Credit: Buena Vista Pictures

Among the many things we have to worry about as ~women~ is why our hair is doing crazy stuff the older we get, which seems unfair, because we also have to contend with that whole “culturally irrelevant” issue and, like, finding a house big enough to home all of our cats to achieve ultimate cat lady status. But maybe one of the most annoying issues is hair breakage. On the up side, unlike many hair-related ills, hair breakage has a lot of really resolvable causes, if you can pinpoint which particular issue is causing your problem.

1. Weight loss.

When you drop a lot of weight, your body undergoes all sorts of changes, especially if you drop it suddenly. Particularly if you achieve weight loss primarily through counting calories, a drastic change in what you’re putting into your body can impact the texture and strength of your hair, leading to breakage.

2. Vitamin deficiencies.

Vitamins are super easy to get your hands on and will likely solve this problem. Especially if it’s a vitamin formulated for women, it most likely has a biotin supplement, which will really kick your #hairgoals up a notch. Also, women lacking in B vitamins experience more breakage.

3. Heated haircare devices.

Unsurprisingly, over-using straighteners, hair dryers, or curling irons can really make your hair dry and brittle. If you’re using any heated implement, you might just need to cut down on that, and find alternatives.

4. Certain hair accessories.

Ponytail holders, clips, barrettes, headbands, or any other accessory that grabs at your hair might be exacerbating the issue — instead, look for accessories that are made specifically to be gentle on your tresses.

5. Hormone changes, like the ones caused by birth control.

Hairstylist Sylvia Vaught told Women’s Health magazine that “birth control pills, pregnancy, and menopause are all times of physiological shifts within the body that can have an adverse effect on the hair, including dryness and brittleness.” If you’ve just started any of these things, you might need to consult your hairdresser for a more heavy-duty moisturizing treatment.

6. Brushing your hair when it’s wet.

Sometimes it feels like you need to detangle your hair immediately after getting out of the shower, but actually, this isn’t in your hair’s best interest. If you can’t let it dry without meddling, at least switch from a brush to a comb with wider teeth, that will separate your strands rather than breaking them.

7. A lack of iron in your diet.

Especially if you’re a vegan or vegetarian, you might not be getting enough iron in your diet. Luckily, iron supplements are fairly easy to come by.

8. Um…syphilis.

Yep. We hope that everybody is seeing their doctor regularly and getting checked for any STDs if you’re sexually active, but apparently one of the early symptoms of syphilis is hair breakage.