Finding clumps of hair in your brush, on your pillow, or around your shower can be alarming. While losing 50-100 hairs a day is perfectly normal, shedding more hair than usual could be an indicator of an underlying health concern. Identifying the difference between hair shedding and hair loss can help you treat the cause of your hair loss while keeping your locks as luscious and healthy as possible. Here's what you should know about hair shedding and hair loss from the experts at LH Hair before scheduling your next appointment with one of our trusted hair restoration specialists.
The Life Cycle of Hair Growth
Much like other systems of your body, your hair grows in cycles. This cycle can be broken up into four phases:
- Anagen phase: This phase can occur anywhere between 2-7 years. During this time, the hair will grow through the scalp and get longer over time.
- Catagen phase: During this phase which only lasts a few weeks, the hair follicle will get smaller and detach from the root.
- Telogen phase: Up to 15% of your hair stays in this phase for 3 months at a time. During this time, the hair does not grow.
- Exogen phase: This phase also lasts about 3 months and occurs when the old hair sheds, while new hairs start to grow.
What is Hair Shedding?
Also known as telogen effluvium, hair shedding is a natural part of hair's normal life cycle. Shedding more than 100 hairs a day, however, is considered to be excessive and can be caused by a number of factors. Some of these include:
- Giving birth or stopping hormonal contraceptives
- Losing 20 pounds or more in a short period of time
- Undergoing surgery
- Having a high fever
- Experiencing a time of stress, such as a divorce, death in the family, or other significant life event
- Nutritional deficiency
It's normal for people of all ages and walks of life to experience hair shedding a few months after a physically or emotionally stressful event. In most cases, hair shedding is temporary and will resolve on its own. Within six to nine months, it's common for the excessive shedding to stop and your hair to regain its normal condition. For people who are continuously under a significant amount of stress, excessive hair shedding can be long-lived, but this is rare.
What is Hair Loss?
Unlike hair shedding that is caused by a specific physical or emotional stressor that is temporary, hair loss occurs when something medical prevents your hair from growing. This is also known as anagen effluvium. While hair loss could occur for numerous reasons, the most common include:
- Certain medications or treatments
- Strong hair care products
- Hairstyles that pull on the hair
- Immune system overreacting
- Hair pulling
For people experiencing hair loss, it's necessary to address the cause in order for hair to grow back as normal. For instance, if a specific medication is contributing to your hair loss, switching to a different prescription with your doctor's approval may allow your hair to grow back.
LH Hair Can Help You Treat Hair Shedding & Hair Loss
Whether you're experiencing temporary hair shedding or chronic hair loss, you are not alone. Hair shedding and hair loss are common concerns that men and women of all ages struggle with for a variety of reasons. At LH Hair, we are proud to offer hair solutions to help you identify the cause of your thinning hair and, most importantly, how to manage it. You deserve to have healthy, beautiful hair. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation with one of our compassionate hair restoration specialists.