If you’re noticing a lot of hair shedding when brushing or
washing your hair, it’s easy to panic and assume something is
wrong. However, some hair loss is totally normal and is
actually part of a healthy hair growth cycle.
So how do you know how much is too much? Keep reading to learn
how to identify if you have normal hair loss, or if your hair
shedding is considered excessive.
What is “Normal Hair Loss”?
According to the American Academy of
Dermatology, it’s normal to lose 50 to 100 strands each
day. While that may seem like a lot, the average person has a
hair count of over 100,000 strands. So 100 strands lost each
day actually doesn’t make a big difference to the overall hair
count and usually is not noticeable.
Hair shedding can also vary
from day to day. For example, people who live north of the
equator tend to shed more hair in the summer and fall than they
do in the spring. In fact, a study from Johns Hopkins
University found that Google searches for “hair loss” peak
in the summer and fall months. So if you’re noticing more hair
loss right now, you’re certainly not alone!
A physically or emotionally stressful event can also cause
excessive shedding several months after the incident. This
condition is called telogen effluvium, and it
usually clears up on its own as long as the stressor is
Additionally, overstyling with
heat-styling tools, over-processing and coloring can result in
excessive shedding, which is one reason why women tend to shed
more than men.
How to Tell If It’s Normal Hair Loss
If you feel like you’re losing a noticeable amount of hair, it
may be time to visit your doctor. Your doctor can perform a
pull test to determine whether the hair loss you’re seeing is
just normal shedding or has another cause.
To perform a pull test, your doctor will grasp 60 hair strands
and gently pull upwards. If more than three hairs fall out, the
pull test is considered positive. A positive pull test suggests
abnormal hair loss from a condition like telogen effluvium,
androgenic alopecia (male
pattern hair loss), alopecia areata, or scarring alopecia. Remember,
this test may sound simple, but your doctor can give you the
most definitive diagnosis so leave pull tests to the
Alternatively, your doctor may use trichoscopy to diagnose
whether you have normal hair loss. Trichoscopy is a diagnostic
tool in which the physician examines the hair structure and
scalp at a high magnification using a tool like a dermatoscope.
This will help your doctor determine whether your hair loss is
telogen effluvium, androgenic alopecia or a more serious
condition like alopecia areata.
Can You Stop Hair From Falling Out?
In short, no, not entirely. Some shedding is a natural part of
the hair growth cycle. In fact, often, hairs fall out because a
new hair is growing in the follicle, which pushes out the old
hair. In other words, a moderate amount of shedding can be a
sign of normal, healthy hair growth.
However, if you’re worried that your hair is thinning more than
normal, follow these tips to keep it looking full and healthy:
- Keep hair moisturized. Dry, brittle hair is
more prone to breakage, which can mean more shedding. Always
use a high-quality conditioner after washing hair, like
Viviscal Gorgeous Growth
Densifying Conditioner. Use a deep conditioning mask
every one to two weeks for extra hydration.
- Brush and comb gently. If you hear a
snapping sound when you brush or comb your hair, you’re
brushing too hard! Also be mindful of your choice of tools:
use a brush on dry hair, and only a wide-tooth comb on wet
- Eat more protein. Hair is made up of a
protein called keratin, so it makes sense that
if you’re not eating enough protein, your hair can suffer.
Not eating enough protein often results in weaker hair that’s
more prone to breakage, so eat a diet rich in lean
proteins to keep hair healthy and strong.
- Take a supplement. Protein isn’t the only
nutrient the body needs to grow healthy hair. Hair follicles
also require an adequate amount of iron, biotin, vitamin C,
zinc, and niacin to efficiently grow your strands. The best
way to make sure you get the necessary vitamins and minerals
for healthy hair? Viviscal! Viviscal hair
growth† supplement has been scientifically
proven to improve hair thickness and reduce shedding in three
to six months.*
- Reduce stress. Since stress can contribute
to telogen effluvium, it makes sense to learn some stress-busting techniques to
reduce shedding. Exercising, journaling, yoga, and
spending time outdoors can lower stress levels and help to
†Existing hair growth
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