7 Things You Should Never Do With Thinning Hair

Hair pros say you should avoid these common mistakes.

Hair thinning can occur for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes it’s the result of styling or chemical damage. Sometimes it's a natural result of aging. And other times it occurs following a stressful event to your body (a condition known as telogen effluvium).

Whatever the cause, it’s important to gently tend to your strands and scalp, nourish your body, and avoid mistakes that can make matters worse. We asked hair pros to share some of the most common no-no’s people make with thinning hair, and some of them might really surprise you. 


Image Source/Getty Images

01 of 07

Using Too Much Product

It’s tempting to reach for products that help create lift and volume since thinning hair tends to lay flat on the head. However, using too much product on your hair can backfire, ultimately weighing your hair down. It can also create product buildup, which can impact hair growth if the scalp isn’t properly cleansed. 

“Less is more when it comes to hair products for thinning hair,” says Dhaval G. Bhanusali, M.D., board-certified dermatologist and founder of Skin Medicinals. “Think of your hair as a little plant. Having too much product can weigh down the branches and cause breakage.” 

02 of 07

Leaning Heavily on Dry Shampoo

Going overboard on the dry shampoo can also create product buildup on your scalp, notes Dr. Bhanusali. He says that if you spritz some on, you should wash your hair within the next 24 hours and really work the shampoo into your scalp. Try not to use dry shampoo more than one day in a row.

03 of 07

Neglecting Your Scalp

On that note, it’s important to prioritize your scalp health. After all, it’s the source of all hair growth. “If you don't have a healthy place for your hair to start, then you're depleting the whole foundation,” says Marty Harper, celebrity hairstylist and global ambassador for Nature Lab. Tokyo. "Proper scalp conditioning and cleansing is essential. I recommend a weekly exfoliation to create increased blood flow, a scalp cleaner, and proper PH balance.”

04 of 07


Thinning hair is in a fragile state and should be treated with as much care as possible. Similar to the temptation of applying lots of products to boost volume, you may be tempted to back-comb your strands. 

“Teasing to camouflage can actually lead to more hair loss because it causes a lot of friction,” warns Maya Smith, licensed cosmetologist and founder of The Doux. You don’t have to give up hope though. She says, “Hair shape is key; a haircut can help add volume to your overall look without shortening the length. A skilled stylist can reshape your hair's profile by adding subtle layers to give the illusion of fuller hair.” 

05 of 07

Wearing Tight Hairstyles

An Arianna Grande moment sounds fun, but wearing your hair in a super-tight hairstyle can further damage thinning hair by causing breakage. The damage is even worse when you slick it back while wet or damp, leading to a condition called traction alopecia.

Instead, embrace wearing your hair down or try gentle hair accessories like cushioned elastics or claw clips. “This way your hair can repair and not have constant friction,” notes Dr. Bhanusali. “This can benefit the overall health of your hair.”  

06 of 07

Not Taking Care of Yourself From the Inside Out

Hair texture and growth are highly influenced by genetics, but thinning hair may also occur if you aren’t getting the right nutrients. “It’s quite important to eat whole foods and take quality supplements,” says Harper. “Find the right balance of nutrients that propel your body to create healthy hair and skin.” 

He also notes that ongoing stress can potentially impact your well-being. Do your best to prioritize yourself by taking time for self-care, saying no to extra obligations, and distancing yourself from situations that cause stress.

07 of 07

Self-Diagnosing the Cause of Thinning Hair

Several factors and variables are associated with thinning hair, not limited to your age, gender, hormonal fluctuations, genetics, diet, and lifestyle. Smith says that if you notice hair thinning, try not to leap into a guessing game to self-diagnose. It’s better to bring in a pro so you can problem-solve quickly versus continuing to lose more hair. 

“If the issue persists, see a dermatologist,” Smith urges. “They are licensed and skilled in determining whether or not the cause of the thinning is related to a deeper issue.” Your general practitioner can also help here by running some blood tests and asking important questions in an analysis. 

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles