Very informative answer, thank you IAGirl. For the past 2 mos, I've been losing ridiculous amounts of hair (mostly in the shower). I can grab my hair at the ends and gently pull out several strands every time. Several times a day I pick off hairs that have fallen on my shirt/arms. I use to have nice thick hair my senior year of high school ('05). :*(
My lost hairs all have a root intact. I'm having a hard time gaining weight too. That said, I should probably look into the hormonal/thyroid explanation. Aside from thyroid, I've made a list of several other possible causes...Hopefully someone can pass on some helpful info and suggestions for me and anyone else going through this. Here's my list:
Possible causes for my hair loss:
1. Diet/Overall health. I eat healthy, but I do not eat much, and I do not take vitamins anymore. I'm down 9 lbs since a year and a half ago, which is a lot considering I'm currently 109lbs. I'm having difficulty gaining it back. I do not sleep as much as I should. I don't exercise much.
2. Hair products. Is it possible that hair gel or not rinsing conditioner on the scalp out well can cause hair loss?
3. Protein Overdosing. My hair typically LOVES any kind of protein I feed it, however often, but lately my hair's been straw-like and knotting/tangling easily. When I finger-comb through it in the shower is when I lose a ton of hair (and I do it gently!). Could ODing on protein cause hair loss?
4. I have generalized anxiety which = stress.
5. Buildup on scalp. I get white, oily buildup on my scalp sometimes. I think it's caused by a mixture of my Alba leave-in and my gel. Can buildup weaken hair and cause loss?
6. Water. Firstly I'll mention I have well water. Secondly I'll say that my mom has been losing hair too. My dad hasn't changed the water filter in 7 years (shame, shame). He finally did so 2 days ago, and he found the filter was full of rust. Could something in the well water (sulfur, salt, rust, etc) be the cause?
7. Allergies and asthma. As IAGirl aforementioned, it is a cause, and is one I suffer greatly from, especially this year. It's been AWFUL.
8. Flat ironing. My huge hair loss fiasco started after I straightened my hair one day, which I rarely ever do...
8. Being modified CG (I low poo, blow dry every now and then, and use silicones if I want, though it isn't much). Every since I've gone CG, my hair seems weaker and more fine. Perhaps silicones were doing an excellent job protecting my hair. Dare I say, perhaps it was worth using sulfates!
Is there anything I can do to strengthen my hair? Any tips based off of what I wrote?
I will try taking iron and biotin, getting more sleep, exercising, and massaging my scalp daily. I want to rule out some things before getting my hormones/thyroid checked.