How much hair shedding is normal?

I get this question a lot. It's usually asked when a person has noticed more hair than usual in their brush or in their hands after washing it. This can understandably be alarming, and sometimes it's hard to tell whether or not you should visit a doctor. Read on to distinguish between normal and unhealthy!

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Most people on some level already know that the hair on their head has growing phases. Specifically, those two phases are the anagen and telogen phases.

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The anagen phase (The growing phase) is where the follicle is actively growing hair. This phase lasts 2-7 years (even longer for the few Rapunzels of the world).

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The telogen phase (The resting phase) is where the follicle is inactive. It will rest 2-3 months before the hair falls out.
At any given time, 80-90% of the hairs on your head are in the growing phase, while up to 20% are in the resting or shedding phase. This is true for healthy hair. This means that out of the 90,000-150,000 hairs you have, it is normal to shed around 100 per day. It is also normal to have a "peak" shedding period of about 2 months.

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Often when clients mention their concern of extra hair shed, it's because they have been growing their hair out and the shedding is simply more noticeable than it used to be. Longer hairs get trapped in your mane easier (therefore are more likely to be combed or washed out all at the same time), cling to surfaces (such as your clothing) easier, and obviously have more visible surface area. 15 long hairs on your shower wall take up a lot more space than 15 short hairs do.  Also, consider also how often you wash your hair. The less often that is, the more hairs you'll find in the shower. 

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Let's be real. No-one is collecting their sheddage and counting out 100 hairs. Try this;
Count out 40 hairs on your head. Gently pinch and pull from the root down to see how many hairs come out. A healthy average is 6. A few more could indicate an issue, and there are numerous things that could contribute to that. 

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If you are shedding excessively, and it's been more than 3 months, then there could be many reasons as to why. Take a look at the following list and see if any of these apply:
-Losing 20lbs or more
-Crash dieting
-Thyroid issues
-Taking anti-depressant or acne medication
-Following surgery
-following trauma, such as a car crash
-chronic illness
-following giving birth
-poor nutrition, specifically lacking vitamins A,B,or C, lacking zinc, sulfur, or amino acids
-lacking iron, which women are more susceptible to
-chronic stress.

Lots of things can shock your body, and it is a defensive reaction for your hair follicles to "go into hibernation". If you are unaware of a health issue, this might be the first thing to tip you off. If anything on the list applies to you, or if you are unsure but your hair has been excessively shedding for 3 months, then please go see a doctor. In any case, know that it WILL eventually grow back, as long as the follicle is still alive. 

And there you have it! I hope this blog has answered some questions for you regarding hair loss. If you have anymore, you can always book in for an appointment with myself at Cliptomania by calling 306-668-6611. 

Thanks for reading!
Jenny Thompson