View Full Version : Hair thinning while getting longer...

March 29th, 2015, 04:52 AM
I have (now) waist-length (when wet) wavy/curly hair, I am almost 5 years into growing my hair now from a normal short guy hair. My hair is naturally thin.

I have noticed lately that my overall density of hair has decreased, this is maybe due to a styling technique I have adopted lately which gives me great well-shaped (but thin) curls, I am not sure though. Is it possible that I am now in a transitional phase before I start a new Anagen phase and thicken my hair again? Note that, in the past month, my normal shedding has TREMENDOUSLY decreased (my stress level was also greatly reduced), I used to shed like 50-100 hair a day (which is normal), I am shedding now almost less-less than the half! How can I explain this?

Last note to add, I have a history of male hair loss, I have a receded hairline (an M-shaped hairline) so I cannot say for sure that if I had a normal hairline, my hair would be thicker.


March 29th, 2015, 05:17 AM
Firstly, is your hair actually thinning (i.e. your ponytail thickness is decreasing) or do you mean that your hair is tapering (i.e. the hemline looks increasingly thin). You can check for actual thinning by measuring your ponytail like this (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=129056) and monitoring it on a monthly or quarterly basis.

For thinning, there are two main options: damage or hair loss. Culprits for damage could be: mechanical damage (e.g. non-gentle detangling, excessive detangling, damaging styling (e.g. ponytails), wearing hair loose/braided and letting it get abraded/rubbed on things, wearing hair loose and thus getting it more tangled) or chemical damage (bleach, dye, perm, chemical straightening - if the length that's there has ever had any of these done then these can have an effect, even years later).

For hair loss, there are the usual suspects: poor diet/general health, vitamin/mineral deficiencies (especially iron, vitamin B12, vitamin D), hormonal imbalances (especially sex hormones and/or thyroid horomones) and/or stress (either physical (e.g. dieting, weight loss, surgery, illness) or mental (general stress, depression, anxiety, bereavement, job loss, etc.)). Hair loss from any/all of those can be reversed or at least controlled. As you're a guy, there is also the chance of male-pattern hair loss which is unfortunately genetic and fairly irreversible.

I can't see the photo. However, you could have a go at monitoring your hair via measuring your ponytail. You could think back through the last couple of months/years to see if you've had any potential triggers (the hair growth cycle means that you see individual hairs fall out approx. 3 months after the trigger that stopped that hair growing). You could check your hair routine to see if you're doing untoward damage. You could also (especially if you have other symptoms) get your GP/family doctor to run a vitamin/mineral/hormone blood test for you.

March 29th, 2015, 05:51 AM
Thanks for the answer. I have re-uploaded my photo again...

Well no, my ponytail is very thick, if I look at myself from the back, I can see that the width of it is really wide (4 inches maybe?). Yes, my hemline looks really thin. The thing is that I am afraid that I feel like I don't have "much hair" on my head. Can you really have naturally thin hair? It's hard to distinguish a natural thin hair with a thin hair due to male hair loss!

I finger-comb my hair once a week, I CO-wash, I also dont use any heating techniques. Yes, I wear ponytails too much unfortunately and I have chemically straightened my hair 3 times in my first year of growth (that was 4 and a half years ago). I have also been under chronic mental stress for the past 5 years, this year I am definitely better, I have solved my issues in my life. Does this explain why I am shedding less now? If it was due to stress, when I can see any visible thickening/re-growth?

March 29th, 2015, 09:14 AM
The growth cycles of individual hairs are not synchronized. If they were, humans would moult. ;)

I think that you are experiencing natural taper. It is hard to tell with curly hair, but your terminal length appears to be around waist. Since you don't trim, your hair naturally tapers down to nothing.

March 29th, 2015, 09:39 AM
If it's the thin ends causing you consternation (and they look a lot like my thin ends), you might find this informative video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3G4RyJMKtTc) reassuring. It's all about taper and how ends naturally thin as length is gained.

March 29th, 2015, 09:58 AM
If you are right and you have had been shedding extra due to stress, then I think there is a chance the thickness may travel down. I know a lot of people here have had success with micro trimming.

A way to track your taper is to make a tight English braid and take a picture. If you do this every few months over time you can see if the taper is due to reaching your terminal, or if the tapper is due to your shedding and will reduce over time with micro trims.

I also think keeping track of your pony tail diameter in addition to your braid taper over the next year or so will really give you an idea of what's really happening.

Also something to consider, a lot of people experience a stall or thinking around your length because of mechanical damage. Chairs are a killer while getting used to the length.

Have you been timing while growing? If not (or not often ) fairy tail ends would also lead to a thinner ends. Micro trimming can also be used to slowly change heamline if that is what you want.

