You may think you are losing too much hair, but you could be wrong.
In this article, you will find out what is normal hair loss and when should you worry. Bonus, there are tips to figure out the triggers for hair loss.
When you comb your hair, you will find some hair fall out, which is perfectly normal. It’s a sign that you have healthy hair on your head.
But, if you are losing more than usual, that may mean all is not well with your hair.
So the question is, how much is normal hair loss and how much is too much? Before answering that question, let’s first look at why we lose hair in the first place.
Hair is already dead when it comes out of the scalp. So it can just hang on as long as we live. But that doesn’t happen. As it can’t survive our lifetime. The everyday wear and tear from combing, washing and styling causes hair to chip and split. And you can’t mend it, so a replacement is needed.
It’s like replacing your car tyres.
Depending on how many miles you drive per year, in what weather conditions and even your driving style, your tyre can last from 3 to 10 years. Under optimum driving conditions, the life of tyre will be longer, but in due course, the thread will wear down, the rubber will crack, and it will need to be replaced.
Or you may decide to replace the car, given the constant upgrade of technology these days. But you can’t replace your body, it’s permanent as long as you live.
The good thing is we don’t have to live with worn-out parts of our body, they are renewed at regular intervals.
Our scalp hair is replaced every 3 to 6 years. And during this time, it goes through various stages.
Luckily, the shorter hair of our body: eyebrows, eyelashes, hair on arms and legs have a short growing phase, about a month. So they can’t grow very long. Whereas the hair on our head has a much longer growing phase which can last six years or even longer before falling out.
Hair naturally goes through three cycles:
1. Anagen Phase (growing phase): On an average we have around 100,000 hair on our head. Out of this, about 90 percent of hair strands are in growing phase. As the name suggests, during the growing phase, the hair grows actively, about 1 cm a month. It lasts anywhere from 2 to 6 years and determines the length of our hair.
2. Catagen Phase (transition phase): During catagen phase the hair follicle shrinks, and hair stops growing. This takes about two to three weeks. About 1 to 2 percent of your hair are in catagen phase.
3. The Telogen Phase (resting phase): The last phase is the resting phase which takes about three to four months. At the end of this phase, the hair falls out. About 10 percent of hair are in telogen phase at any given time.
Then the hair cycle begins again. A new hair grows from the follicle to replace the old hair. This type of hair shedding won’t cause a dent in your hair line.
Losing anywhere from 50 to 100 hairs every day is considered normal by the American Academy of Dermatology. However, this number is arbitrary. It varies from person to person, some lose more and some less.
The number 100 hair shed a day is based on the assumption that you have 100,000 hair on your head. Out of this, 10 percent are in the telogen (resting phase), which is approximately 10,000 hair. And since the telogen phase lasts an average of 100 days (2 to 4 months), 10,000 telogen hairs/100 days = 100 hair shed per day.
So the 100 hair shed per day rule is a rough estimate to work with. At the moment, it applies to both men and women and across all ages.
Many a time, hair loss is not a cause for concern. Even though you are losing hair, you are growing it back, so net hair remains constant. If you have longer hair, it may appear like you have lost a lot of hair, while shorter hair can appear to shed less.
That being said, an increase in hair loss can happen. You may see lots of hair in the shower or when you comb, your ponytail has gotten thinner, or your scalp is more visible.
Instead of feeling dejected, you should approach it with the experimenters mind set. And ask yourself the following questions and it may help you.
1. Have you been ill? Did you catch Covid, as covid realted hair loss is quite common in women. But any illness or surgery can trigger more hair loss.
2. Are you very stressed? That’s another cause for hair loss. It pushes your hair in telogen phase. Also, stress can raise androgens in the body, leading to male or female pattern hair loss.
3. Does your hair loss increase with change of season? Also known as seasonal hair loss, some people notice they lose more hair during summer or autumn or monsoon season. That’s due to a change in temperature, which triggers your hair follicles to enter a temporary resting phase.
4. Have you been dieting and lost weight too quickly? Dieting can lead to malnourishment as you do not get the necessary vitamins and minerals, leading to poor health. And it affects the hair as well.
6. Have you started using diferent hair care products: shampoo, serum, etc.? Certain chemicals in hair products may trigger your hair loss. It doesn’t matter if the product is natural or not. If your hair is sensitive to it, you will see an increase in shedding.
7. Have you done a chemical treatment on your hair lately? Permanent straightening, dying etc., can all lead to extra hair shedding or breakage in hair.
You can do three things:
1. A stressed mind will cloud your thinking. So calm down and assess the above factors. Because that is when you can use logic and rationale to identify the trigger factor of your hair loss..
2. Work with your healthcare professional to find out what’s going on internally: vitamin deficiency or medical condition?
3. And lastly, give it time. Hair loss will correct itself.
Let’s say you had COVID or some other illness, you can expect your hair to come out after a few weeks. That’s because your hair cycle got interrupted due to illness. But this will settle down, and your hair will begin to grow back again.
Also, hair loss due to dieting or vitamin deficiency will correct itself when you replenish with a healthy diet and vitamin levels.
While you wait for hair to grow back, you can speed the process of recovery by not overthinking and doing self-care rituals like going for a walk, doing meditation or doing things you like: dancing, playing a sport etc. Whatever distracts you and rejuvenates you is good for your whole being as well as your hair.
1. It is perfectly normal to lose between 50 to 100 hair daily.
2. As a part of hair growth cycle, new hair grows to replace the fallen hair.
3. The hair growth cycle can get disrupted due to illness, dieting, stress. And the result will be excess hair fall. And new hair growth may take forever to sprout again.
4. Some clear signs of losing too much hair is: visible scalp, ponytail getting thinner, lots of hair in the shower or when combing.
5. The good news is that hair loss is usually nothing to be worry about. Fixing the underlying trigger can help return your hair to its former glory. But occasionally, it can be a sign of a medical condition. So check with your doctor
Are you losing too much hair? Have you identified the trigger factors? What steps are you taking? Please share in the comment box below.