THE NATURAL SHEDDING OF HAIR
Why do I shed hair, and how can I prevent it?
If you regularly find strands of hair on your clothes, in the bathroom sink, and on your furniture, you’re not alone!
While shedding hair isn’t an uncommon problem, you might wonder if the amount of hair you shed is normal. Here at Maiden Hair Extensions, we can help to uncover why hair shedding happens and how to prevent it.
First up, losing hair and shedding hair are two different things- and shedding hair isn’t necessarily a problem. An average person has 150,000 hairs in total and sheds 50 to 100 hairs a day, which equates to less than 1% of our hair. Our hair grows, rests, and sheds, which is completely normal.
If it’s your hair washing day or you’re detangling your hair for the first time in a week or so, you can expect more than the average hair loss. Detangling regularly, however, means less hair shedding.
There may be other reasons for excessive hair loss (more than 100 strands over a few weeks) or bald patches. Unfortunately, losing hair is a common issue for women at various times throughout life, while shedding hair is a natural, consistent occurrence.
Experimenting with hair colour can be fun but doing this too regularly can be damaging. For example, if you bleach your hair from dark to light, the high levels of peroxide in the hair dye can lead to hair shedding. Hair colouring products contain harsh chemicals like hydrogen peroxide and ammonia that damage your hair’s protein and cause it to become brittle, dry, and weak. In turn, your hair loses elasticity, and you experience hair breakage and shedding.
Hair shedding can also result from harsh chemicals burning and damaging the scalp, and as well as hair dying, other chemical processes such as those used for perming or straightening hair can result in hair shedding.
Just like our fur babies, changes in season can also affect hair shedding, with autumn often being a typical time when hair shedding occurs. Hair can become dry in colder temperatures,and scalp conditions such as dandruff can contribute to hair shedding. In contrast, hair is thickest in summer as our hair follicles hold onto hair to protect our hair from the heat.
Constant styling with straighteners, curling wands, and hairdryers can also make the hair shaft dry and damaged, causing breakage and hair shedding.
Regularly using hair elastics can also pull on and stress your hair. If you find you are shedding hair near your hairline or where you tie your hair up, using hair elastics and tying your hair too tightly could be the reason. Rather than a tight ponytail, try a loosely tied ponytail or bun to ease pressure on your hair and scalp.
So, what amount of hair shedding is normal? A dermatologist can advise if you’re experiencing hair shedding or hair loss. Keeping track of how many hair strands you’re losing can be difficult, so a quick solution is to grab say 60 strands of hair an inch from your scalp and with your forefinger and thumb, pull the hair firmly, slide your fingers from shaft to end, and count how many hairs fall out. If the number of hairs is greater than half a dozen, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor. And remember to follow our tips above to prevent hair shedding!