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When it comes to balding, men have it easy—just look at Garth Brooks and Kenny Chesney. All they need to do is slip on a cowboy hat to hide their sparse scalps or simply whip out the clippers and embrace a bare head look. For us ladies, going thin is trickier. Plus, it’s a subject we prefer to stay mum about. The unfortunate reality is that there are lot of factors that lead to our strands falling out as we get older. It can be caused by hormones from pregnancy, thyroid changes or menopause, inflammation from chemicals, dandruff, or heat, and androgenetic alopecia (female pattern baldness). Here are five things to help you win the battle against hair loss:

1. Pamper Your Scalp

Healthy strands start with a healthy scalp since it’s the home to your hair follicles. If your scalp tends to be flaky or itchy, reach for a dandruff shampoo like Dove’s DermaCare Scalp Invigorating Mint Anti Dandruff Shampoo ($4.99, target.com). “It includes Active Pyrithione Zinc that helps fight flakes along with a blend of oils that helps beautify and moisturize the hair,” explains Dove Hair Expert Dermatologist, Dr. Francesca Fusco. Itching can cause hair loss because of the friction from your fingers, so it’s important to stop further irritation as soon as possible. Even if you don’t have flakes, wash with a shampoo, like Dove’s, that has panthenol in. “It’s been shown to increase hair diameter, as it penetrates into the hair and makes it swell because it binds water,” explains Dr. Fusco.

2. Cut Back On Hot Tools

While we all love a big, bouncy blowout, try to minimize your exposure to heat stylers since it damages the cuticle which leads to breakage. Use a heat protecting spray that also cuts down on dry time like L’Oréal Paris’s Blow Dry It Quick Dry Primer Spray ($3.99, target.com) to shorten your exposure to direct heat.

3. Deep Condition

Listen up, ladies: If you have color-treated hair, a deep conditioning treatment is key. It reverses chemical damage that can lead to thinning and breaking strands. Apply a weekly conditioner like Lee Stafford’s Hair Lengthening Treatment ($15.99, amazon.com) that promotes healthy hair growth and a moisturized scalp.

4. Consider A Leave-In Treatment

If you’re really concerned about a thinning appearance, it may be worth it to invest in a slightly pricier solution. Our editor swears by Nioxin’s Diamax Advanced Treatment ($52, ulta.com). It has a mix of ingredients that penetrate the hair shaft to plump up its diameter and thicken the hair at its roots while also preventing breakage.

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5. Talk To Your Dermatologist

For serious hair loss, it’s always best to chat with an expert—especially if you think hormones or alopecia is to blame. “There are many options including topical minoxidil (like Rogaine), spironolactone (a diuretic that helps block the effects of certain hormones that trigger loss), low level light therapy, platelet rich plasma injections, or vitamins specific for hair growth like Nutrafol,” says Dr. Fusco, so make an appointment to pinpoint the right solution for your concerns