect for ensuring that existing hair strands are rebuilt and get the care and moisture they need.

Heat protection when styling your hair

One of the most important things when experiencing hair loss is to take good care of the remaining hair. Here, one of the biggest contributors to further hair loss can be heat styling your hair. It is therefore essential to find a good heat protection spray that can look after your hair when it is exposed to heat or UV from the sun. With this in mind, we have developed our Style and Shine Heat Protection Spray. It provides heat protection up to 220 degrees, is UV protective and is silicone-free.

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