How Much Hair Loss Is Normal?
A certain amount of hair loss is normal for everyone at any age. When you wash your hair in the shower, any strands of hair that are disconnected or loose will gather at the drain. While this may appear like a lot of hair, more than likely it is normal hair shedding.
The American Academy of Dermatologist says that the average human may lose up to 100 strands of hair daily. If your hair is longer, this may be easier to notice. Because we have about 100,000 hair follicles or more on our scalps, 100 strands of hair isn't that much. However, you shouldn't ignore bald spots or hair loss in big clumps. That's when it's time to see a dermatologist or your primary care physician.
What might surprise you is that women tend to lose more hair than men on a daily basis. Approximately 40 percent of women lose their hair because they style it in a particular way1. When a woman is menstruating, she might also shed more hair as a result. This can also be true during menopause or pregnancy when hormonal changes are taking place.
The Life Cycle of Hair
Our hair grows, lives, and dies in phases. We have hundreds of thousands of hairs on our head, and every single one of them is somewhere in its 2-5 year lifespan. Stress, hygiene, and styling also play a part in how much hair we lose each day.
Anagen Phase: A growing hair strand is in the 'anagen' phase. About 90% of the hair on your head is currently in this phase2. During this growth process, your hair will grow approximately 1cm per month. Some of the growing hairs will also come loose and shed. This is known as the "anagen effluvium" phase of growth.
Catagen Phase: About 1 or 2 percent of the hairs on our head are in the 'catagen' phase at any given time.3 This phase is when the hair stops growing, and it can last up to three weeks.
Telogen Phase: Finally, the hair enters into the telogen phase, when it is no longer receving blood supply and nutrients for growth. During this phase, the hair is at rest and will eventually detach from the scalp. About 8-9 percent of your hairs are in this phase, and are known as 'club hairs'4.
If you have over 10% of your hair in the telogen phase, you are experiencing a temporary condition known as Telogen effluvium. This can occur as a result of various conditions such as surgery, stress, or illness. You will experience accelerated hair loss during this time, but it will typically go back to normal within six months.
What Causes Hair to Fall Out?
Losing hair every day is natural and should be expected. But certain health problems can accelerate hair loss, including thyroid conditions, stress, or nutritional deficiencies. You may also experience an excessive amount of hair loss if you are heat styling, brushing, or bleaching your hair. Certain cosmetic hair treatments may damage the hair follicle and compromise the strand.
The 'pull test' is a quick way to check if you are losing too much hair. Start by running your fingers through a clean, dry area of your hair and tug gently on the ends of the strands. If you have more than three hairs left in your hand after each time you tug, you could be in the telogen or anagen effluvium phase. If you have anywhere from 10 strands out of 100 coming out, you should see a doctor.
Hair cells are some of the fastest-growing cells in the body, which means they have higher-than-average nutritional needs. Keep your hair healthy by feeding it with hair-nourishing nutrients. Try NATURELO's Hair Skin & Nails supplement or our Biotin Gummies.