Some instances of shedding could be temporary. Many women lose some hair after giving birth, for instance, as their hormones adjust back to their pre-pregnancy levels, Dr. Piliang says, but it regrows within several months.
Many women however, also have diet issues that affect their hair. “Women more often than men have nutritional deficiencies in iron and zinc,” Dr. Piliang says. Both are key nutrients for strong hair, so low levels could weaken your strands. You can fix that by increasing your intake of foods rich in those nutrients, like beans and oysters.
Stress makes your hair fall out
It’s easy to blame thinning strands on stress, but for stress to cause hair loss, it has to be more of extreme than what you experience when you’re prepping for a big presentation at work or in an argument with your spouse.
When your body experiences something that is traumatic, like a major surgery or illness, it can disrupt the cycle of hair, shifting it prematurely into the shedding phase, Dr. Mercurio says. It’s a condition called telogen effluvium, which can also be caused by childbirth, according to the American Hair Loss Association.
Only older women lose their hair
It’s very possible for some women, especially those with a family history of hair loss, to see thinning start in their 20s or even earlier. “Female hair loss can start in the teens and gradually progress with age,”
Dr. Mercurio says. Hormone problems are really one thing that could affect hair at a young age. “Women can get an imbalance of the male hormones that trigger hair shedding,” Dr. Piliang says.
The condition is called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and can also cause irregular periods, excess body and facial hair, and increased acne. Hormones aren’t the only culprit for early hair loss. “The things that I look for in young women are nutritional deficiencies, eating disorders, or really high stress,” Dr. Piliang says.
Biotin can cure hair loss
At the drugstore, you’re sure to find supplements that claims to boost your hair and nails. Most of them contain biotin, which makes up the group of B complex vitamins. They play an essential part in maintaining healthy hair by helping with metabolism and converting food for energy production.
While a biotin deficiency can trigger hair loss, a lack of it is pretty rare, according to the Mayo Clinic. “Biotin is only worth taking if you’re having hair breakage problems,” Dr. Mercurio says. Though it might help strengthen your hair, there’s not strong evidence it can do much for hair loss caused by hormone problems or genetics. In that case, you’ll likely need a stronger treatment from your doctor.
Shampooing too much will make you lose hair
You might have heard of the ‘no-poo’ movement sparked by celebrities and bloggers. The claim: Your hair will get prettier, healthier, and thicker by skipping shampoo. “Patients tend to notice shedding most in the shower,” Dr. Piliang says. “So they associate shedding with shampooing.” There’s no scientific evidence, though, that ties hair loss to the number of times you shampoo during the week. In fact, shampooing less can actually be bad for your hair. “Shampoo cleans off oils on the scalp that can contain hormones that drive hair loss,” Dr. Piliang says. Not shampooing enough can also lead to dandruff, which can inhibit hair growth. Make sure to wash your hair regularly and keep in mind it’s normal to shed 100 to 150 hairs a day, Dr. Piliang says.