Hair miniaturization is the process in which hair strands become more brittle and thinner over time. This process can make hair look very sparse, and it is possible to experience balding after hair miniaturization has occurred for some time. To understand what causes hair miniaturization, many separate factors must be considered because there is not always one single cause. More often than not, hair miniaturization is present in a person as a result of a combination of the following causes.


A common cause of hair miniaturization is the natural aging process. Older people are much more likely to suffer from hair miniaturization than younger people. The body’s cells are subject to oxidative stress and natural wear and tear that gives them a limited life span. This process can affect hair follicles and result in hair miniaturization.


Thinning hair and hair loss can be hereditary, and hair miniaturization is no exception. The type of hair loss referred to as androgenic alopecia is genetic, and the genes responsible for hair miniaturization and hair loss can be inherited from either the mother’s or father’s side. A receding hair line or gradual balding at the crown of the head is typical for people with hereditary hair miniaturization.

DHT Hormone

DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, is a major cause of hair miniaturization. The hormone is similar to the male hormone, testosterone, but it plays a much bigger role in baldness and hair loss. Inside each hair follicle is an enzyme that converts testosterone into DHT. The problem with having DHT on the scalp is that the hormone effectively shrinks hair follicles over time. This process makes the follicle incapable of producing a healthy, thick strand of hair and, eventually, the follicle may not be able to support any new hair growth at all.

Telogen Effluvium

Telogen effluvium occurs when the hair growth cycle suddenly shifts and puts a larger than normal proportion of hair into the telogen, or shedding, phase. Different situations can trigger hair to shift into this phase including stress, childbirth, some kinds of prescription medications, trauma and malnutrition.

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