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How Much Hair Fall Is Normal: Tips To Maintain Good Hair Health

How Much Hair Fall Is Normal: Tips To Maintain Good Hair Health
Women have more hair fall than men

Are you experiencing abnormal hair fall? A dermatologist explains the causes excessive hair fall and what can you do to maintain good hair health.

Written by Longjam Dineshwori |Updated : July 4, 2023 6:01 PM IST

Hair fall happens every day and everyone sheds hair. This is the normal function of the body, the hair grows, then falls and new hair come in its place. But there's a catch, at one time only about 5 to 10 per cent of the hairs on your head are in shedding phase and that means only about 50-100 hairs a day. Anything more than that can be an indication of a problem that needs attention.

Dr. Rinky Kapoor, Consultant Dermatologist, Cosmetic Dermatologist & Dermato-Surgeon, The Esthetic Clinics, tells us all about normal hair fall, when hair loss isn't normal, what causes excessive hair fall, and more.

When should you worry about hair loss?

We have about 1-1.2 lakh hairs on the scalp. The hair growth happens in a cycle for four stages. Normally, 90 per cent of the hairs on our head are in the growth state or the anagen phase. The last phase is the exogen phase in which the hair sheds from the scalp. It is normal to lose 50 to 100 hairs per day during the exogen phase.

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Signs That You're Having Excessive Hair Fall

There is another catch to it, when we say an average of 100 hairs a day is normal it does not mean that it is ok. For example, if you have been losing 30 hair every day and suddenly start looing 75 per day, then it is not normal, it is excessive hair fall. Each person's hair history is unique, don't compare it with others. The common places to see if you have excessive hair fall:

  • Your comb or brush
  • The pillow
  • The shower drain
  • Bald spots on the scalp
  • The reducing diameter of the ponytail
  • Receding hairline

The best way to compare is look at before and after pictures and you will know if the hair is signaling for a potential problem and needs checking out."

Causes of excessive hair fall

Among the many causes of hair fall, some are:

  • Increased levels of stress. The spiked levels of cortisol reduce hair growth and increase hair fall.
  • Using heat treatments
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Tight hairstyles
  • Lack of nutrients in diet which then cause weaker hair growth.
  • Itching and scratching because of dandruff and other scalp inflammation
  • Weather changes
  • Hair colour
  • Medications
  • Genetic alopecia
  • Telogen effluvium

When to see a hair specialist?

Hair shedding is a normal process and as the body adjusts to the trigger the hair fall generally reduces. Women have more hair fall than men. To know if your condition is worsening, try doing a gently pull test and if more than 10 strands of hair come in your hand then it is time to go visit your doctor.

Another thing to keep in mind is that hair shedding and hair loss, though used interchangeably, are different procedures. Hair shedding can be temporary whereas hair loss can be because of thyroid, pattern baldness, etc.

What can you do to maintain good hair health?

  • Your diet plays an important role. If you think hair is just dead protein cells, then you are wrong. Their strength and longevity depend on how well you feed the cells from inside. What it needs is a good diet full of iron and zinc and proteins and vitamins and fatty acids. You can also ask your dermatologist about hair specific vitamins.
  • Work on ways to reduce stress. Invest your time in exercise, meditation and yoga, some fun hobbies etc. to combat stress.
  • If you have noticed hair shedding then avoid styling or colouring the hair till it is reduced.
  • Keep your scalp dandruff and irritation free.
  • Use a good shampoo and conditioner to protect your hair from external damage.
  • If you smoke then try to quit as the toxins can damage the DNA of your hair follicles.

Keep in mind that though it is the tiniest organ in our body, hair is a very complex organ. It always needs care and nourishment. Therefore, if you notice anything unusual in your hair then consult a good trichologist to get to the bottom of the issue and get an expert and customized hair treatment.