Treat Thinning Hair

Thinning hair can be caused by a variety of factors, including stress. If your hair is thinning, do not fret. There are lots of things you could do to treat it, and this wikiHow will show you how.

10 Second Summary

1. Find the cause. This includes medications and stress.
2. Use gentle hair products.
3. Comb your hair instead of brushing it.
4. Allow your hair to air dry. Skip the heat styling.
5. Make lifestyle changes. Reduce your stress. Eat more protein and omega-3s.


Finding the Underlying Cause

  1. See if hormonal causes are at play. The most common cause of thinning hair for both men and women is a hereditary condition in which sex hormones cause hair to fall out in a particular pattern. While male or female pattern baldness is permanent, there are certainly measures you can take to slow it down and treat it.[1]
    • Sometimes hormonal fluctuations lead to impermanent hair loss. Women who are pregnant, have discontinued birth control, or are going through menopause may experience temporary hair thinning.
    • Handling the hair gently, using all-natural hair products and changing your hair style can help slow the progression of hormone-related thinning.
  2. Determine if it's a medical condition. Certain medical conditions can cause hair loss. Treating these conditions can help slow or halt hair loss. If you are concerned you may have one of the following conditions, talk to your doctor about starting a treatment program so your hair will start growing back in.[1]
    • Thyroid issues. When your thyroid isn't working properly, you might notice more hair falling out than usual.
    • Scalp infections and skin disorders. Hair loss might result from a skin condition like ringworm. Treating the issue can help the hair grow back.
    • Alopecia areata. This is a disorder in which the body's immune system actually attacks hair follicles.
  3. Check your medications. Certain medications lead to hair loss. If you're on a medication that lists hair loss as a side effect, you can discuss other options with your doctor. It may not be possible to switch to another medication, but it's worth looking into. Drugs used to treat the following conditions commonly lead to hair thinning:
    • Cancer
    • Depression
    • Heart problems
    • Arthritis
    • High blood pressure
  4. Figure out if stress is the culprit. Hair loss can result from physical or mental shock as well as ongoing stress. Any type of shock to the system is going to have a physical effect, and hair loss is a common occurrence when these conditions are at play.
    • If you're chronically stressed, dealing the causes of your stress is an important way to keep yourself in good physical condition.

Boosting Hair Growth

  1. Use gentle hair products. When you notice your hair is thinning, making the switch to all-natural, gentle hair products is a good idea. Many shampoos, conditioners, hair sprays and other products contain chemicals that are hard on the scalp and hair and can speed up hair loss and damage the hair that's left.
    • Use shampoo that doesn't contain sulfates or any type of alcohol. These ingredients are very drying and damaging to hair.
    • Look for conditioner that doesn't contain silicones. These weigh down the hair and require sulfate shampoos to rinse out.
    • Look in health food stores for hair styling products made with natural ingredients.
  2. Comb instead of brushing. Brushing your hair tends to pull more of it out, especially when you brush your hair while it's wet. The gentlest way to get the tangles out is by using a wide-tooth comb. Start near the tips of your hair, combing out the tangles at the bottom first, and work your way up to the roots.
  3. Let it air dry. To keep from pulling out too much hair after your shower, pat it gently with a soft towel - don't wring it out or towel it roughly. Let it air dry instead of using a hair dryer, since the heat from a hair dryer can cause hair to dry out and break. Letting your hair air dry as often as possible will help promote new hair growth.
  4. Use heat-free styling techniques. Along the same lines, avoid using curling irons, straightening irons, or any other type of hot styling tool to style your hair. Try embracing your natural hair texture and leaving it alone whenever possible. When you do use heat styling tools, use the lowest, coolest setting you can.
    • There are plenty of ways to style your hair without heat - experiment with different ways to curl or straighten your hair and find out what method works for you.
  5. Avoid hairstyles that pull on your hair. Tight braids, weaves, and other pulled-back hairstyles can cause hair to pull out more easily. Try wearing your hair down or pulled back loosely. Avoid hair elastics and barrettes that might tug on your hair.
  6. Massage your scalp with a nutritional oil like egg oil or almond/mustard/coconut/jojoba oil. It is said that massaging your scalp can stimulate hair growth by increasing circulation around your hair follicles. Start making a habit of massaging your scalp while you're in the shower. Place the pads of your fingers on your scalp and rub your scalp in a circular motion. Start near your forehead and make your way along the sides and back of your head, concentrating in areas that are thinning.
  7. Consider trying a hair growth treatment. The most popular hair growth treatment is minoxidil. It comes in the form of a cream or foam that is applied to the scalp twice a day, and it can take up to 12 weeks to start working. Many people experience some regrowth with minoxidil. There are health risks associated with minoxidil, outlined by USFDA you should be aware of. Other options include the following:
    • Hair transplants. Hairs are transplanted from an area of your scalp with thick growth to the areas that are thinning.
    • Scalp surgery. Bald spots are surgically removed, and the incision is closed up with hair-covered scalp on either side.

Making Lifestyle Changes

  1. Lower your stress. Since being stressed out can cause hair loss, taking measures to decrease your stress level might help to slow it down. If you lead a high-stress life, try the following measures to calm down on a daily basis:
    • Get more sleep. Lack of sleep causes your body to produce the stress hormone cortisol.
    • Exercise frequently.
    • Try meditating or yoga.
  2. Eat more protein. It's one of the building blocks of your hair, and if you aren't getting enough, hair loss can occur. Thinning hair is common among vegetarians and vegans who aren't taking in enough protein. Try eating more of the following foods:
    • Fish, chicken, beef and pork
    • Black beans, chickpeas and other legumes
    • Tofu
    • Dairy products
  3. Eat omega-3s. The body needs omega-3 fatty acids to create new hair. Getting plenty of omega-3s is essential for hair growth, so try stepping up your intake of the following foods:
    • Salmon
    • Sardines
    • Walnuts
    • Avocados
  4. Take biotin supplements. Biotin is a B vitamin found in animal products that leads to healthy hair, skin and nails.[2] Biotin supplements are often marketed as hair-growth supplements for this reason. Take biotin supplements as recommended or increase your intake of foods containing biotin, like liver and other meat products as well as walnuts and leafy greens.


  • Use castor oil on scalp and hair and leave it all night, you will see the difference in 1 week.
  • It is best to treat thinning hair early, as soon as you notice you are losing more hair than is normal for you. This will help prevent continued hair loss.
  • Men who experience thinning hair at a young age gain many benefits from treating the problem early, including a boost in self-esteem.
  • If your hair is thinning, try giving it a break from harsh chemicals and hot styling methods. Cut back on permanents and hair dyes, and replace hair products with alcohol with those that do not contain it. Let your hair dry without using a blow dryer, and stop using hot rollers, flat irons and curling irons for several weeks.
  • If you visit your doctor about your thinning hair, discuss the types of medications you are taking. Some medications can lead to hair loss.


  • Do not skip medications that are prescribed to help treat thinning hair. You will need to take them regularly and as prescribed in order to achieve the best results in hair regrowth.
  • If your medications are causing your thinning hair, do not stop taking them. Instead, discuss alternative medications with your doctor.
  • Certain medications that are prescribed for male hair loss should not be taken by women because of potential health risks. Do not take any medications if they are not prescribed specifically for you by your doctor.
  • When figuring out the best way to treat thinning hair, do not become discouraged if the methods you try fail. Instead, talk to your doctor about other options such as a hair transplant or laser hair treatments. You can also ask your stylist about hair pieces and wigs.

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