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My Hair Is So Thin I Can See My Scalp: What Should You Do?
Dr Meena Zareie (GMC)
Medically reviewed by
Dr Meena Zareie (GMC)
Updated on May 13, 2024

Hair thinning may be something that naturally occurs with age, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t disappointing the first time you notice your scalp peaking through your hair.

Whether you are male or female, hair thinning is something that can happen to anyone. Male pattern baldness can be caused for a multitude of reasons, from something as simple as your genetics to issues with your diet.

General hair thinning across the scalp is common in female pattern baldness as well as stress-related hair loss, but that doesn’t mean that you just have to sit and accept fate.

If you are starting to worry about your visible scalp becoming more and more noticeable, you don’t necessarily have to worry about going completely bald just yet.

Below we’ll take you through some of the reasons why your hair may be thinning and what you can do to slow it down before it turns into more noticeable hair loss.

Table of Contents

What causes hair thinning?

There are a variety of factors that affect your hair health. Some of these things are internal, like genetics or hormonal imbalances, whereas some are external like the styling methods you use on your hair.

All of these factors could potentially be the cause of hair thinning in women and men, which could be the cause of your scalp becoming more visible:

Potential cause of hair thinning


How to prevent or address


Being genetically more susceptible to hair loss or thinningNo cure, but there are medications and hair treatments that can help

Hormonal imbalances

Pregnancy, menopause, and other conditions can cause fluctuations in hormones which result in hair sheddingEffects may be temporary, speak to your GP for guidance

Nutritional deficiencies

Not getting enough of the vital nutrients to promote hair growth if you have a vitamin deficiencyImprove your diet or take supplements, can ask your GP for guidance


Natural hair thinning and loss that happens as we ageMaintain a healthy lifestyle to delay hair thinning, then look into different treatments to encourage healthy hair growth


Physical or emotional stress puts a strain on your body, which can result in a type of hair shedding known as telogen effluviumEffects may be temporary, look into ways to manage stress

Medical conditions

Certain medical conditions can have a physical impact on your body, including hair thinningTalk to your GP for treatments and solutions that fit your needs

Hair colour

The scalp may naturally be more visible if your hair is lighter or grey

Over styling

Frequent use of heat styling tools or tight hairstyles can lead to hair damage and breakageAvoid using heat styling tools frequently and opt for loose hairstyles to reduce hair damage

Chemical treatments

Chemical treatments such as colouring, perming, or relaxing can cause hair damage and thinning hairReduce the frequency of chemical treatments and use gentle products to protect hair from damage

Environmental factors

Exposure to pollutants, sun damage, and harsh weather can damage hair and scalpWear a hat or use hair products with SPF to protect hair from sun damage, and avoid exposure to harsh environmental conditions

Signs and symptoms of hair thinning

The signs of hair thinning are very easy to spot, especially considering the vast majority of us probably spend a lot of time looking in the mirror every day.

Normally hair thinning will be most noticeable around the portion of your scalp where your hairline parts, making it look like your hairline part is starting to get wider.

It also may be that in certain lighting conditions, you notice your scalp being more visible, revealing your hairline and crown more obviously.

It’s normal for us to lose around 100 hairs a day, but it’s normally obvious when you’re losing a significant amount of hair, or if it’s noticeably thinner.

Hair loss can also look different for men and women. Men can often experience other signs of hair loss, in addition to thinning, like a receding or M-shaped hairline. On the other hand, women are more likely to experience hair loss everywhere and the causes can also be a lot more complex, which is why female hair loss diagnosis and finding the right hair loss treatment for women is important.

How to hide hair thinning

Hair thinning isn’t ideal, and for many people, it can have a big impact on all areas of their lives.

In one survey, 40% of women with alopecia said that problems in their marriage were caused by hair loss and 63% said that it affected their career [1].

Similarly, in a survey of male and female participants, 60% said that they would rather have their hair back than money or friends [2].

Here are some quick solutions to hide thinning hair:

  1. Having layers cut into thin hair can be a good solution if you have medium to long-length hair
  2. Create volume with a blow dryer or styling products to add density
  3. Using hair gel on shorter hair to conceal thinning spots – find out if hair gel causes hair loss
  4. Experiment with a new hair parting to cover thinning spots
  5. Add waves and texture to your hair using styling products
  6. Use headscarves, hairbands, or clips to experiment with different styles
  7. Experiment with different hairstyles for men and women that can disguise a receding hairline

Treatments for thinning hair

If your hair starts to thin, you don’t just have to rely on quick fixes. There are other treatments that you can use to prevent further thinning and promote hair thickness and optimal hair growth.


Finasteride is an oral medication that is one of the most commonly prescribed medications for men who are experiencing male pattern baldness. Unfortunately, women are not advised to take this drug. This medication works by preventing testosterone from converting into DHT, a key cause of hair loss in men. Normally, the results of Finasteride are very positive and can make a big difference in thinning or balding hair. You can now also use topical Finasteride which, although less commonly used than oral Finasteride, may be just as effective.
Patient with male pattern baldness before Finasteride treatment and after 6 months of taking 1mg per day
Patient before Finasteride treatment and after 6 months of taking 1mg per day


Another popular treatment for hair loss is Minoxidil, which is well-tolerated by both men and women.

Minoxidil is believed to work by acting as a vasodilator (a medicine that dilates blood vessels). By widening blood vessels, more blood flow and in turn, more nutrients and oxygen are provided to the hair follicles, promoting hair growth in the process.

It’s available in both topical and oral forms, with the topical version of the treatment most common under the brand name Rogaine or Regaine.

Like Finasteride, the results of using Minoxidil are largely positive and can cause a big improvement in hair density for people suffering from hair thinning.

Before and after results of using Minoxidil to treat female pattern baldness
Before and after results of using Minoxidil to treat female pattern baldness

Natural products aimed at treating thinning hair

There are also a number of natural remedies that are thought to help hair thinning, although there is not as much research on these products compared to treatments like Finasteride and Minoxidil.

These include natural DHT blockers like caffeine shampoos as well as natural oils such as:

Hair transplants

Another, more permanent, option for those who are experiencing more severe hair thinning is a hair transplant procedure. In this procedure, healthy hair follicles are taken from one part of the scalp and implanted into areas of balding or hair thinning.

This procedure is usually suitable for the following individuals:

However, it will ultimately depend on the extent of your hair loss. If you’re a stage 3 on the Norwood scale (for men) or advanced stage 1 on the Ludwig scale (for women) then you would normally get the most benefits from a hair transplant procedure.

The Norwood Scale
The Norwood Scale for male hair loss
The Ludwig Scale
The Ludwig Scale for female hair loss

Are you looking for a permanent solution for your thinning hair?

Hair transplants are effective at increasing hair density. Most people only need to create 50% hair density to make the hair appear thicker and reduce scalp visibility [4]. In previous transplant examples, surgeons are able to achieve a density of 50 grafts per cm² with FUE transplantation and 75 grafts per cm² with direct hair implantation [5].

If you think that getting a hair transplant could be the right solution for your hair thinning, get in touch with us today for a no-obligation consultation call with one of our specialists.

If you are interested in learning more about what we can do for you, take a look at our reviews page and gallery to get an idea of the type of high-quality hair restoration work we provide for our patients.

My Hair Is So Thin I Can See My Scalp: What Should You Do?, Wimpole Clinic

Dr Meena Zareie (GMC)
Medically reviewed by Dr Meena Zareie (GMC)Updated on May 13, 2024
The Wimpole Clinic offers FUE Hair, Beard & Eyebrow Transplants & Trichology.
Talk to a specialist ☎ 020 7935 1861.

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