Reasons For Hair Thinning - Hair Habits To Avoid

African american woman wearing a white bathrobe detangling her hair

Hair is an essential aspect of our appearance and identity, but certain habits can lead to thinning hair or even hair loss. As a hair care expert specializing in African American hair types, I have compiled a list of reasons for thinning hair and the hair habits to avoid. By educating yourself on these common styling mistakes, you can prevent heat damage, chemical damage, and hair loss. More importantly, you can learn how to revive dead hair follicles and maintain healthy, strong hair.


Shampoo and Conditioner


Overuse of heat styling tools

African American girl holding hair blower

One of the primary reasons for thinning hair is the excessive use of heat styling tools such as flat irons, curling irons, and blow dryers. These tools can cause heat damage, leading to dryness, breakage, and hair loss. 

To avoid heat damage

  • limit the use of heat styling tools
  • opt for heatless styling techniques.
  • Always use a heat protectant spray
  • Avoid temperatures above 350°F.

Harsh chemical treatments

African American Hair Treatment

Chemical treatments like relaxers, perms, and hair dyes can cause chemical damage to your hair, resulting in thinning hair or hair loss. 

To minimize chemical damage

  • choose ammonia-free dyes 
  • Avoid relaxing your hair too often. When applying chemicals, always 
  • Follow the instructions and seek professional help if needed, When applying chemicals. 
  • Regularly deep condition your hair to restore moisture and nourishment.


Tight hairstyles

African American Girl with Tight Hair Style

Tight hairstyles, such as braids, ponytails, and buns, can cause tension and stress on the hair follicles, resulting in a type of hair loss called traction alopecia

To prevent traction alopecia

  • Avoid hairstyles that pull excessively on your hair
  • Alternate between looser styles
  • Use gentle hair ties and avoid rubber bands that can cause breakage.

Treating Traction Alopecia in Early stage can give you a higher chance of recovery. Being aware of the signs and solution can help you out, Check out the Traction Alopecia When Is It Too Late



African American Girl Brushing her Hair

Another reason for thinning hair is excessive brushing. Over-brushing can cause mechanical damage to the hair shaft, leading to breakage and hair loss. 

To avoid over-brushing

  • use a wide-tooth comb or a brush with soft bristles.
  • Detangle your hair gently, starting from the ends and working your way up to the roots.
  • Avoid brushing your hair when it's wet

Neglecting scalp health

A healthy scalp is essential for healthy hair growth, and neglecting scalp health can result in dead hair follicles and thinning hair. 

To maintain a healthy scalp

  • Regularly massage your scalp
  • Use natural oils like coconut oil or jojoba oil. 
  • Use gentle sulfate-free shampoos 
  • Avoid harsh chemicals that can irritate the scalp.


Poor diet and nutrition

Your hair needs proper nutrients to grow and thrive. A poor diet lacking essential vitamins and minerals can be a reason for thinning hair. To improve your hair's health, consume a balanced diet rich in protein, iron, zinc, and vitamins A, B, C, and E. Additionally, consider taking hair growth supplements to ensure you're getting all the necessary nutrients for optimal hair growth.



African American Girl Washing her Hair

Washing your hair too often can strip the natural oils from your scalp and hair, leading to dryness, breakage, and thinning hair. For African American hair types, it's essential to find the right balance between cleansing and moisturizing. 

  • Limit hair washing to once or twice a week
  • Use sulfate-free shampoos to maintain moisture.
  • Follow up with a nourishing conditioner or hair mask


Shampoo and Conditioner


Understanding the reasons for thinning hair and avoiding these harmful hair habits is crucial for maintaining healthy, strong hair. it's essential to listen to your hair's needs and seek professional advice if you're experiencing significant hair thinning or loss.