Hair shedding is a very common phenomenon. We have all at some point had that helpful friend or loved one ever-so-gently pluck a rogue hair from the back of our shirts or shoulders. Although we would rather keep all the head hairs we have, the shed is usually normal and it was just the hair’s “time to go” so to speak.

feat2In most cases shedding is a completely normal process. It is healthy to shed 50-100 hairs each day with standard grooming practices. After a hair has grown to its full potential, it enters a resting phase, which is a natural part of the hair’s growth cycle. Any time during this phase, which lasts 3-4 months, the hair will shed in order to start anew.

It is also very common to “shed” hair because it simply breaks from dryness or damage. An easy way to tell if your hair is making its debut on your bathroom floor because of breakage is to question your hair styling practice. If you tend to utilize a hair dryer, straightener, or other heated styling tools, this can dry out the hairs and lead to breakage and hair loss. Coloring hair with products containing bleach, peroxide, or ammonia, or exposure to other chemicals like pool chlorine are also damaging to hair. It may be as simple as using clip-on hair accessories, or hair-elastics with exposed rubber that could be snagging and breaking hair.

With that said, we see a lot of women experiencing hair loss that tell us they are noticing a lot of shedding, or more shedding then “normal”. Because this is a natural part of the hair’s life, it is important to identify when shedding is normal, when it is possibly due to breakage, or if there is something else going on. Ultimately, when shedding appears to coincide with noticeable thinning areas; such as exposing a wider part or areas of your scalp, it would be a good idea to seek a hair loss expert’s opinion.

Posted by Lacey Sellati, RN, PA-C