When it comes to hair loss, how much is too much? If you put your fingers through your hair locks and look at your hand, how many hairs are you expected to see?
You have most definitely asked yourself these questions multiple times, especially when you feel that your hair is falling more often than it should.
To put things into perspective, healthy individuals lose up to 100 hairs per day. Hair sheds naturally, so finding hairs in the shower or on a hairbrush is usually not a cause for concern. If a person notices large chunks of hair falling out or bald spots, they should see a doctor or a dermatologist. 136
The Life Cycle of the Hair 137
Hair goes through a life cycle. It grows and then falls out.
Hair follicle pass through growth stage (anagen) and a rest stage before the hair falls out (telogen). As long as the hair follicle is active and producing new hairs, this cycle will continue. The growth phase can last between two and seven years. Before the resting stage, a transitional period lasts about two weeks. The resting period lasts approximately three months, followed by shedding. 138
It is critical to recognize that shedding does not imply and is not synonymous to permanent hair loss. Following the resolution of the underlying cause of hair shedding, the hair should regain its original thickness.
Excessive shedding could be the result of different factors.
What causes excessive shedding? 139
Hair sheds temporarily due the reasons listed below:
- Tight hairstyles: Tight ponytails and braids can all cause hair loss and damage to the follicles that regulate hair growth. 140
- Physical changes: Dramatic changes in the body can result in temporary hair loss. Giving birth, rapid weight loss, surgery, and certain illnesses can all cause more hair loss than usual, most often during the resting phase.141
- Medical therapies: Chemotherapy, as well as some other drugs and radiation treatments, can result in hair loss, especially during the growth phase.142
- Nutritional deficiencies: Hair shedding can also be caused by a deficiency in iron, protein, or vitamin B12. 143
Is it possible to tell if you're losing a lot of hair? 144
You can do a "pull test" on your hair at home. Run your fingers through your hair, gently tugging once you reach the ends of your hair strands. You may have telogen or anagen effluvium if you have more than two or three hairs in your hand after each tug. When tugged, no more than 10 hairs per 100 strands should fall out. To figure out what's wrong, you'll need to see a doctor.
When should you see a doctor?145
If you're concerned about how much hair you're losing every day, consult your doctor. A gradual thinning on top of your head, the appearance of patchy or bald spots on your scalp, and full-body hair loss are all signs of an underlying health problem. Consult a doctor to find out.
On a final note, it's not uncommon to lose hair strands on a daily basis. However, if you're concerned about clumps of hair you are seeing, consult your doctor. Hair loss can be exacerbated by a variety of factors, including stress, medication, and underlying medical conditions. A professional evaluation can help you put your mind to rest! Also, high-end products can help reverse hair loss. Use Regaine® to get the desirable outcomes you are looking for!
- 140 Haskin, A., & Aguh, C. (2016). All hairstyles are not created equal: what the dermatologist needs to know about black hairstyling practices and the risk of traction alopecia (TA). Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 75(3), 606-611.
- 141 Hu, H. M., Zhang, S. B., Lei, X. H., Deng, Z. L., Guo, W. X., Qiu, Z. F., ... & Duan, E. K. (2012). Estrogen leads to reversible hair cycle retardation through inducing premature catagen and maintaining telogen. PloS one, 7(7), e40124.
- 142 Dua, P., Heiland, M. F., Kracen, A. C., & Deshields, T. L. (2017). Cancer‐related hair loss: a selective review of the alopecia research literature. Psycho‐oncology, 26(4), 438-443.