Hair Looks Thin When Wet? – Tell Tale Sign Of Early Stage Hair Loss?

  • Medically reviewed by: Debra Rose Wilson, PhD MSN RN IBCLC AHN-BC CHT
  • Written by: William Hartfield
  • Last updated: 18/01/2024

In the early stages of hair loss, it can be difficult to determine whether you are losing hair. However, there are a few signs to look for.

One early sign of hair fall is your hair looking thin when wet.

This post will discuss why this is and the main causes of hair thinning. It will then outline three natural ways you can combat thinning and regrow a healthy, full head of hair.

Hair Looks Thin When Wet: A Major Sign of Baldness?

In the earliest stages of balding, the changes can easily go unnoticed. Perhaps you notice a bit of shedding here and there or a general lackluster look. Overall though, your hair appears the same.

However, when your hair is wet, you can get a very clear picture of your hair loss situation.

A man with wet hair

Why is this?

When hair is wet, the strands clump together and the moisture weighs down the hair. This makes it flatter and more compact. Without the usual volume, you can get a good idea of how far your hair loss has really gone.

What Causes Hair Thinning?

There are many causes of hair thinning and loss, but the most common is Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA), also known as Male-Pattern Baldness (MPB).

MPB affects two-thirds of American men. Women, however, are not much better off. Around two-thirds of women will develop Female-Pattern Hair Loss (FPHL) at some point in their lives.

Scientists believe the cause of AGA is DHT. This is a natural androgen produced from the interaction between testosterone and the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase.

As DHT binds to the androgen receptors of sensitive hair follicles, it triggers the process of hair follicle miniaturization. The hair eventually becomes shorter and thinner. Eventually, the follicle miniaturizes to the point it can no longer make its way through the scalp.

Without treatment, this can lead to permanent baldness.

While by far the most common, MPB is not the only possible cause of hair loss. Other common causes include:

  • Illness
  • Stress
  • Traumatic injury
  • Medication
  • Hormonal imbalance

Fortunately, just because you are prone to thinning does not mean you have to live with it. There are plenty of effective and natural ways to treat it.

How to Naturally Treat Hair Thinning

1. Eat a Diet Rich in Vitamins and Nutrients

While diet is not the be-all-end-all of hair loss treatment, it is one of the best places to start.

There are many vitamins and nutrients which play a key role in hair growth. Iron, niacin, folic acid, and the list goes on.

The Standard American Diet (SAD) is full of fatty, low-nutrient foods like red meat, dairy, carbonated beverages, and alcohol. When these form the backbone of the diet, it can lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

So what can you do to ensure that you are getting your daily recommended value of vitamins and minerals? Eat a rich and varied diet.

Naturally alkalising foods in a platter

A great place to start are the following:

  • lean meats
  • leafy greens
  • fruits
  • nuts and seeds
  • whole grains

These whole foods should make up the majority of your diet.

2. Use Microneedling

Microneedling is a treatment method that uses tiny needles to stimulate hair growth. This is done through 1) increased blood flow to the scalp; and 2) regeneration of the scalp’s skin cells.

Using a dermaroller along the hairline
The dermaroller is the most common microneedling device.

There are two popular microneedling tools to treat hair loss: the dermaroller, and the dermastamp.

(To learn more about the benefits of microneedling, go here.)

It is best to start small, using a 0.5mm or 1.00mm needle. There is no need to microneedle more than once per week. Over time, you can increase the length of the needle to 1.00mm or 1.5mm.

3. Practice Scalp Massage/Exercises

Without proper blood flow to the scalp, the hair follicles will not function properly. This is because blood delivers oxygen and vital nutrients. It also removes CO2 and DHT.

One way to effectively increase blood circulation is scalp massage and exercises.

You can practice either of these anywhere, at any time. They will only take a few minutes of your time, and you can easily fit them into your schedule.

To begin, use your fingertips to massage in gentle circles just above the ears. Slowly work your way to the back of the scalp, then to the top of the scalp, and finally the hairline. You can perform this massage routine for 10 minutes each day for diffuse (all over) hair loss.

In addition, you can do scalp exercises in just 5 minutes. There are two basic movements you will use:

  1. Lift your eyebrows as high as possible.
  2. Furrow your brows as deeply as possible.

By alternating between these two exercises, you will stretch the scalp skin (especially on the hairline) and improve circulation.


The discovery of hair thinning can be devastating. However, early signs of loss (including your hair looking thin when wet) do not mean you are doomed to be bald.

In fact, there are plenty of natural, chemical-free methods you can try.

Information contained on this website has not been evaluated by any medical body such as the Food & Drug Administration. All information is for educational purposes only. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness. You must consult a medical professional before acting on any content on this website.