Young or old, hair loss can happen to anyone at any time and it’s estimated 8 million women in the UK experience hair loss.  However, without knowing what has triggered it, it’s hard to know how to help stop or slow down the process.

If you’re concerned this could be happening to you, Milk + Blush shares its advice on potential hair loss triggers and what you can do to prevent losing more.

Family History

If you have a family history of hair loss, although you may not be able to prevent it from happening, you can try and strengthen your hair to slow the thinning process.

Drink plenty of water as a lack of it stops cell reproduction. You should aim for 8 cups a day to maintain healthy hair.

A lack of minerals can cause hair loss, so increase your intake of iron-rich foods such as red meat, spinach and pumpkin seeds. Protein and zinc are also important to combat thinning or loss of hair.

You could also look to introduce caffeinated shampoo to help stimulate growth. Some studies show that simply massaging the scalp during a wash can dilate blood vessels and stretch cells to stimulate the growth of thicker hair.

Keep calm

It’s been reported stress can trigger hair loss and with the current lockdown situation disrupting our normal day-to-day lives, it may be hard to keep stress levels at bay.

Stress triggers the body’s natural fight-or-flight response and the release of the cortisol hormone. These hormones can wreak havoc on your body’s ability to preserve your healthy locks.

Luckily, stress is only temporary and so hair loss or thinning caused by this is also only temporary.

You can reduce stress by practicing controlled breathwork, getting more and better quality sleep and doing regular exercise.

All of these will help prevent cortisol levels rising and will promote positive endorphins that aid hair growth and a happier mood.

Excessive hairstyles

As lockdown causes boredom, the temptation to experiment and dye our locks is high.

But, before you reach for the bleach, ask yourself is it worth it? Not only will it be costly to fix if it goes wrong, the damage to your hair could be irreversible.

Harsh chemicals involved in many dyes and bleaching kits can kill off melanin and destroy the hair follicles, leading it to thin or fall out.

Excessive hairstyling or hairstyles that pull your hair tight, such as ponytails or buns can also cause hair loss. Every now and then, avoid using harsh products such hairdryers, straighteners or curlers and allow your hair to dry naturally.

Many people over-wash their hair as well. This can cause strands to become brittle and break during combing. It can also damage the follicles if the natural oils are constantly washed away.

It’s part of the aging process

As we get older, hair growth slows down, sebum production reduces, hair colour pigments fade, and the hair naturally thins down. Menopause can occasionally play a role in the thinning of hair by altering the delicate hormone balance we talked about earlier.

But don’t worry, it’s a completely normal and natural part of the aging process and all is far from lost.

You can still effectively fight off hair thinning by maintaining a nutrient-rich diet, sleeping well and minimising stress. These aid cellular repair, helping your hair stay fuller for longer.

As we age, it’s increasingly likely we’ll run into some health issues along the way and need some treatment. If you’re on certain medications, have a word with your doctor. It’s possible some side effects of medication can be contributing to hair thinning.

Hormonal imbalances

Hormonal imbalances can lead to a variety of health implications that affect your weight, skin and hair.

Women with medical conditions such as an underactive thyroid, polycystic ovarian syndrome and even pregnancy will mean they produce more of these androgens, that disrupt the delicate hormone balance and hinder hair re-growth.

By Nicole Petty, Marketing Manager at Milk + Blush