How Much Hair Loss is Normal
Hair fall is an absolutely normal phenomenon. But how much hair fall is considered as normal hair fall? Let’s help you with solving this dilemma.
Before looking at the limit for normal hair fall and hair fall control solutions, let's first understand the hair growth cycle.
Hair goes through a natural growth cycle. This cycle comprises of four phases. Each hair follicle goes through the growth stage called anagen which lasts for up to 7 years). The second phase is the transitional phase known as catagen and usually lasts for 2 – 4 weeks. Here the hair growth slows down and finally, the follicle stops generating new hair strands. The telogen phase follows catagen and lasts for up to four months. In this phase, the hair rests after all growth activity has inhibited. The last phase exogen where the hair is shed. As long as the hair follicle is active, this cycle follows and new hair continues to be produced once the old one falls off.
How Much Hair Fall is Normal?
What is considered as normal hair fall? Let’s answer this question objectively first before we delve into the longer version of the answer. A healthy adult has anywhere between 80,000 – 1,20,000 hair strands on their head. About 5% - 10% of the hair follicles at any point in time are in the telogen stage, meaning that they are ready to fall out. It is normal to lose between 50 to 100 strands of hair per day. It is important to know when the normal hair fall has crossed the natural limit and needs to be taken seriously. If you observe more than 150 strands of hair falling every day, you can consider it abnormal hair loss or hair shedding.
If you have short hair, you may not notice the hair fall. However, if you have long hair you can notice it while taking a shower, brushing the hair on drains, combs, and clothes. Excessive hair fall could be happening due to a variety of reasons. Weight loss, stress, hormonal imbalance, childbirth, menopause, or recovery after surgery. Hair fall control is best when you understand the root cause behind hair loss and treat it in a right manner.
Also Read : Top Reasons For Hair Fall
How Much Hair Loss Is Normal in The Shower
While you are taking a head shower, many hair strands that are already detached from the scalp might get collected near the drain. Although it may look like a lot, it can be considered to be normal hair shedding. Some chemical ingredients in shampoo and conditioners that you might be using may also increase hair breakage. The average estimate for hair loss during hair wash is around 150-200 per day.
Normal Hair Fall Limits for a Male
Around 70% of men experience hair fall in their lifetime. Men are more prone to the genetic inheritance of abnormal hair fall known as androgenic alopecia. The hair fall in men can be noticed in the form of receding hairline, thinning hair, and sometimes as a horseshoe-shaped pattern. Prevention is always better than cure, which means even if one has normal hair fall per day, they must still opt for a hair loss prevention. Now that we know how much hair fall is normal, you can take the two kinds of preliminary tests described below to check if the hair fall is within the normal range or not.
Grab around 60 hair stands between your fingers. Pull the hair gently while running your fingers through it. If you catch hold of 5-8 hair strands, you can consider it like normal hair fall. If the count is anywhere between 15-20 hair stands, it is abnormal hair fall.
Comb your hair from the back towards the forehead while leaning over a lightly coloured bedsheet. If you can count more than 15-20 strands, it is abnormal hair fall.
Normal Hair Fall Limits For a Female
For females, the average hair fall count per day is the same as that for males.
How Much Hair Loss Is Normal When Female Washing Hair
The normal hair fall count after washing is normally 150 – 200 hair strands. When washing hair, one may experience hair loss as the strands that are already detached from the scalp also get accumulated near the drain. Since females have long hair, even normal hair falls within the range of 150 – 200 hair strands might look like a lot when accumulating at drains. Hence, you must be careful before panicking at the sight of the shed hair.
Since females are more into a variety of hair treatments that use chemicals for desired effects (such as hair smoothening, straightening, colouring) and styling practices (such as hot iron straightening, curling) that are harsh on the hair strand, they may experience heightened hair fall. These effects can be controlled by limiting such practices and avoiding an excess of chemical treatments. Styling your hair into tight buns or plaits can also weaken the strands and might be contributing to the hair fall, so be careful when tying your hair and refrain from pulling the hair too much.
If you are mindful of the above practices and still experience hair fall of more than 150 – 200 strands during washing hair then the chemicals in your shampoo and conditioner could be a possible reason for the abnormal hair fall. If correcting that does not improve the situation, you must consult your doctor to further investigate the condition and recommend appropriate action.
- Various underlying factors like stress, existing medication, environmental pollution, and age influence hair loss.
- Here it is also important to note that the hair fall that you are experiencing might be a symptom of some underlying condition such as hormonal imbalance.
There are some simple steps by following which you can reduce the hair loss (unless it is due to some underlying condition)
- Lifestyle and diet are two factors that you can control to keep your hair loss in check.
- You are also to take care of how you tie your hair – if you are in the habit of tying your hair into tight braids then that might also be one of the causes for the hair fall.
- Washing the hair right by massaging the scalp with fingertips improves blood circulation and reduces hair fall – pamper your hair to reduce hair fall
- Too many chemical treatments and excess application of chemical colours and styling agents weaken the hair follicle and hair strands. Such practices should be kept in moderation.
- Excessive usage of curlers and straighteners can lead to extra hair shedding and breakage.
If you see feel your hair fall exceeds the normal hair fall limit (more than 100 strands per day), it is a good time to consult your doctor. You should do this to make sure any underlying medical condition is ruled out. Expert advice will further the affirmation of the best available solution for the hair fall as per the diagnosis. Take the free hair diagnosis and book a Consult Call with our Doctors on board.
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Dr. Jaspreet Sarna, M.D
Dr. Sarna is an MD (Skin & VD) with a decade-long experience in treating hair loss and working on hair regrowth. She believes stress management is the key to good health.