What causes thinning hair and hair loss?

Thinning hair and hair loss are two of the most common hair concerns out there, if not the biggest.

We all naturally shed between 50 and 100 hairs a day – yes, really! – and you probably notice this most when you brush your hair, or even while in the shower when you wash it (and later have to unclog your drain. Yikes.). Initially this may cause you to panic – “my hair is falling out!” – but in some cases? hair loss is totally normal.

Sometimes hair loss goes beyond the 50-100 mark in response to outside factors, or thins over time as we age. So, if you’re wondering what can cause hair thinning to be more prevalent, you’ve come to the right place to find out more.

There are a few different possible hair loss causes, which we’ve broken down below to help you pinpoint the cause, as well as solutions to help you manage thinning hair. So, without further ado...

Why is my hair thinning?

Getting older

Unfortunately, the biggest hair thinning hair cause is something that’s inevitable for all of us: getting older. As you age, the width of each strand of your hair is reduced, as well as how much hair is on your scalp due to some follicles stopping to producing hair, based on genes.


Hormones are a fact of life that, unfortunately, we all have to put up with for the long haul, and later in life we go through ‘the change’ otherwise known as the menopause. This is another major reason for hair thinning in women, as the change can cause an increase in hair shedding because of lower levels of female hormones.

Other major body changes, like pregnancy or sudden weight loss, can also trigger thinning hair or loss. During pregnancy, your oestrogen levels increase and the life cycle of single hairs is extended. Once you’ve given birth, oestrogen level falls again, ending the extended life of individual hairs. These then fall out, giving the impression of extra hair loss, but it’s simply your hair returning to pre-pregnancy state. This ‘normalisation’ phase typically lasts several months, until your hair cycle is back to normal.

Stress and health conditions

When you’re stressed you may notice your hair gets a bit greasier or even experiences some dandruff. But don’t panic – simply being stressed doesn’t suddenly cause your hair to fall out.

That said, it’s unfortunately not a complete myth; long term, psychological stress can have an impact on your well-being and may lead to some hair loss. If you’re worried about stress-related hair loss, it’s worth checking in with your doctor to see what long-term changes you could make to combat said stress, or find out if you’re experiencing thinning hair due to another underlying condition, like deficiencies or alopecia. In the meantime, try to take it easy.

Hair damage leading to breakage

With both thinning and loss, it’s important to nurture your hair to keep it as strong and healthy as possible.

While colouring and heat styling your hair are rarely ever linked to thinning hair or shedding, these are major ways that hair becomes damaged nowadays. The chemicals in hair dye can strip the protective layer of your hair, which, if you get your hair coloured regularly, leaves your individual hair strands thinner. Damage from colouring also makes your hair more prone to breakage.

Overall anything that damages your hair, such as heat styling (straightening, curling, etc.), UV and chlorine, permanent curling or straightening, or the everyday wear and tear can make hair more fragile, resulting in increased breakage. And in the worst cases, acting as hair loss causes.

This is one where your hair care routine can make a big difference. For instance, you can tackle this by using conditioner every time you wash, and complement your routine with a weekly (or more frequent if needed) deep treatment. This will flood your hair with moisture and help reverse the signs of damage. More on which one is best for you later!

How to manage thinning hair

Generally speaking, the secret to minimizing hair loss and combatting the signs of thinning hair is products that are packed with nutrients for healthier-looking hair – think shinier, stronger and ‘full’ in appearance. An easy hair swap you can make is to use a volumising shampoo and conditioner with said nutrients.

Volume and Body Shampoo is a lightweight power duo that work together to bring back body and volume to hair. The collection is like a multi-vitamin for your hair, combining a potent blend of key nutrients, for fuller and stronger hair*. Top tip – try massaging your scalp in the shower every time you wash – this will stimulate blood flow to your scalp and can even encourage growth.

Why not try alternating your Pantene Superfood Conditioner with the Deep Repair Masque once a week; this will give stressed or overworked hair a quick and intense nutrient boost to help protect your hair against heat styling and general wear and tear in the long run. Great to combat thinning hair because stronger hair looks and feels fuller.

You can work your way to full hair Out of the shower as well. Apply the Smooth & Sleek Dry Oil with Argan Oil to the ends of damp hair to keep it soft and nourished; argan oil is known to slow the wearing down of hair. The oil can also be applied to dry hair, so pop it in your bag Smooth and Sleek Dry Oil with Argan Oil for moisture top ups on the go if you feel your is a bit on the dry side.

In an ideal world every day would be a good hair day, but there are some days when styling might not be your number-one priority. Overuse of heat styling tools ultimately leads to damage and, in extreme cases, breakage – so grab the chance to give your hair a bit of a break if you Mousse Perfect Volume can. Days when you’re planning not on leaving the house and binge-watching a series are the perfect opportunity for a nice bit of hair rehab.

Pro styling tip: if you don’t want to use your heat styling tools yet want full body hair, apply Pantene Perfect Volume mousse to damp hair and blow dry upside down. This forces volume right into the inner layers of your hair and achieves a root lift for long-lasting volume and hold. Finish off with a little of Pantene Perfect Volume Hairspray to keep that volume in place and add a last bit of ‘oomph’ to your style.

Make healthy life choices for a healthier you

Eating healthy and with a sufficient variety of vitamins and nutrients is the best way to ensure the body gets what it needs at sufficient levels. If you’re experiencing thinning hair or hair loss, look into taking a supplement or two to help tackle the root cause of the problem. For example, Biotin is largely linked and known to support the growth of healthy-looking hair and nails and could help. So, if you’re wondering what can cause hair thinning, take a look a closer look at your diet.

Get a regular trim

Although frequent trims won’t make your hair re-grow faster – contrary to the popular myth, it will help reduce breakage by cutting the most fragile part of the hair – the ends – supporting healthier-looking, fuller hair. Also, a quality hair cut that is adapted to thinning hair can make it look fuller, with more volume at the crown. If you have thinning hair, ask your hairdresser for a cut that will create a fuller look.

All in all, we promise that you’re not the only person to experience thinning hair and while it may not be what you hoped for, it is quite normal. Make our few easy changes from our cheat sheet to thinning hair above, and you can rest easy knowing the full appearance of your hair and the extra nutrition it deserves is well and truly in your hands.

*Strength against styling damage vs non-conditioning shampoo, fullness vs unwashed.