How to Prevent Every Type of Hair Loss, According to Experts

Some are easier than others.

How to Prevent TK Types of Hair Loss
Photo: Getty Images

At some point in our lives, it's likely that either we, or someone we know, will experience hair loss. And there's no question around how stressful it can be to notice a difference in thickness or hair count.

What's more, there are many factors that can cause hair loss, but thankfully there are also various options when it comes to treating and preventing each type form of the ailment.

Knowledge is power, and we're here to help you gain control of your hair loss journey. That's why we spoke to three experts to break down everything you need to know about hair loss and what to do about it.

Discover everything they have to share, ahead.

What Is Hair Loss?

We all lose hair on a regular basis. In fact, the Cleveland Clinic notes that it's normal for people to lose anywhere between 50 to 100 hair strands every day. Dr. William Rassman, Medical Advisor to Happy Head, adds that even up to 150 strands can be normal.

So, what is hair loss?

Chuck Hezekiah, National Educator and Brand Ambassador at René Furterer, says that it's defined as a disorder caused by an interruption in the body's cycle of hair production. "On average, the scalp has 100,000 hairs that cycle through periods of growing (anagen), resting (catagen), and falling out (telogen)," he begins. "If this cycle is disrupted, or if a hair follicle is damaged, hair may begin to fall out more quickly, leading to symptoms such as a receding hairline, hair falling out in patches, or overall thinning."

You may begin to notice hair loss a few ways. For starters, Dr. Rassman says you may see more hair coming out in the shower or on your comb when you style your hair. Additionally, he says you may also see a noticeable change in hair volume compared to before or you may notice a new balding spot.

Hair loss isn't a one-size-fits-all umbrella term, though, so it's important to differentiate them to understand why you may be losing more hair than usual and what to do about it.

What Are the Different Types of Hair Loss?

William Gaunitz, FWTS, certified trichologist and founder of Advanced Trichology, says he divides hair loss into three general categories:

  1. Hormonal-related hair loss. Also known as androgenetic alopecia or pattern hair loss, it's a genetic sensitivity to dihydrotestosterone. For men, Hezekiah notes that this type of hair loss starts above the temples and continues around the top of the head, often leaving a ring of hair along the bottom of the scalp and, eventually, leads to balding. In women, he says hair thins but the hairline doesn't typically recede and rarely leads to baldness. Once this sensitivity is triggered, Gaunitz says it can't be reversed. However, Dr. Rassman says medications such as minoxidil and treatments such as microneedling can treat it.
  2. Nutritional hair loss. This can also be referred to as nutritional alopecia and refers to the general thinning on the scalp, but it can also influence they eyebrows and facial hair due to a reduction in the overall bioavailability of the nutrients needed to grow hair to its fullest potential, such as vitamin D3, ferritin, iron, zinc, vitamin B12, and folate. Gaunitz says this is the most common cause of hair loss and the most common reason additional treatments don't work.
  3. Inflammatory hair loss. Gaunitz says this is the most diverse group of types of hair loss — it includes alopecia areata, telogen effluvium (stress-related hair loss), and a wide variety of scarring alopecia caused by inflammation from an autoimmune disorder. It can also be caused from chemicals that come in contact with the scalp, such as bleach, by pulling your hair out (which occurs when you have trichotillomania), wearing your hair in constant tight hairstyles, and medications such as chemotherapy.

VIDEO: What to Do If You Notice Thinning Around Your Edges

What Are the Best Ways to Prevent Each Type of Hair Loss?

The bottom line is that hair loss prevention can be hard to control. "It's not always easy as we can't always predict if we will experience hair loss in the future," says Hezekiah. "Hair loss is the body reacting to something, whether hereditary, hormonal, or reactional. Once noticed it is already in that stage." However, some types of hair loss are easier to prevent than others.

Nutritional hair loss is the easiest to prevent, as Gaunitz points out that all you must do is maintain your blood levels of key nutrients in their optimal ranges. "You can easily do this by getting blood tests and compensating for any items that might be out of optimal," he adds. A great option he recommends for this is FoliGROWTH and Hezekiah recommends René Furterer 's Vitalfan Supplements for Reactional Thinning (Telogen Effluvium and Anagen Effluvium) and Progressive Thinning (Androgenetic Alopecia). Now, if you menstruate, have PCOS, or are either vegan or vegetarian, Gaunitz recommends getting blood work done to rule out iron or ferritin issues.

Hormonal-related hair loss unfortunately can't be prevented as they're hereditary or are a direct result of medications, such as birth control. "The various causes of hair loss are often noted after the fact so a person with one of these conditions is often playing catch-up with getting a diagnosis and then starting the appropriate therapy," explains Dr. Rassman. Instead of prevention, it's more about treatment.

Inflammatory hair loss is the most difficult to prevent, according to Gaunitz, but that doesn't mean it isn't possible. Since there are many types of inflammatory-related hair loss, it's important to first determine what's causing the inflammation. If you constantly bleach your hair, for example, a treatment and prevention method could be to to stop bleaching your hair. If your hair follicles are constantly getting clogged, which then leads to inflammation, you should use a scalp exfoliator to give your scalp a deep cleanse. The prevention for stress-related hair loss is to avoid stress altogether, but we all know how unrealistic that is.

Most types of hair loss require treatment and can't be prevented. For the best results, consult your doctor to determine what's causing your hair loss or express concern of upcoming hair loss if it's something that runs in your family. Once the root cause is detected, a treatment plan can be made.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles