Hair loss is a nightmare and a great source of anxiety. That being said, it’s almost incredible how many women lose sleep over the hundreds of hairs they lose each day, as well as over their apparently receding hairlines at the crown of their heads. Ever wondered why young women end up losing their hair? Check out the three main causes below.

Hair loss causes

1. Hair shedding

Its scientific name is telogen effluvium and is most often determined by acute medical causes, such as serious illnesses (typhoid, malaria, and several disorders of the thyroid gland) or nutritive deficiencies (malnutrition, iron deficiencies).

2. Hair thinning

The most common male balding pattern starts in the middle area of the crown of one’s head. Something similar also affects women. The female hair loss pattern starts with noticeable thinning within the mid hair parting and is generally hereditary. However, it can also point to a hormonal imbalance, such as PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome).

3. Brittle hair

If your hair is prone to breaking, this doesn’t really mean you’re losing hair. Rather, your hair is breaking along the shaft as you comb it, style it, or shampoo it. It’s the most common form of hair loss in young women and usually occurs because of bleaching, dying, or the use of straighteners or curling irons. Such processes loosen hair bonds and leave hair more exposed to breaking.

What can you do to prevent hair loss?

Most hair experts agree that hair loss is typically caused by a poor lifestyle. There’s a strong correlation between what you eat, your stress levels, the overall health of your endocrine system, and the health of your hair. It’s important to maintain a balanced diet, if you want your hair to look good, since poor iron levels will determine both a thyroid and hormone imbalance, as well as hair falling off. Avoid crash diets, no matter how appealing fast weight loss might seem, since they will ruin your hair. During such shock ‘treatments’ your body goes into emergency mode and focuses on providing the necessary nutrients to the body’s vital parts. In the process, your hair and your nails will become deprived of them. It’s also just as important to sleep enough and maintain a good sleep hygiene.

Here are five things you can do, in order to avoid the anguish of hair loss:

1. Eat right

To paraphrase a famous saying, your hair is what you eat – it needs zinc, vitamin C and iron to be healthy. Also, raw vegetables and fruit are good for it, as are meals lightly sautéed in olive oil, as is protein. That’s because hair is essentially made up of a protein called Keratin.

2. Know thy hair products

Each type of hair needs its specific set of products and a particular hair washing routine. Yet, by and large, it’s a good idea to wash your hair regularly, because a clean scalp promotes hair healthfulness. Shampoo your hair the right way, use conditioner, and restore the hair’s sheen with leave-in oils.

3. Be gentle

Understand that every shock treatment, such as exposure to dye and/or heat will damage your hair in the long term. Be gentle with your hair and avoid the abuse of chemical hair treatments and colors.

4. Spoil yourself

It’s a great idea to indulge in a hair massage and spa treatment every month. But even if money and/or time is tight for you, you can still afford this. Do it old-school style and massage your scalp with coconut oil on a weekend morning. Wash it off and rinse your hair after an hour.

5. Beauty sleep

Your hair (like your whole body) needs a regular sleep pattern – which usually means you need to hit the sack before 11 pm. That way, your body has enough time to regenerate after a hard day’s activity.