Diffuse Thinning: What Is It And How Can It Be Prevented?

What Is Diffuse Thinning? 

Diffuse thinning is a type of hair loss that occurs when the hair on the crown, or top, of the head, grows more thin and sparse. This type of hair loss is closely connected with a condition called telogen effluvium. 

Telogen effluvium is a form of hair loss that causes your hair follicles to spend more time resting than growing. This type of hair loss gets its name from the telogen phase or resting phase, of your hair’s growth cycle. Your hair’s natural cycle of growth has an anagen phase, a catagen phase, and a telogen phase. In the anagen phase, your hair is actively getting longer. In the catagen phase, your hair follicles are transitioning from growth into rest. In the telogen stage, your hair rests from growth.

A common form of hair loss, telogen effluvium causes your hair follicles to constrict, decreasing the amount that your hair can grow, even in the anagen phase. Telogen effluvium also increases the length of the telogen phase of the growth cycle, making it harder for your hair to grow at all. In this post, we’ll get in-depth about the causes of telogen effluvium and diffuse thinning. We’ll also provide you with some simple, practical ways that you can treat this common form of hair loss.

What Causes Diffuse Thinning? 

  • Diffuse thinning, as you have learned, is often caused by telogen effluvium. This form of hair loss can develop as a side effect of certain medications. It can also be caused by stress. 
  • Diffuse thinning can also be caused by another type of hair loss – androgenic alopecia. This type of hair loss develops when your body’s levels of the hormone dihydrotestosterone are too high. Androgenic alopecia causes thinning of the hair in specific parts of your head, and it can sometimes cause diffuse thinning. In many other cases, androgenic alopecia creates a growing bald spot at the top of the head. Androgenic alopecia is the most common form of hair loss among adults, affecting 50% of men and 25% of women over the age of 50.
  • Diffuse thinning can also be something you are genetically predisposed to. If hair loss runs in your family, you are more likely to develop a condition like diffuse thinning. 

How Stress Can Cause Diffuse Thinning 

If you experience chronic stress, you may be at a higher risk of developing telogen effluvium. Stress can cause this type of hair loss by releasing hormones that prompt your hair follicles to constrict. If you are constantly experiencing high levels of stress, your hair may start spending less time growing and more time resting from growth, leading to the eventual development of diffuse thinning. Stress-related hair loss is often preventable and reversible – the primary “cure” is to reduce the amount of stress in your life in any way possible.

Thinning Hair And Androgenic Alopecia 

DHT is a hormone that plays an important role in your body’s physical development. During puberty, this hormone is largely responsible for the physical changes that you experienced – your voice deepening, the growth of facial and pubic hair, and more. However, DHT levels can continue increasing as you age, which can be bad news for your hair follicles.

When increasing levels of DHT cause your hair follicles to shrink, you can start thinning out. If you are a man, DHT-related hair loss is likely to be most visible at your hairline and the crown of your head. This type of hair loss can closely resemble the diffuse thinning caused by telogen effluvium.

It’s important to note that while telogen effluvium and androgenic alopecia are two different types of hair loss, they both have similar causes and treatments. In the next section of this post, we’ll discuss some of the treatments for thinning hair that is effective both for androgenic alopecia and telogen effluvium.

How Is Diffuse Thinning Treated? 

If you are dealing with thinning hair, there are several practical steps you can take to potentially improve hair growth. Below are some of the most effective treatments for hair loss, including for diffuse thinning.


Also known as Rogaine, minoxidil is one of the most popular and effective hair loss treatments on the market. It’s FDA-approved and evidence-backed, so it is an easy treatment to recommend for thinning hair. You can use minoxidil without a prescription, which makes it even easier to get started with using the treatment to prevent hair loss.

While some aspects of the effectiveness of minoxidil still need further research, it is currently speculated that the treatment mainly works by increasing blood flow to your scalp, stimulating your hair follicles to initiate growth. If your hair is getting thin in certain parts of your head, treating these areas with minoxidil may help.

However, before you get started with minoxidil, it’s important to be aware of the potential side effects that the treatment can cause. Many users of minoxidil have found that it causes their scalps to get dry and irritated. This dryness and irritation can cause further problems for your hair and scalp, and it’s best to do whatever you can to hydrate and nourish your hair while using minoxidil.

To offset the potential side effects of using minoxidil for hair loss, we highly recommend adding GroMD hair products to your hair care regimen. Our shampoo and conditioner include hydrating and soothing ingredients like argan oil, which can help to minimize the dryness and irritation that minoxidil can cause.

GroMD Shampoo, Conditioner And Follicle Activator Spray

GroMD’s hair care products are the perfect tools to add to your hair loss prevention arsenal. Our products are designed to boost growth while hydrating and nourishing your hair, and they’re packed with high-quality ingredients. Our proprietary blend of DHT blockers can help to minimize the effects of dihydrotestosterone on hair growth. If you are struggling to get your hair to a point that you are happy with and get its natural growth cycle back on track, making GroMD products a part of your hair care regimen may help.

Our shampoo, conditioner, and follicle activator spray contain a blend of ingredients that can be effective against diffuse thinning and other forms of hair loss. These ingredients include caffeine, biotin, argan oil, stinging nettle, saw palmetto, Korean red ginseng, pumpkin seed extract, and more. These all-natural, plant-derived ingredients have natural DHT-blocking properties, which makes them ideal for treating androgenic alopecia. However, our products may also be effective against other forms of hair loss.

If you are dealing with diffuse thinning that is particularly stubborn, it may be wise to talk to your doctor. A healthcare professional can help you form a treatment plan that may include prescription hair loss prevention treatments. You’ll need a doctor’s help to get these medicines, and they can be helpful if your hair loss is particularly stubborn and severe. However, diffuse thinning can often be prevented through the use of over-the-counter products like GroMD’s hair care line.

If you have other questions regarding hair loss and caring for thinning hair, make sure to visit our blog for more helpful articles. There, we cover topics ranging from how to use shampoo to the different ways that stress can cause hair loss. If you’re interested in finding practical, simple ways to prevent and reverse hair loss and get the hair of your dreams, our blogs have helpful information for you.

Dr. Amir Yazdan, MD, is an internationally renowned hair transplant surgeon, expert guest on Dr. Phil and The Doctors, creator of the GroMD hair restoration product line, ISHRS member, accredited member of the IAHRS and a visceral advocate for patient care. Learn more about Dr. Yazdan or read rave reviews from his patients.


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