How Much Hair Loss Is Normal?

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Every day, men and women shed hair. But have you ever wondered, “How much hair do you lose a day?” or “Is my daily shedding normal hair loss?” Well, we have all the answers to your questions and a quick test to help you gauge if your hair loss is normal.

What is an Average Amount of Hair Loss Per Day?

Men and women have, on average, 100,000 hair follicles on their scalp. The American Academy of Dermatologists determined that it is normal to lose 50-100 strands of hair each day. What this means for you is that normal hair loss should be unnoticeable. If you notice bald spots or patches, this is often a sign that some abnormal hair loss is happening or you are in the beginning stages of hair loss.

Most people will notice hair shedding in the shower. The normal amount of hair loss in the shower should still be about 50-100 strands; however, this may increase due to the extra strain placed on hair from washing, pulling and drying it. If you notice that clumps of hair are coming out in the shower, this may indicate you need to see a hair loss specialist to determine what is going on. When clumps of hair fall out, whether in the shower or not, this is a sign that something else may be happening.

Normal Hair Loss Associated With Hair Styling

Did you know that women tend to lose more hair than men each day? This is due to the extra strain placed on hair from styling. Coloring, heat and certain tight styles can all lead to increased hair shedding. This increase, however, does not mean hair loss should be more noticeable. While more strands may come out, you still shouldn’t be losing so much hair that it is noticeable. Traction alopecia is hair loss due to excessive stress to the hair follicle, often from tight hairstyles. If this is something you are experiencing, consider changing to a more gentle hairstyle and consult with a hair loss specialist for the best course of action.

What Is Excessive Hair Shedding?

So now that you know what normal hair shedding is, you’re probably wondering what defines “excessive” hair shedding. Excessive hair shedding is known as “telogen effluvium” and is a noticeable amount of hair coming out everyday. This type of hair shedding is often the response to a major change, such as weight loss, giving birth, prolonged stress, high fever or illness. Women are especially susceptible to this, as both pregnancy and menopause can trigger excessive hair shedding. In most cases, after a few months, your hair will return to its normal hair shedding amount once the body has adjusted to the change. To confirm telogen effluvium, speak with a hair loss specialist.

The “Hair Pull” Test

Still unsure if your hair loss is normal? One quick and easy way to evaluate your hair is the pull test. Please keep in mind this is a very basic test and you should also take into account other signs and family history before jumping to any conclusions. Start with clean and dry hair. Run your fingers through your hair and tug gently once you reach the ends. When you move your hand away, if more than 3 hairs are left in your hand, you may be experiencing some form of hair loss. Typically, you can expect to lose 10 for every 100 strands, so if you do this test and find that you are over this ratio, it is a good idea to consult with a hair loss doctor.