I hope you find any of this helpful! Your curls are also lovely And I think your hair looks fine. I hope you become satisfied with your hair. :)

March 29th, 2015, 10:19 AM
I think it's very premature to suggest that the OP is approaching terminal, especially as he's had lots of stress and that that (or something, at least) has been affecting his hair (as evidenced by the dramatic change in shedding).

False terminal, quite possibly (induced by excessive shedding). Real terminal? I don't think so.

March 29th, 2015, 11:53 AM
False terminal, quite possibly (induced by excessive shedding). Real terminal? I don't think so.

Yep, that's what I think as well.

March 29th, 2015, 02:24 PM
Thank you all for the replies. Please note that the above pic was taken in September, 2013! Now my hair is waist-length. (When wet of course as the above pic was half-wet also)

The thing is, if I come to a Long Hair community, most if not all the answers (since folks over here are mostly dealing with, obviously, long hair and its issues) would be regarding: having naturally low-density thin hair, mechanical or chemical damage, reversible hair loss causes, shedding issues, etc... and if I go to a Hair Loss community, most if not all the answers (since folks over there are mostly dealing with short hair and balding issues) would be regarding: NW scales, temple thinning, androgenic alopecia, crown thinning, etc...

I am really confused, I do remember that my hair has always been thin but it does keep growing in terms of length, shedding has always been varying, etc... My only concern now is that I hope that any thinning would be due to whatever reasons such as damage (all types), shedding issues, hormonal issues, health and stress, whatever.... and not the male hair loss pattern continuing to attack which reflects why my long hair looks thin!

Oh and by the way, by excessive shedding, I would say that, since I wash and comb my hair once a week, my hair count would me around 700! (That was last month and yes, I counted them so 50-100 as a natural range, 100*7 days = 700! Still fairly within the normal range) But now and on my 7th day mark, the total would only be around 300-350 maximum ! So we are talking about the half here... Again, what fuels my worried thoughts here is this question:

Why am I seeing less shedding? Not because of stress/re-growth possibilities but rather because I, now, have less hair on my head (male hair loss) and less shedding is normal in this case!

Any possible explanation is really welcomed...

March 30th, 2015, 07:34 AM
I think if it was hair loss you'd be seeing less hair around the scalp rather than just at your ends. Do you detangle using a wide tooth comb, starting from the ends and working your way up, or do you use a brush to pull through knots? Do you ever use heat or towel dry your hair? Do you wear a hard hat or helmet regularly? Do you tie your hair up much or leave it down?How often do you wash it? Do you use any oil or protein treatments? Do you use conditioner? How often do you trim? How do your ends feel?

To me it just looks like taper. Most of us have it if we're not strict about our hemlines.

March 30th, 2015, 12:02 PM
To be honest I feel little confused when I hear, that there about 4 inch wide ponytail and then hear about how thin hair is... From the photo I would say, that your hair just tapers dramaticly so with time it should get thicker...

March 30th, 2015, 12:40 PM
To me, it doesn't necessarily look like it's thinning, just tapering at the ends, which is mostly caused my breakage. If you're noticing a thinning at your scalp, then that's another issue entirely, but breakage is pretty normal especially since you mentioned you were using a new styling technique. You can always trim the thinner ends to make your hemline appear thicker/fuller as an option, or just continue to baby your hair to prevent any future damage.

March 30th, 2015, 04:13 PM
To be honest I feel little confused when I hear, that there about 4 inch wide ponytail and then hear about how thin hair is... From the photo I would say, that your hair just tapers dramaticly so with time it should get thicker...


(Ignoring, for a moment, any issues of male pattern baldness and the aesthetics of that) 4" ponytail is NOT thin. That is thick. Above average.

You just have taper. Taper can come from breakage. It can also come from shedding (sometimes, it seems, the longest hairs shed first/worst).

No one can tell you if your hair is thinning unless you either have comparison photos to show or if you have measurements (or if you start keeping track by either of those methods). However, I really wouldn't start fretting about hair loss just going by your taper.

March 30th, 2015, 08:41 PM
Easy If u hate that taper thin look in the ends just trim or micro trim every now and then, it totally helps!

I was behaving totally insane when my hair was hip lenght but about mid back...half of it ended in probably 3 strands. Now I dont have the thickest hair, leting 2 years without cutting and adding emotional problems were my most reasonable reasons.

There are some people with thin or fine hair that can manage to grow an even hemline, faking or making a visual impact of thick hair. This is archive via micro trimming versus a big chop, you are essentially shaping the way your hair in the ends.

So the idea previously explained and having a better attitude (without stress too much about being a guy with thin hair) in life makes hair growing better.

And like other said, hair loss show more at the scalp rather than the ends...... Still you have great hair man!!! ;)