How Much Hair Shedding Is Normal?
Seeing strands on your pillow in the morning and hairs all over your shower is normal–we know that hair shedding is a part of our daily lives. But how much is too much? And how do you know if you have a serious problem?
“Losing between 50 and 100 hairs a day is normal,” explains New York dermatologist Adebola Dele-Michael, MD. “Losing more than 100 a day could be a symptom of a form of hair loss called telogen effluvium.”
So what exactly are the causes of unhealthy hair loss? Bad habits like not washing hair regularly, wearing tight ponytails and braids for too long, exposing your scalp to irritating chemicals like those used in perms, and excessive heat styling, can all cause hair to shed at alarming rates. “Wash your hair with paraben- and sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners to protect it from breakage,” advises Dr. Dele-Michael. “Try to use heat sparingly and undergo minimal hair processing. Caring for your hair goes a long way in protecting it from breakage and excessive hair loss.”
Hair loss can also be caused by factors beyond our control, such as genetics and hormonal imbalances like hypothyroidism and high androgen hormones associated with polycystic ovarian syndrome.
No matter the cause, when hair loss becomes a problem, Dr. Dele-Michael says to seek out a board-certified dermatologist as soon as possible so he or she can recommend the best course of treatment. “Some effective treatments for hair loss include intralesional corticosteroid injections, topical Minoxidil, Finasteride, LED light therapy and hair transplantation,” she adds.