If you’ve noticed you are losing more hair than usual or your hair seems thinner, you may be wondering: what the heck is happening? First, it’s important to realize that some hair loss is normal. Did you know that most people shed 50-100 hairs every day due to the natural cycle of hair loss and growth? To help understand the differences between normal and excessive hair loss and hair shedding, we’ll start with the hair growth cycle.
What is the Hair Growth Cycle?
Understanding the cycle of hair growth is helpful to understand your personal hair loss or shedding situation. There are three phases of growth: anagen, catagen, and telogen. When your hair is growing, it is in the anagen phase. This period lasts two to eight years – hair in this phase is unlikely to fall out. The second phase, catagen, is a transitional phase when the hair stops growing which lasts about two to three weeks. The third and final stage, telogen, is a resting phase that lasts about two to three months. Hair sheds at the end of the telogen phase and is replaced with new hair, starting the cycle again. Only about 10% of your hair will be in the telogen phase at one time.
All three of these phases are happening at any given time on your scalp. With approximately 100,000 hairs in your scalp, this normal hair loss and growth is generally not visible.
What is Hair Shedding?
The hair growth cycle allows for a normal amount of hair shedding, however, if you’re shedding more than 100 hairs per day, you may be experiencing excessive hair shedding, known as telogen effluvium. Excessive hair shedding can be caused by an intense period of stress, weight loss, or if you’re recovering from an illness. During telogen effluvium, hair shifts faster than normal through the hair growth cycle. Excessive hair shedding is normal – and temporary, usually reverting to the normal hair growth cycle within several months.
What is Hair Loss?
If you begin to notice thinner-than-normal spots on your head, a wider part, or even bald patches, you may be experiencing hair loss. Hair loss occurs when something stops the hair from growing, like hereditary hair loss, harsh hair products, or certain medical conditions.
The easiest way to determine if you are suffering from hair shedding or loss is to give it time – if your hair has been shedding excessively for three months or more, it’s likely that your hair has stopped growing in certain areas.
Regardless of whether you’re experiencing hair shedding or loss, there are solutions to help you overcome the physical and emotional side effects. At Allusions, we’re here to help with a free consultation and can help not only determine the cause of the problem, but find the best solution for you along the way!