7 Bad Habits That Cause Thinning of Hair

Hair thinning is a problem that affects both men and women.

Many factors can contribute to hair loss, including genetics, hormones, nutrient deficiencies, and everyday hair care habits.

According to the American Academy of Dermatologists, about 30 million women in the United States suffer from hereditary hair loss. (1)

Hair loss can be a frustrating and embarrassing problem, but fortunately, there are things you can do to slow down or even stop hair loss.

Changing some of your bad hair care habits is a good place to start.

According to hair health experts, these are seven bad habits that cause thinning of hair:

1. Tying your hair too tight

One common habit that can lead to thinning hair is tying our hair too tight.

This can put unnecessary stress on the follicles and roots, causing them to weaken over time.

In addition, tight hairstyles can lead to scalp irritation and even bald spots.

For example, traction alopecia is a type of hair loss that is caused by chronic traction on the follicles.

This condition is often seen in people who wear their hair in tight ponytails, braids, or cornrows. (2)

If you must wear your hair in a tight style, try to let your hair down for a few hours each day to give your follicles a break.

2. Over-brushing

7 Bad Habits That Cause Thinning of Hair

While it’s important to brush your hair daily to keep it looking its best, over-brushing can actually damage your strands and lead to hair loss. 

Brushing too hard or too much can cause the hair to break, leading to split ends and an overall lackluster appearance.

Additionally, over-brushing can cause scalp tenderness and sensitivity.

Scalp tenderness is often a sign of inflammation, damaging the hair follicles and leading to hair loss. (3)

If you are brushing your hair too hard, try using a softer brush or only brushing once or twice a day.

3. Using hot tools excessively

Another bad habit that can cause thinning hair is using hot tools excessively.

Blow drying, curling, and flat ironing can all lead to damage if they’re used too often.

The heat can strip away moisture and leave your hair dry, brittle, and more susceptible to breakage.

If you must use hot tools, be sure to use a heat protectant and take breaks in between styling sessions.

4. Over washing your hair

Overwashing your hair can also cause thinning.

Shampoo strips away natural oils that help to keep your scalp healthy, leading to dryness and irritation.

So how often should you wash your hair?

It depends on your hair type, but generally, 2-3 times per week is sufficient.

But the best way to know is by experiment:

Start washing your hair less often, let’s say once every three days, and see how your hair responds.

5. Stress

Stress is also a major factor in thinning hair.

When we are under a lot of stress, our bodies produce cortisol, which can have a negative impact on our health in a number of ways.

One of the consequences of high levels of cortisol is that it can lead to hair loss.

Cortisol can damage the follicles and make them weaker, causing the hair to fall out more easily.

This is called telogen effluvium, and it’s a type of temporary hair loss that is often seen in times of stress. (4)

Reducing stress in your life is vital if you want to maintain your hair healthy and stop it from thinning.

Relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, or simply taking time out for yourself each day can make a big difference.

6. Unhealthy diet

A healthy diet is vital for overall health, but it is especially important for maintaining a healthy head of hair.

Hair is made up of protein, so it is essential to include plenty of protein-rich foods in your diet.

In addition, hair requires a range of vitamins and minerals in order to stay strong and lustrous.

However, many people fail to get the nutrients they need from their diet, resulting in thinning hair.

Additionally, crash diets and restrictive eating plans can also lead to hair loss.

When the body doesn’t get enough nutrients, it may start to shut down non-essential functions, such as hair growth.

Personally, I recommend following a healthy, balanced diet and avoiding fad diets or restrictive eating plans.

7. Smoking

Smoking can lead to thinning hair.

The chemicals in cigarettes can damage the hair follicles, making them weaker and less able to support healthy hair growth.

In addition, smoking can also interfere with blood circulation, which can prevent nutrients and oxygen from reaching the hair follicles.

As a result, smokers are more likely to experience hair loss than nonsmokers.

If you want to keep your hair healthy and thick, it’s important to quit smoking.

Not only will you improve your overall health, but you’ll also give your hair a better chance of staying strong and full.

If you are concerned about thinning hair, it is important to talk to your doctor.

They can help you identify the cause of your thinning hair and recommend treatment options.

More resources: