Have you ever taken a shower or brushed your hair and wondered whether or not the hair you lose is normal or not? Should you call your doctor or your dermatologist about your hair loss?
In truth, normal hair loss is something that everyone experiences (unless you don’t have any hair). Just because there are hairs in your brush or by the shower drain is not necessarily cause for concern. However, it can be difficult to know what constitutes normal hair loss and when you should be concerned.
Here’s what you need to know about some of the key facts about hair loss so that you can get a better understanding of whether you have normal hair loss or whether it’s time to seek help.
What Is Normal Hair Loss?
Some people may not know that it’s actually completely normal to lose some hair each day. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, normal hair loss consists of shedding anywhere between 50-100 strands of hair a day. If you lose 150 strands of hair a day or more, that’s when you have cause for concern.
Why Do You Naturally Lose Hair?
Hair has three main phases.
- Anagen is the growing stage.
- Catagen is the resting stage, where your hair is neither growing nor ready to shed.
- Telogen is the shedding stage, where the hair that is naturally ready to fall out sheds in order to make way for new hair growth.
Throughout your lifetime, your hair cycles through these three stages. Normal hair loss refers to when the hairs that are already loose or disconnected from your scalp shed. As you age, you may find yourself losing more hair.
Hair Shedding Versus Hair Loss
When we talk about normal hair loss, what we’re really referring to is the natural shedding of hairs that are ready to fall out. This shedding isn’t cause for concern, as the hair grows back. It’s temporary and usually stops on its own.
Hair loss, on the other hand, is more serious. It can be permanent and necessitate treatment in order to mitigate the rate of loss. Most people naturally lose hair as they age, ending up with thinner hair or bald patches.
If you are unsure of whether or not you’re experiencing normal hair shedding or abnormal hair loss, make an appointment with your doctor or dermatologist. They will be able to look at your hair and ask you specific questions about how much hair you lose, lifestyle factors, and more in order to determine the best course of action for you.
When Should You Be Concerned About Hair Loss?
Sure, normal hair loss happens, but when do you know if your hair loss isn’t normal? How do you know if you’re losing 150 strands of hair or more? You can’t exactly keep track of every hair that falls out to meticulously count. (Neither do your doctors or dermatologists want you gathering up the hair you lost to bring into an appointment!)
If your hair is coming out in very large clumps, you have thinning or balding patches on your head, or your part is widening, these are all signs that your hair loss likely isn’t normal. Some doctors do a pull test, where they pull on strands of your hair. If your hair comes out easily, this can be cause for concern.
What Causes Hair Loss?
If you have hair loss, usually your hair won’t start growing back until whatever is causing the loss stops. This is why many hair loss treatments that you can get on your own don’t really work. In order to stop your hair loss, you need to understand what is causing it. By addressing the root cause, you’ll have more success with your treatments.
Some common causes of hair loss include:
- Female pattern hair loss
- Male pattern hair loss
- Thyroid conditions
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Excessive stress
- High fever
- Changing or stopping birth control pills
- Recovering from an illness or operation
- Giving birth
- Losing 20 lbs or more, especially if done in an unhealthy manner
- And more
Usually, once you have addressed the underlying cause, your hair can start to grow back. It is important to note that whether or not your hair grows back depends on you, the cause of the hair loss, and how much hair you’ve lost. As such, it’s important to seek out treatment if you are concerned about your hair sooner rather than later.
Are You Suffering From Hair Loss?
Regeneration Health is here to help! We take a functional medicine approach to hair loss, which means that we look for the root cause of your hair loss. By treating the root cause, you can see more success than if we just tried to treat the hair loss itself.
To learn more about our services or to schedule a consultation, please don’t hesitate to contact us today!