What Are Causes of Fine Hair?

Written by andrea griffith
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What Are Causes of Fine Hair?
Many people will experience thinning and fine hair later in life. (Bald man from backside image by TekinT from Fotolia.com)

Many people are born with thick and healthy hair, but later in life experience thinning of the hair or hair loss. There are a few reasons why this can happen: genes, an autoimmune disease, or simply poor habits.

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT)

Some men who are experiencing thinning hair have testosterone to blame. According to the Bernstein Medical Center for Hair Restoration, in men who share a common genetic mutation, testosterone is transformed into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) by an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase. The DHT produced in the scalp causes hair follicles to degrade over time and have progressively shorter growth phases, leading to hair thinning and eventual baldness, commonly known as male-pattern baldness.


Alopecia areata is a autoimmune skin disease that causes hair loss on the scalp as well as other areas of the body. The disease is caused by the body's immune system, specifically, its white blood cells, attacking the hair follicles. When this happens the hair will thin. Sometimes alopecia causes only small bald patches, but it can also cause complete hair loss. Although this can occur at any age, alopecia most commonly begins in early childhood.

Poor Habits

Poor health habits can also cause fine hair. Bad eating habits, stress and insufficient protein in the diet can cause your hair to become fine and thin out. Stress (severe infection, surgery, death of a family member, etc.) can cause hair thinning known as telogen effluvium. When a person is under severe physical or psychological stress, it causes the hair follicles to enter and remain in their resting stage. Normal growth usually resumes when the stressful situation is resolved. Poor eating habits, especially low-protein diets, can also cause significant hair loss. When your body experiences malnutrition, it compensates by saving the protein you have in your body. This also prompts follicles to enter their resting phase instead of the growth phase. Luckily, with proper nutrition, the hair can regain its thickness.

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