Normal hair growth in the hair follicle has a cycle, and hairs go through different stages. The hairs go through an anagen or growing phase followed by a catagen or transition phase then a telogen or resting phase, and, last, an exogen or exit phase when the hair falls out. Then the cycle starts again.
Humans start life with about 100,000 hair follicles on their heads. Each hair lives its own life and may be in a different phase than a neighboring hair. On any given day, it’s normal to lose about 100 random hairs that are in the exogen phase. Some people may lose 50 hairs and others may lose 150, and that’s all still within normal limits. So, we normally lose about one-tenth of one percent (0.1%) of our hair each day. The hairs that fall out soon regrow in the same hair follicle as the follicle enters the anagen phase anew.
Aside from male and female pattern hair loss and other types of alopecia, there are other things that can cause you to lose more hair than normal on a temporary basis.
- Being ill, especially with a high fever.
- Other significant physical trauma and hospitalization.
- Having just had a baby (significant hormonal changes.)
- Change in birth control pills or stopping birth control pills.
- A significant change in diet, crash dieting, and/or significant weight loss.
But the hair loss that might be experienced in these examples above is typically temporary and stops when you get well or your body adjusts to the new normal.
If you think you are losing more hair than normal, definitely discuss it with your doctor. A dermatologist can determine if your hair follicles look normal.
There are a few simple things you can do at home to try to get a handle on whether your hair loss is normal or not. There’s a comb test, where before showering you comb your hair forward from the back to the front for 60 seconds while leaning over a light-colored towel or sheet. Count the hairs that fell out. You should see about 10 hairs.
Another test is the pull test. Take roughly 60 hairs in your fingers and gently pull while running your fingers through your hair. How many come out? You should see five to eight hairs.
If you’re losing more hair than normal, you’re not alone. About 20% of the population in the US is experiencing some hair loss. Talk to us. We can help you regrow your hair.
Anyone suffering from sudden and significant hair loss should see his or her family doctor, but we are here for you when you’re ready to start treatment for hair loss.
If you have any questions about treatment for hair loss or any of our products, we encourage you to call us directly at (844) 280-4680.