Thinning hair refers to minor to moderate hair loss. Unlike widespread hair loss, thinning hair doesn’t necessarily cause baldness. It does, however, give the appearance of thinner spots of hair on the head. Thinning hair may be caused by lifestyle habits, genetics, or both. Certain medical conditions may also lead to thinning hair.
Most elderly people experience hair thinning as one expression of aging. As people get older, their hair may start to lose volume and thickness, which can be linked with diet, nutrient deficiencies, or hereditary hair loss. Although this is very normal and not linked with overall health concerns, it can affect people's mental health and self-esteem.
Telogen effluvium is a condition that is characterized by a period of temporary hair thinning or an increase in hair shedding, which might eventually lead to hair loss. It occurs more often in women and is usually triggered by a disturbance to the hair cycle. Some of the causes are: severe stress, poor diet, sudden weight loss, pregnancy and childbirth, menopause, certain medication or recreational drugs, underlying health conditions, surgery, and metal toxicity.
Hair thinning is very common in both males and females regardless of their ethnicity. It is sometimes confused with alopecia, which is widespread hair loss. While thinning hair may eventually lead to hair loss, these two entities aren’t necessarily the same thing.