Have you ever noticed an astonishing amount of hair in your shower drain while taking a shower? Yes, you could have washed your scalp too vigorously and caused your hair follicles to panic, but what if this indicator of hair loss is truly a sign of something else?
The truth is that losing hair on a daily basis is totally normal. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, losing 50 to 100 strands of hair every day is typical. This shedding is caused by your body’s natural renewal cycle, according to Medical News Today. However, if you discover that your hair is falling out more frequently for weeks on end (for example, in your shower drain or after brushing your hair), it’s worth looking into why this is occurring and how to fix it.
We spoke with two trichologists to learn more about why hair loss changes and how to possibly treat it. What they had to say is as follows.
What Is the Average Hair Loss?
While the average person loses 50 to 100 strands per day, Penny James, a salon trichologist, tells InStyle that anything above 150 is abnormal. Because this is obviously a difficult item to count, it’s crucial to pay attention to the amount of hair remaining in your hands, on your brush, or on the bathroom floor after you’ve shampooed.
“What happens is that our hair’s normal growth cycle is complicated,” James explains. There are three main stages in which your hair might be: “Anagen is the growing stage, during which 85 percent of our hair is in the cycle at any given moment; this can last up to six years. Then there’s the resting stage, or catagen, which affects about 5% of your hair and can last up to three weeks. Finally, the telogen stage occurs when around 10% of your hair is ready to naturally fall out of the head and new hair to develop. Our hair will continue to operate in this cycle for the rest of our lives.”
However, Gretchen Friese, a BosleyMD certified trichologist, points out that there are times when we shed more than usual. One of these occasions is known as “seasonal shedding,” which occurs when your follicles undergo a shedding phase as a result of a temperature change. “However, if you’re losing excess hair for more than a month,” Friese advises, “you might want to look into a cure.”
What Causes Hair Loss to Begin With?
Stress, hormonal changes, childbirth, thyroid troubles, drugs, vitamin deficiencies, extreme weight loss, and some autoimmune conditions can all cause hair loss, according to Friese.
James gave a checklist to consider before calling your doctor if you suspect your hair has been shedding more than three months.
During the last three months:
- Have you changed your medication? Have you started a new medication?
- Have you ever had food poisoning?
- Have you been on a rigorous diet and eliminated protein from your diet?
- Have you have COVID-19? Are you getting over COVID-19?
- Are you overworked?
- Do you have menopause?
- Are you stressed out?
- Have you been sick lately?
If you responded yes to any of the above questions or suspect that anything more serious is wrong with your body (such as thyroid problems or an autoimmune illness), you should consult a medical practitioner or a trichologist to figure out what’s wrong. “Get some blood tests done to rule out any underlying conditions,” James advises. “Speaking with a trichologist can help you figure out what blood tests you might require.”
However, once the problem has been recognised and a solution has been offered, there is good news. According to James, excessive shedding will usually correct itself. Just bear in mind that hair grows in three-month cycles, therefore it will take three months to fix.
“When there is excessive shedding, the hair’s natural cycle has been disrupted, and the hair is being forced into the telogen stage prematurely,” James explains. “Your hair will revert to its natural growth pattern once you’ve rectified your diet, improved your health, and recovered from an illness. The new growth will take three to six months to appear.”
What Is The Best Hair Loss Treatment?
Because there are so many reasons why people lose their hair, it’s crucial to speak with a doctor to find a personal tale. Most trichologists, according to James, recommend that consumers perform the following every day to keep their scalp and follicles healthy:
- Maintaining a healthy diet.
- Vitamins B, 6, and 12, as well as vitamin D, are taken.
- Make sure you’re washing your hair at least three times every week (for natural, curly hair, once a week).
- If you wear your hair out, you should wash it twice a week.
Friese emphasises the importance of scalp health. “It is critical to maintain a healthy environment for hair growth. To avoid any build-up of oils, sweat, products, or debris, wash your hair and scalp on a regular basis. The majority of people do not clean their scalp thoroughly enough.”
Also, pay attention to how you style your hair. “Tight hairstyles like buns, ponytails, and tight braids should be avoided,” Friese advises. “Hair loss can be caused by follicular tension. Brush your hair gently. If necessary, use a detangler to avoid too much tension while brushing.”
However, James advises against relying on hair products that claim to regrow hair because they are frequently deceiving. “Our hair is the tiniest and most complex organ in our bodies. Our hair is a fibre that requires nourishment and attention.” That’s why she suggests seeing a trichologist to figure out what’s causing your hair loss so an expert can propose the best hair treatment for you.
If seeing a trichologist isn’t in the cards right now, James recommends determining your hair type and purchasing high-quality shampoo and conditioner. “Natural oils such as lavender, rosemary, jojoba, almond, and avocado oil can also be used to treat your hair and scalp. These can be combined together and applied straight to the scalp and hair as a scalp and hair treatment. Leave on for 20 minutes, then shampoo thoroughly. (If your scalp is naturally oily, this treatment should be avoided.) “
However, it’s crucial to keep in mind that there’s a cause your hair is falling out in the first place, and a home treatment might not be enough. “Find out why, then act,” James advises. “If you continue to use a lot of things blindly without understanding why your hair is falling out, it will continue to fall out.”
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