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How to Tell Whether or Not Your Hair Loss is Normal
by Jane Meggitt
You’ll always find stray hairs in the sink, on your clothing or on your pillow. Hair constantly falls out and grows in – that’s the natural process. Each person loses between 50 and 100 hairs per day, with the higher number occurring in older people. If you’re afraid your hair loss is greater than normal and visions of balding start haunting you, there are two simple tests to determine whether or not your hair fall is excessive.
The Pull Test
Take approximately 60 hairs – they are hard to count – and place them between your fingers. Give a slight pull, and count how many hairs you end up holding. If there are between five and eight, don’t worry. That’s well within the normal range. If you lose 15 or more hairs, that indicates a problem.
The Comb Test
The comb test method was recommended in a 2008 Journal of the American Medical Association article. The JAMA study concluded “A properly performed 60-second hair count is a simple, practical, and reliable tool for the assessment of hair shedding.” One caveat: the study was conducted on 60 white men of varying ages, 59 of whom had straight hair. If your hair has a different texture, the test may not prove as reliable.
For this test, all you need is a comb and a bed with a clean, light sheet on it. Prior to shampooing, comb your hair from the rear of the crown of your head forward toward your scalp continuously for one minute over the bed sheet. After one minute, count the hairs. If you see more than 10, you may suffer from excessive hair loss.
Don’t Ignore the Obvious
While either of these hair loss tests is useful, it’s important not to ignore the obvious. If you notice bald or very thin spots, you are losing more hair than normal, so it’s time to act.
Forewarned is Forearmed
If either or both of these tests appear to show above –average hair loss, don’t panic. Consider yourself forewarned and take preventive action. That may include visiting a dermatologist specializing in hair loss treatment. Hair loss may result from a physical condition, such as excess stress or nutritional deficiencies. You may have inherited male or female pattern baldness. You aren’t alone – millions of people in the U.S. suffer from hair loss. Various types of treatments are available, and your doctor can recommend the best options for your situation.
If you or someone you know would like to learn more about hair loss and how to treat it, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!