We’ve all had days when we’ve been horrified at the amount of hair coming off on our hairbrush, or in the shower – the average person loses about 100 hairs a day, according to experts. So, short of stopping to count every hair we lose over the course of each day, how should we know when to stop seeing this shedding as a fact of life and start worrying seriously about hair loss?
How much is too much?
As mentioned above, we all lose around 100 hairs a day as part of the hair’s natural growth cycle – not every hair on your head goes through this at the same speed (and a good job too, or we’d all be completely bald at certain stages of our life), which means each hair comes out at its own pace, as it separates from the blood supply and falls out when it has died from lack of nourishment.
There will be times in your life – especially as a woman – when this process is more noticeable. During pregnancy, for example, the process slows down, which is why your hair often appears thicker when you are pregnant than at any other point in your life. However, once you have given birth, when the pregnancy hormones have left your body, your hair might start to fall out more rapidly. This is nothing to be alarmed about, but obviously if it continues and you start to notice bald patches you may wish to contact your doctor.
In general, you just need to be aware – a loss of more than 150 hairs in a day might be cause for concern, but this would be fairly dramatic and so long as you are paying attention when brushing/washing your hair, it shouldn’t be difficult to notice.
Is hair loss always genetic?
Genes can be a factor in hair loss and baldness, but lifestyle – and particularly diet – can also be a major player in hair loss. Someone who smokes, lives off convenience food and has a stressful job is more likely to suffer from hair loss than a yoga instructor on a macrobiotic diet, for example! You don’t need to go to extremes to improve your chances of maintaining a flowing mane of hair, but avoiding smoking and maintaining a healthy diet, rich in vitamins and nutrients will give you a head start.
Don’t over-style your hair
We all want our hair to look good, but we also want it to stay in our heads! Whilst styling your hair isn’t necessarily going to have a negative effect, if your hair is already weak – either for genetic reasons or through poor nutrition etc – then using a hairdryer or straighteners every day is certainly not going to do you any good, and may well weaken the hair further, causing it to fall out sooner.
If you’re concerned about hair loss, your first step should always be to consult your GP. They may then refer you to another medical specialist, such as an endocrinologist who treats hormone-related hair loss, or a dermatologist who deals with conditions such as alopecia areata.
If the issue is male or female pattern baldness, you may wish to consider other hair loss solutions, such as scalp micropigmentation or SMP. HisHair Clinic is a leading SMP provider – for more