Our scalp is like a field. Whatever good stuff we put "underground" shows up on the surface. And like any field, our scalp also follows a certain hair growth cycle that involves different stages: growth, rest, shedding. Shedding is a completely natural process that everyone goes through, but when it gets out of control, that's when you should start to worry. But before you do so, it is important to know how much shedding is actually considered "normal"?
How Much Hair Loss is Normal?
On average, the majority of people have around 100,000 to 120,000 hairs on their head and shed about 100 – 125 hair strands every day. The medical name for regular hair fall is Alopecia, which takes place since scalp hair grows in cycles. Every hair follicle goes through a growth phase that continues for 2 to 8 years, after which a 2-month resting period ensues where there is zero growth. Finally, the hair strands start falling out and new ones start to grow in their place.
For a normal person, this can mean between 80% and 90% of hair follicles are sprouting new hair at a time, whereas the remaining follicles are resting or falling. Losing more than that can be a cause of concern. Basically, when the hair loss goes over 125 hairs per day, it is no longer just seen as "shedding". It could be due to a condition known as telogen effluvium (TE), where certain elements push more hair follicles into their resting stage. The main cause of TE is stress, whether in physical or mental form. It is theorized that stress somehow affects the chemistry of our hair follicles, leading to too many hair follicles going to the rest phase at one time. However, if you work on reducing your stress, you can restore the natural hair cycle and stimulate healthy growth.
Causes of Excess Hair fall
If you find yourself losing more than 125 hairs a day (you don’t have to count, you can just eyeball it), then you need to start looking at the possible reasons behind it. Listed below are just some of the factors associated with hair fall.
- A poor diet - The importance of a proper and well-balanced diet for your hair health is undeniable. Keep in mind that your head has around 100,000 hairs, all of which need to be properly supported. Our hair is not an essential tissue or organ, which means our body will not prioritize its nutritional needs. Because to its expendable nature, an imbalance in one’s nutrition will usually show up first in the form of excess hair loss.
- Lack of Protein – Our hair is essentially made up of protein, which explains why it needs to be nourished with protein to stay healthy. Crash and low protein diets, such as those with little or no meat, may lead to protein malnutrition. Our body then responds to this low supply of protein by saving whatever reserves of protein it presently has, thus pushing hair into their resting phase instead of growth.
- Lack of Iron - Excessive hair loss occasionally happens due to iron deficiency, which is common in women who have heavy menstrual periods, people who do not have a sufficient iron intake in their diets, or those whose bodies do not fully absorb the iron from their diets. You can test for iron levels through a check-up and in case of a deficiency, take iron supplements.
- Excess use of styling treatments - Hair fall is not solely the product of a health conditions. You can weaken and break your hair if chemical treatments such as dyes, tints, bleaches, relaxers, permanent waves and irons are used too often or left on for too long.
The Dos and Don'ts of Hair fall
- Perform the 60-second hair loss test – This will help you assess whether you are experiencing normal hair loss or not. Start by combing your hair before shampooing for 60 seconds (going from back to front). Put a pillow or sheet on the floor to catch the hair. Count each hair that you find, including the ones stuck in the comb and record the number. Repeat this procedure for 3 consecutive days, and then determine your average hair count.
- Consume a well-balanced diet, one that is packed with fruits, vegetables, proteins, and plenty of other minerals and vitamins.
- Do Incorporate Supplements - If you think that your diet is not so effective, then adding supplements such as Kerotin Hair Growth Vitamin supplements is a great way to get that added nutritional boost. The product contains 100% natural, FDA-approved and GMO-free ingredients, allowing you complete peace of mind.
- Do be gentle – Give your hair lots of love and treat them gently, particularly when styling and using heat tools.
- Do not stress yourself out – Sure, losing too much hair can be extremely stressful, but that's exactly where you need to get a hold of yourself. As mentioned above, stress is one of the leading causes of telogen effluvium, which is the second most common type of hair loss. Indulge in relaxing activities such as yoga and meditation, cut out negative people from your life, and try to do things that bring you happiness. The good thing about Telogen Effluvium is that it goes away on its own after a certain period of time once the stress subsides and the body starts healing again.