Your head has over 100,000 hairs, with each one lasting four years on average. Quite a lot for sure—until they aren’t there anymore. As these hairs begin to fall out of your head, they can become pronounced very quickly.
It’s vital to remember that some hair loss is quite natural. People shed 50-100 hairs every day on average due to the life cycle of hair follicles. It seems like a lot, but the statistics don’t appear so high when you compare it to the 100,000 hair strands you have.
It can be disheartening to see that you’re losing more hair or that it’s starting to look thinner than usual. However, you may be experiencing a phase of excessive hair shedding that will grow back rather than long-term hair loss.
In this blog post we’ll distinguish the difference between hair loss vs. hair shedding. Let’s dive in!
Hair Loss vs. Hair Shedding
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), hair shedding and hair loss are two different things, and it’s normal to lose between 50 and 100 hairs every day. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), it’s a common side effect of the natural hair cycle. The hair growth cycle is divided into several stages. It begins as anagen (growth), transitions to catagen (transitional and no growth), then telogen (rest), and finally sheds. According to the NCBI, your hair will continue in the telogen phase for roughly 100 days before shedding.
However, if you feel that you’re shedding more hair than usual, it’s time to pay attention. According to the AAD, hair shedding can also happen for a few months following a stressful event. Fever also causes more hairs to shed. This may be why people are recovering from illnesses where fever reports excessive hair shedding. Truth be told, hair shedding has a reason that prevents hair from developing until the cause is treated.
Causes of Hair Shedding
Several factors might contribute to increased hair shedding. According to the AAD, losing weight, having a baby, recovering from an illness, and even prolonged bouts of stress are all potential reasons. Excessive shedding is usually only transitory and will subside after the stressful event on the body has passed. It could be a sign of something more serious when it doesn’t, like hair loss.
Causes of Hair Loss
Hereditary hair loss, an immunological condition (skin illnesses, alopecia, and hyperthyroidism), as well as specific medicines and medical interventions like radiation and chemotherapy, can all cause hair loss. The AAD also recommends people to have low-maintenance hairstyles (avoid braids and ponytails) that won’t pull or add pressure to their scalp, which can trigger traction alopecia and other types of hair loss. If you suspect you’re losing your hair, consult a board-certified dermatologist for proper diagnosis and treatment options.
Proper Hair Care
You can’t stop natural balding, but you can protect your hair from damage that can lead to thinning. Prevent your hair from falling out by following a few hair hygiene recommendations.
Avoid hairstyles that pull the hair.
Although hair is flexible, research has shown that it can only be stretched so far before it becomes irreversibly damaged. Cornrows, tight braids, and ponytails can pull your hair away from your scalp and loosen the hair-scalp bond over time.
Refrain from using high-heat hair styling tools.
When you use heat to style your hair, it dehydrates it and subjects it to damage. Hairdryers, straighteners, and curling irons can all cause damage over time to your hair.
Don’t bleach or chemically treat your hair.
Hair treatment chemicals cause irreversible harm to hair follicles. Limit your use of dyes, highlights, peroxide treatments, and perms if you’re concerned about hair loss.
Regardless of the differences between the two, hair shedding and hair loss can be exceedingly stressful. If you’re unsure what’s causing your hair loss, it’s always a good idea to seek medical or expert advice to put your mind at ease and find the best remedy.
If you’ve lately noticed more hair shedding than usual and you’re looking for a hair loss clinic in Boston, don’t hesitate to contact our hair experts at Scalp Designs. Female scalp micropigmentation can be a great way to cover bald patches and restore your hair’s fullness without affecting the surrounding hair follicles. Schedule a free consultation, and we’ll be happy to assist.