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Nutrition may be the key to stronger strands.

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Have you started seeing globs of hair in your brush or shower drain? If so, you’re not alone.

By the age of 50, as many as 85 percent of all men have experienced a thinning of their hair, according to the American Hair Loss Association, a consumer organization dedicated to the prevention and treatment of hair loss. Women, too, often see hair loss as they age, with as many as 40 percent of all women experiencing hair thinning. For women, the most common cause is female pattern hair loss (FPHL), a condition that affects millions, especially those 50 and older, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

The reasons for hair loss vary. It can be caused by childbirth or other stressful events. Heredity, thyroid levels and even frequent use of a flat iron can also be to blame. Since hair loss is less socially acceptable for women than it is for men, it can take a toll on a woman’s emotional well-being and level of confidence, experts say. Even so, loss of hair can be unsettling for both sexes.

But the good news is that not all hair loss is permanent. By increasing your intake of foods rich in certain nutrients, you may be able to strengthen your strands.

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