Hair loss: How much is normal?
Taking a comb or brush to your hair is always bound to see some strands come loose and get stuck in the teeth. It's not a pretty sight, but at what point should you worry about how much hair you're losing?
Such a topic may be too embarrassing for you to address, so we've done the research for you.
Sara G Allison, a Harley Street Trichologist, has helped give an insight into why we lose hair.
"Hair is made in hair follicles which are like tiny pouches just under the skin surface. A hair normally grows from each follicle for about three years. It is then shed, and a new hair grows from the follicle. This cycle of hair growth, shedding, and new growth goes on throughout life," she explained to Cover Media.
There are other reasons; Dr Adam Friedmann of The Harley Street Dermatology Clinic explains low levels of ferritin, a protein which stores and releases iron, is one reason, as are either an overactive or underactive thyroid. Stress plays a big factor too, as Dr Bessam Farjo, founder of the Farjo Hair Institute and Medical Director of the Institute of Trichologists, notes.
"When a person is stressed or unwell, the growth cycle can be sent into shock and temporarily trigger more hair to enter the shedding phase – giving the appearance of sudden hair loss. Hair growth is likely to return once stress levels are reduced, so it’s not usually a lasting cause for concern," Dr Farjo said.
People can lose anything between 50 and 150 strands of hair a day, which our experts stress is normal.
"When hair is in its resting phase, it will start shedding to make room for new hairs to grow. At any one time, around 10 per cent of hair is at this point of the cycle, meaning you shouldn’t worry if you notice a few hairs falling out little and often throughout the day," Dr Farjo adds.
Sally-Ann Tarver of The Cotswold Trichology Centre & Theradome GB explains how it can vary.
"However, if you wash your hair less frequently, expect more hair to be lost for every additional day between shampoos," she says. "This is because shampooing loosens resting hair. If your hair is long, curly or you wear it up most of the day, expect to see slightly more natural hair shedding when you wash it."
People should start to worry when they notice the volume of hair they are losing increases, thus resulting in the density of their locks decreasing.
There are preventative measures that can be taken though, with Dr Friedmann recommending a healthy, varied diet full of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. If your hair loss is down to a deficiency, he suggests seeking a doctor's aid in keeping your tresses full.
Sally-Ann Tarver adds ferritin levels should be over 70 for optimum hair growth.