Hair loss is no fun. Beyond the obvious physical impacts, it can cripple our self-esteem and overall confidence. However, identifying the early signs of hair loss can help you take proactive steps toward managing the condition and seeking appropriate treatment. It can also help you identify temporary hair thinning, rather than more permanent female pattern hair loss. We can't promise a solution for every condition, but we do know that early detection is your best chance at taking action to protect that beautiful head of hair. Here are the signs to look for.
1. Increased Hair Shedding
It's normal for us to shed anywhere from 50 to 100 hairs per day as part of our natural hair growth cycle. However, if you notice an excessive amount of hair shedding or sudden hair loss, it may be an early sign of things to come. Pay attention to the number of hairs left behind in your hairbrush, shower drain, or on your pillow. An increase in daily hair shedding could be an indication of an underlying problem.
2. Receding Hairline
A receding hairline is one of the more dreaded phrases for millions of men, as it's a sign of male pattern baldness, but it can happen to some women as well. If you observe your hairline gradually moving backward, forming an "M" or "U" shape, it may be an early sign of androgenetic alopecia (male or female pattern baldness). Keep track of any changes in your hairline over time, as early detection allows for more effective interventions.
3. Thinning Hair
Here's another universally hated early sign of hair loss. You may notice that your hair feels less dense or that your scalp has become more visible, especially at the crown or parting line. Thinning hair can occur due to various factors. Genetics is a common cause, but so are hormonal imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, or even stress or severe changes to your body (known as telogen effluvium) Fortunately, the latter is usually a temporary problem rather than a harbinger of permanent hair loss.
4. Widening of Part
For women with long hair, a widening part can be a telltale sign of hereditary hair loss, which means you’ve inherited genes that cause your hair follicles to shrink and eventually stop growing hair. If you notice that your part line is becoming wider than usual, it could indicate thinning hair along the scalp. Regularly assess the width of your part to monitor any changes or increased scalp visibility. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the earlier you start treatment, the better your chances of combatting the effects.
5. Increased Hair Breakage
While hair loss primarily refers to hair falling out from the root, hair breakage is also a concern. Brittle and fragile hair that easily snaps or breaks off can be a sign of damage and potential hair loss. Pay attention to the condition of your hair strands and whether you notice shorter, frayed ends or excessive breakage during styling and brushing. One of the easiest ways to treat hair breakage is by giving your locks the moisture they need. Lu's Freedom Collection is specially formulated to deliver hydration to all hair types, and especially to curly hair, and even adds volume to your curls.
6. Itchy or Irritated Scalp
An itchy or irritated scalp may be a symptom of an underlying scalp condition, or it can be a sign of hair loss. Conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis or scalp psoriasis can cause itching and flaking. When you scratch away at your itchy scalp, you can damage your skin and hair follicles, which can lead to temporary hair loss. The good news is that once you stop, the hair will usually grow back. However, if you experience persistent scalp discomfort, consult a dermatologist for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
7. Miniaturization of Hair
Hair miniaturization refers to the gradual thinning and weakening of individual hair strands over time. When examining your hair closely, you may notice that some hairs appear finer, shorter, or less pigmented than the surrounding hair. This miniaturization process is common in androgenetic alopecia and can be an early indicator of hair loss. Minoxidil and finasteride are two treatment options approved by the FDA to combat hair miniaturization. Minoxidil promotes hair growth, while Finasteride helps prevent the shrinking of hair follicles.
8. Excessive Hair on Pillows or Clothing
If you wake up to an abundance of hair on your pillows, clothing, or even in your shower drain, it could be a sign of increased hair shedding. Take note of any significant changes in the amount of hair you find outside of regular shedding patterns. If it persists, consult a healthcare professional for possible hair loss treatment solutions.
9. Patchy Hair Loss
If you're seeing a sudden loss of round or oval sections of hair on the scalp, you could be seeing the early signs of alopecia areata, a disease in which the immune system attacks hair follicles and causes hair loss. These bald patches can even appear in other parts of the body, including small patches in the eyebrows or eyelashes, as well as in the beard area for men. In this case, early detection may not lead to action. If you've had alopecia areata for less than one year, your dermatologist may recommend a wait-and-see approach, because your hair may regrow on its own.
How to Rescue Your Hair
Lu's Rescue Collection won't give you new hair growth, but it will strengthen and protect the hair you have. This shampoo, conditioner and “Intense Therapy'' leave-in cream work together to nourish and revive hair naturally. It's made with shatavari, a sacred medicinal plant with potent restorative and emollient properties that tackle the root cause of hair damage.
Recognizing the early signs of hair loss can help you take proactive steps in addressing the issue. Early detection and intervention through proper diagnosis, targeted treatments, and products that are good for your hair, like Lu, can help slow down or even reverse hair loss, preserving your hair health.