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What Causes Thinning Hair?

Hair grows about half an inch per month, although this tends to slow a little as you get older. Each hair remains on your head for two to six years, and during most of this time is continually growing. An average person has about 100,000 hairs.

Thinning hair can be caused by drugs, including:

birth control pills


diet pills

thyroid medications

non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs including aspirin

ibuprofen and Aleve

cholesterol-lowering drugs such as clofibrate and gemfibrozil

arthritis medications such as gold salts (auranofin), indomethacin, naproxen, sulindac, and methotrexate

beta-blockers such as atenolol (Tenormin), metoprolol (Lopressor), nadolol (Corgard), propranolol (Inderal), and timolol (Blocadren)

ulcer drugs such as cimetidine (Tagamet), ranitidine (Zantac), and famoridine (Pepcid).

And, of course, chemotherapy.

How Fast Does Human Hair Grow?

Hair grows about half an inch per month, although this tends to slow a little as you get older.

Each hair remains on your head for two to six years, and during most of this time is continually growing.

An average person has about 100,000 hairs. As a hair gets older, it may enter a resting stage in which it remains on your head but doesn't grow. At the end of this stage, the hair usually falls out. Usually, the follicle replaces it in about six months. During this time, your hair is in its resting stage. However many factors can disrupt this cycle. The result can be that your hair falls out early or isn't replaced.

What Is Normal Thinning Hair?

Normal thinning hair (50-100 hairs a day) is gradual.

Sudden unexplained loss is not normal. Events which can trigger thinning hair include:




severe emotional stress

rapid or profound weight loss

thyroid disorders

pituitary problems

malnutrition, iron deficiency

lack of protein

large doses of vitamin A



general anesthesia

chronic illness

scarlet fever


certain medications and hair abuse including bleaching, permanents, tight braids, tight pony tails, tight wigs, and tight hats.

Try to avoid having tight and high ponytails and this can really strain the roots of your hair.

Temporary Hair Loss Treatments

If treatment fails, or is not desired professional counseling might be of help.

Perms, dyes and other cosmetic options can be used to give a fuller appearance to hair.

Contrary to common wisdom, shampooing doesn't increase real thinning hair.

Some salons specialize in the modern forms of hair additions; these have also made recent improvements in simulating a natural appearance.

A consultation with a skilled specialist to discuss your options is advised. It is always advised that you consult a qualified doctor for advice should you suspect that you are losing more hair than you normally do.

What Illnesses Causes Thinning Hair?

For thinning hair caused by illness (such as fever), radiation therapy, or medication use, no treatment is necessary. The hair will usually grow back when the illness has ended or the therapy is finished.

A wig, hat, or other covering may be desired until the hair grows back. So do not worry much about hair loss at this stage of time, take good care of your health and your hair will grow back in time.

Genetic Hair Loss

For thinning hair due to heredity, age, and hormones, the topical medication Rogaine (minoxidil) can be helpful for both male and female pattern baldness.

Expect to wait 6 months before you see results.

The oral medication Propecia (finasteride) is effective in some men. This medicine can decrease sex drive.

When either medication is stopped, the former baldness pattern returns.

However, you must have a reasonable expectation of hair growth. Rogaine works well and results can only be seen after a few months or so.

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