Many of us are at the age that our bodies aren’t as forgiving as they used to be. Some of us seem to be losing our hair, or at least we don’t have the luxurious, thick we hair we used to when we were younger.

The reason for this is something called “minimalization.” This is when the hair bulb gets smaller and slips out of the hair follicle.

For many men, the cause is simply a depletion of testosterone, or DHT. Male pattern baldness can be slowed by an over the counter or salon product if it’s caught early and the follicle has not died.

There are also medications that can be prescribed for men, and some women, that possibly can retard any more loss with continued use.

Women are more complex. Thinner hair can be caused by depleted hormones and/or a combination of that with stress, diet, thyroid and medicine.

If you’re losing your hair, check the above to see if any or all of those are the culprit. It’s usually more than one. Initially, you can begin to get the issues in check.

Vitamin B complex is helpful for stress, even if it’s just stressing about your hair thinning.

Protein is the major component of the composition of hair, so a higher protein diet can help keep your hair stronger and healthier. Have your thyroid checked. If you’re on thyroid medication, that could be the culprit of your hair loss. Also check the side effects of the medication you’re taking as that could be causing the hair loss as well.

Finally, exercise helps everything.

If these ideas don’t help, the next step is to try salon products that will clean the hair follicle and any buildup. Your hairdresser might use a serum that contains all the food that your hair needs to stay healthy and grow better.

There also combinations of vitamins for hair, skin and nails that help keep the existing hair healthy, but does not really help with new growth.

Be aware that biotin can be very dangerous. It can alter the results of a blood test, so you could be over- or under prescribed a medication. Hair, skin and nails vitamins (that’s the name of them) are much better.

The next step is to use something with minoxidil in it, used with a doctor’s direction. These definitely help with growth of hair for both men and women; however, there are downsides that need to be weighed. You must use these products continually in order to continue with the growth; when you stop, the growth stops.

There are blood tests and saliva tests that can also tell where you’re deficient, so that you may supplement with natural creams, compounds, and vitamins or prescriptions. It depends on how severe your hair loss is and how much it upsets you.

Be sure your shampoos are better ones from salons so that there aren’t a whole lot of fillers that might build up in your follicle and potentially kill it.

Hair color will not make your hair fall out if it’s done properly. Again, over the counter products are not regulated as well as salon products and medical products, so you run the risk of hair loss or thinning if you’re using lesser quality products.

If all else fails, it might be time to consult with a plastic surgeon or dermatologist for other, more intense and longer lasting solutions.

Joy Ross is owner of Style It Salon in Old Town Bluffton.