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How Much Hair Loss is Normal?
by Jane Meggitt
If you’re panicking at the sight of the amount of your hair going down the sink or shower drain, calm down. Odds are your hair loss is perfectly normal. Every day, you lose between 50 and 150 strands of hair. In the scheme of hairs on your head, that’s insignificant, but it looks substantial when you see most of those 150 stands in the sink.
The great majority of your hair - approximately 90 percent - is in its growing stage, while the remaining 10 percent is in the resting stage. Those hairs in the resting stage will fall out so new hairs can replace them.
Many women lose hair more often in the summer than in the winter. That seasonal shedding is normal. Women who wash their hair daily won’t notice as much hair coming out as those who just wash their once or twice a week.
When to Worry
Of course, a great deal of hair loss is abnormal. If you find masses of hair falling out, or bald areas appearing on your head, it’s time to see the doctor.
Sometimes, excess hair loss is related to an event that happened weeks earlier, such as the flu or another ailment. When the body is defending itself against illness, non-essentials like hair are the first to go. The fact that the hair loss occurs so long after the fact is just the reflection of the time it takes for the body to slow down hair growth until the hair actually sheds. Illness isn’t the only trigger for such loss. The body also reacts to stress, pregnancy or sudden changes in diet. Nutritional deficiencies can also cause excess hair loss. These include lack of sufficient:
- vitamin D
- vitamin B-12
Thyroid conditions, either overactive or underactive, can cause excess hair loss. Your doctor will run blood tests to check your thyroid levels and treat you accordingly. Hormonal issues also play a part, as do genetics. If your family has a history of hair loss, that’s part of your genetic makeup. Female pattern thinning differs from male pattern baldness. Female hair thins out at the top, and you’ll notice less thickness in your hair in general.
If you’re concerned about excess hair loss, think back about events in the past few months of your life. If you were sick or stressed, that’s likely the answer. Your hair should revert to its normal shedding pattern within three months after you notice the excessive shedding. If it doesn’t, make an appointment with your doctor.
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!