Why does hair shed and what can you do about it?
People who have short hair just won’t understand because hair shedding can easily go unnoticed. But if you have long hair, it will tangle up in the brush, you’ll find it in the drain of your shower, and you’ve probably spotted a few hairs in your food too!
Hair shedding is completely natural and happens to just about everyone that has hair left on their head. There are many causes, and most often it’s just the natural cycle of hair growth. Some hairs are in growth phase, some are in resting, and some are just about ready to fall out, so the whole process can start again.
Losing hair is a scary experience for many women (and men)
Losing hair can be scary when you’re losing more than you normally would. I’ve had times when I could find my hair just about everywhere in the house. You wonder if you’ll have any left by the end of the month!
But in reality, people lose 100 – 150 hairs each day! This number number can increase for a variety of reasons, which I’ll go into in just a a second. But consider this: the average person has over 100,000 hairs on their head. Even if you are losing more hairs than normal, you have time to deal with the underlying cause before it’s even noticeable.
A healthy person will have over 90% of their hair follicles in active growth phase, but this number can change for a number of reasons:
Increased hair loss (shedding) can be caused by
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Seasonal hair shedding
- Autoimmune disease
- Medications (steroidal anti-inflammatories).
- Infections and skin diseases
- Hair pulling
- Sudden weight loss
This is just a short list of things which can affect hair growth and cause shedding. Most of these will only cause temporary hair loss by initiating a process called “Telogen Effluvium”. As long as the hair follicle is alive and in good shape, your hair can resume growing normally again.
If you’re taking any medications that you think is the cause of hair loss, then please speak to your doctor about it. Don’t just quit taking the medication.
When I experienced more hair shedding than normal, I went to my doctor and spoke to him about it. He did a few blood tests to help reassure me that everything was fine. And everything was fine. My hair returned to normal some months after and it became thick again.
Identify if anything in the list might apply to you and check them off. Take action to correct any problems you think could be the cause of hair loss.
Once you’ve done that, it’s going to take quite a bit of time before you will even notice an improvement in hair shedding. Resting phase of hair can be as long as 3 months, so you’re going to need a bit of patience.
If you’re still worried…
You can see a dermatologist to check what’s actually going on. For men, the cause might be androgenetic alopecia, but for women the cause is often related to something else and is usually temporary. Dermatologists should be helpful in diagnoses the problem.
how to stop my hair from shedding so much?
- Consider taking a multivitamin which includes biotin
- Brush your hair carefully
- Don’t brush your hair when it’s wet
- Don’t pull your hair or wear hair styles that will pull on the roots of the hair
- Try a shampoo which can fight any fungal infections which may cause hair shedding
- Eat a healthy diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables
- Deal with stress better by taking up yoga, meditation, running or whatever suits you the most
- Try a different hair routine. Maybe the shampoo you’re using is too harsh
- Don’t use harsh chemicals on your hair like bleach
Common questions about hair loss
Why is my hair falling out when I wash it? –
This is due the fact that the hair was already about to shed anyway. And if your hair is long, then it might’ve just got caught up in the other hair, and the process of washing simply untangled the hair so it come away more easily.
What causes seasonal hair shedding and what can I do about it?
Seasonal hair shedding is completely natural and happens to many mammals. It is most common in the Autumn, but by no means is it restricted to this time of year. There might be a slight increase in shedding around spring time as well. After a few weeks, things will return to normal and new hair will start growing where it was lost. There also isn’t much you can do about seasonal hair shedding.
Does washing my hair too often cause hair to fall out?
The process of washing will not cause excessive hair loss unless the chemicals you are using are harsh. If you wash your hair, you are also exfoliating the skin and removing dead skin cells which can improve the quality of the scalp and help your hair grow better. A healthy ans clean scalp is good!