Why Women Suffer from Thinning Hair and Excess Shedding (and how to fix it)

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Hair loss and receding hairlines are often thought of as a man’s problem. But women are also affected by shedding and thinning hair. In fact, research shows that nearly half of all women will struggle with noticeable hair loss at some point in their life.*

So, if you’re finding more and more hair in your brush or sink or on your pillow – you’re not alone. Thankfully, there are a few healthy and natural ways to reduce hair loss and restore your precious mane to its full glory. 

But first, let’s talk about what your hair is actually made of, which will make tackling hair loss a whole lot easier.

What Exactly is Your Hair Made of?

There are two parts to your hair – the upper part that is visible and the lower part, or bulb, that is beneath a layer of skin.* The hair you see is mostly made of keratinized cells. Keratin is a protein that makes up most of your hair (and nails).

Like all cells, your hair goes through a life cycle made of growing and then dying. The life of a hair follicle is around eight years – with the growth phase being the longer of the two cycles. When some hair falls out, ideally they are just making room for healthier hair to take its place. This is why even with a full head of healthy hair – you can still shed up to 100 hairs a day without noticing a difference!*  

Each hair follicle is protected by a few things. There is an outer ‘layer’ of the hair follicle that strengthens your hair and protects it from breakage, and the bulb, which acts as an anchor for the follicle, helping keep it in place.*

Keratinocytes are the cells that make up the protein keratin, and they are a major part of the bulb and help keep this foundational structure intact to prevent hair loss during the growth cycle.* 

But when you start losing more hair than you’re growing – hair thinning and hair loss is occurring.* And there are many reasons for this hair thinning and hair loss, so let’s cover a few of the more common ones. 

What Causes Hair Loss, and Who is at Risk?

Hair loss can be genetic – if your parents and other family members suffer from thinning hair or hair loss, you have an increased risk for it as well. 

Regular coloring, blow drying, flat ironing and even styling with products can cause trauma to your scalp. The stress placed on your scalp can cause your hair strands to break, and contribute to thinning and patchiness.* 

In addition to chemical processing, wearing your hair in styles that pull on your hair follicles (tight ponytails, for example) can contribute to breakage and hair loss due to damaging the hair follicles.

Another major contributor to hair loss is a lack of sufficient nutrients. This can be due to an eating disorder, restrictive eating, or simply not getting enough of the proper vitamins, minerals and other nutrients in your diet to support the hair growth cycle.* 

Hormones and Hair Loss

In addition, hormones play a major part when it comes to hair thinning and hair loss. Women who are over 40 years of age and menopausal women are more likely to notice drastic changes in the health of their hair.* This is because the growth cycle your hair follicles go through is significantly affected by your hormones.  

Hormone changes can cause hair loss in certain areas and actually contribute to hair growth in new areas in women (like the upper lip or chin).

This is also why postpartum women may suffer hair loss. When there is a drastic shift in hormone levels and nutrients after birth, hair can be affected like the rest of the body.* 

Other hormones that can affect hair growth and contribute to hair thinning and loss include stress hormones. Cortisol (the hormone that is released when you’re under stress) has been found to reduce how fast your hair grows and can contribute to the early breakdown of hair.*

This is why extreme stress can cause sudden and drastic hair loss.* Stress-induced hair loss is usually temporary and resolves itself when the stressor is removed or managed, but it can turn into a long-term issue if stress remains persistent.  

Treating Hair Thinning and Hair Loss

If you are noticing more hair in your sink or your part seems to be getting wider – you might be wondering what you can do about your thinning and shedding hair. For many with hair loss issues, addressing the source of the problem is your surest way to fix it.

However, you can’t fix your genetics or prevent menopause or other age-related hormone changes?

And trying to reduce stress can be a lifelong journey – with ebbs and flows we can’t always control. So, “just reduce your stress!” right? This isn’t much of a solution because, after all, seeing a brush full of hair is just piling on one more stressor.

The easiest and most effective way to prevent hair loss and excess shedding is to make sure you are consistently giving your hair the nutritional support it needs to maintain a healthy growth cycle. 

You have probably heard of biotin, the active ingredient in many popular hair and nail growth supplements. Biotin has been shown to promote hair growth, specifically in women with thinning hair.* 

But you may not be as familiar with cynatine, specifically Cynatine HNS®. Cynatine HNS® is a product that contains keratin and comes from the luscious wool of sheep from New Zealand.* 

And increasing keratin means increasing the very protein that your hair follicles are made of. 

While you might think simply taking keratin-containing products will strengthen your hair and help it grow, there’s always been an issue with just how well your body absorbs and uses the keratin.

The great thing about Cynatine HNS® is that it is extremely stable and allows your body to digest, absorb, and put keratin to work promoting healthy hair growth and reduced shedding.* 

Researchers have found that taking supplements containing cynatine promotes hair growth, improves hair strength, and increases hair luster. It also reduces hair loss (as well as increases nail strength and appearance).* 

So, if you are suffering from excess hair shedding or thinning hair, a supplement containing research-based doses of biotin and Cynatine HNS®, like my Australian Keratin, may be just what you need to restore your healthy hair growth cycles for fuller, more youthful-looking head of hair.  

To learn more about Australian Keratin, click here.

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