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Thinning hair is never a pleasant thing to deal with, but, the truth is, many people suffer from it. What’s more, according to New York City-based, board-certified cosmetic dermatologist Michele Green, these can include everything from genetics to stress, to medical conditions — and we’ll dive deeper into those in a bit. While thinning hair is a complex issue, a specially formulated shampoo may help.
What causes thinning hair?
First thing’s first, says Dr. Green: “Hair loss and thinning hair is a complex condition.” With this in mind, she tells Insider that “there are many variables that impact or cause hair thinning, such as genetics, stress, hormones, nutrient deficiencies, and medical conditions [think: menopause, hypothyroidism, and PCOS, to name a few].” Similarly, “Severe illnesses and fevers cause stress on the body and can lead to telogen effluvium, a type of hair loss associated with stress in which the hair follicles enter a resting phase, and the hair falls out or sheds after the resting period.”
Additionally, according to Dr. Green, it’s worth noting that “the most prevalent cause of hair loss and hair thinning is androgenetic alopecia, also known as male- and/or female-pattern baldness or hair loss.” Androgenetic alopecia is heavily influenced by genetics, and, per the dermatologist, “the main culprit of this hereditary condition in both men and women is an androgen [AKA a male hormone] called dihydrotestosterone (DHT).” There’s also alopecia areata, which Dr. Green describes as “an autoimmune condition where the body’s immune system attacks and damages its own hair follicles.” She continues, telling Insider, “Genetics plays a strong role in alopecia areata, along with stress, which can contribute to this condition.”
To combat thinning hair, we rounded up 16 top picks (including stylist recommendations and best-selling hair-care brands!) across a wide range of categories.