Last summer, I started visiting the Philip Kingsley hair clinic in New York City every week to strengthen the fragile wisps that were sprouting up along my hairline as a result of my prescription treatments. There, I learned that physical as well as emotional stress can cause temporary thinning and make genetic hair loss worse. Consider it something like a domino effect. When 44-year-old fitness instructor Maria Santoro was hospitalized for a severe allergic reaction to her pneumonia medication, she lost 20 pounds in 10 days, and her chestnut waves started falling out in clumps. "People assumed I was anorexic," she says. "My body was in shock, and I felt really insecure because of my weight loss and thin hair. It was devastating."
You’ve heard a million times and a million reasons why smoking is bad. Here’s another one for you. If you’d like to keep your glossy mane, it’s time to call it quits. According to research out of the University Hospital of Zurich, smoking causes “damage to DNA of the hair follicle, smoke-induced imbalance in the follicular protease/antiprotease systems controlling tissue remodeling during the hair growth cycle, pro-oxidant effects of smoking leading to the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines resulting in follicular micro-inflammation and fibrosis and finally increased hydroxylation of oestradiol as well as inhibition of the enzyme aromatase creating a relative hypo-oestrogenic state.” So, yeah, switch out your nasty habit for one that doesn’t mess with your body chemistry in such profound ways.
In other words, no one’s truly safe from the condition. But even in the face of these seemingly insurmountable odds, not all hope is lost for your precious locks. To show your hair some TLC (and prevent further thinning), look out for these surprising culprits—and combat them accordingly. And if you need a quick way to mask any thinning hair, just check out the 15 Best Haircuts for Looking Instantly Younger.