What’s Causing Your Sudden Hair Loss?

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What’s Causing Your Sudden Hair Loss? featured image
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A hundred to about a hundred and fifty is normal. No, we aren’t talking about the number staring back at you on the scale. We’re talking about the number of hairs the average woman loses in a day, which isn’t that much considering most of us have between 100,000 to 150,000 hairs on our head. Plus, a healthy, young scalp typically grows back as many hairs as it loses.

Most women don’t usually notice the shedding of hair until they clean their shower and find a mini Chewbacca living in the drain. We do notice, however, when sudden hair loss takes place, and in some circumstances, it doesn’t have to feel like the end of the world. Sudden hair loss could be the result of an easily fixable problem—how and when we shampoo.

When women think they are losing more hair than normal, they tend to shampoo less often because they fear that the gentle tugging during washing will increase their hair loss, says New York dermatologist Neal Schultz, MD. When actually, it’s just the opposite of what you should do. “Believe it or not, you should shampoo more often.”

One of the most common causes of increased hair shedding is dandruff and one of the easiest treatments for dandruff is increased shampooing. “Gentle and normal shampooing never affects hairs adversely and since shampooing actually helps treat dandruff, which can contribute to increased hair loss, if your shedding increases, shampooing more often may actually help reduce the extra shedding by controlling the dandruff,” says Dr. Schultz.

High Point, NC, dermatologist Zoe D. Draelos agrees. “If you see flakes in your hair, you may not be shampooing enough,” and this can lead to more dandruff and other scalp diseases.  

As for how you should wash your hair, “concentrate on cleaning primarily the scalp, rather than the entire length of the hair, as washing only your hair can create flyaway hair that is dull and coarse,” says Draelos.


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