To your horror, you pull another huge clump of hair out. What’s going on? Are you suddenly going bald?
Seeing a lot of hair on your pillow when you get out of bed in the morning? Don’t freak out.
“Losing up to 150 strands of hair a day is normal” advises top Miami Beach dermatologist Dr. Martin Zaiac.
“The average loss of hair on a daily basis can range from 50 to 150 strands per day.”
If you feel like your hair loss is excessive take your fingers and put about 70 strands of hair between your fingers and run your fingers through your hair gently pulling as your fingers go through it. This is called a hair pull test. If you can count more than 15 strands of hair using this simple test you are probably losing more hair than you should be. 90% of the hair on your head is in a growing phase (anagen phase) and 10% is in the “restful” phase (telogen phase). That 10% should fall out leaving new hair room to grow and replace falling out hairs. So if you are losing more than 15 strands of hair when you do the pull test it would be a good idea to ask an expert about what to do to stop the hair loss. Even if you are losing quite a lot of hair, it’s not necessarily something to worry about too much.
“The reason of substantial hair loss could be a result of many factors as listed below.” Dr. Marty says, “It’s important to take a look at your lifestyle when trying to determine hair loss.”
He does warn, however, that “Hair loss can also become prevalent due to many issues including hormonal changes, immunological conditions, medications, styling techniques abrupt life changes like death in the family, surgeries requiring general anesthesia, crash diets and certain diseases, so a trip to the doctor is always a good idea.”
Seeing your doctor can ease your anxieties and you should receive some good advice.
These are some basic areas where hair loss occurs:
A very common hair thinning situation for both men and women is androgenetic alopecia which refers to patterned hair thinning for genetic/hereditary reasons.
This is when you make a central part on the hair on your head and the hair density at the part shows thinning when compared to the occipital area.
In women hair thinning often affects parietal and occipital areas of the scalp.
Very common reasons and situations for experiencing hair loss:
Hormonal changes. Pregnancy, giving birth, menopause, and other hormonal fluctuations can cause you to shed extra hair. Starting or stopping birth control could cause hair loss. Thyroid diseases may also cause hair loss.
Vaccinations can sometimes cause hair loss. Certain drugs, particularly antidepressants, can cause you to lose hair. Crash dieting puts your body under physical duress and may result in hair loss.
Genetics. If hair loss runs in your family, you might end up with male-pattern or female-pattern baldness.
Certain hairstyling techniques can damage your hair and cause more of it to fall out than usual. Tight ponytails or braids can also cause damage that will lead to possible permanent hair loss and discourage hair growth, as can using dyes or curling irons or heat combs. Hair care products containing harsh chemicals may also cause your hair to stop growing.
Compulsively pulling on your own hair can cause it to stop growing or loss of hair called trichotillomania.
Aging can cause hair loss, because you grow less hair as you get older. In fact, around half of all people have male-pattern or female-pattern baldness by age 50.
Chemotherapy can result in hair loss.
As you ponder the loss of hair on your head remember:
Losing 50-150 strands of hair each day is completely and totally normal. It may seem like a lot, but it really isn’t!
Hair thinning and hair loss are not the same thing. They are distinct conditions with different causes.
Many cases of hair thinning will resolve given some time and patience.
In cases where there is an underlying issue, that cause will have to be treated first. Except in cases where chronic injury is playing a role, this often is a matter of lifestyle adjustments.
Even if your hair loss turns out to be inherited, there are prescription and non-prescription medications out there to help you. We recommend a product called FORTI5.
If you are losing more hair than is normal, don’t panic! The cause likely isn’t serious, it may resolve on its own, and if it doesn’t, there are a lot of steps you can take to correct the issue and get back to a full head of hair.
What’s next if you feel you are losing too much hair?
Visit the Greater Miami Skin and Laser Center for a full consultation if you are experiencing an increase in hair loss. Call us for an appointment at 305.532.4478 or book your appointment online.