Hair Loss:
What is Normal?

Hair loss is a common concern for many individuals, and it’s natural to wonder just how much hair loss is considered normal. The amount of hair we lose can vary from person to person and can be influenced by various factors. In this article, we will explore the normal range of hair loss, the factors that contribute to it, and when to be concerned about excessive hair shedding.

Long haired individual hides face behind hair and grabs head with right hand

Understanding the Hair Growth Cycle

To understand what constitutes normal hair loss, it’s crucial to learn about the hair growth cycle. The hair growth cycle consists of three phases:

  1. Anagen (Growth Phase): This is the active phase where hair grows. It typically lasts 2-7 years, and the length of your hair is primarily determined during this phase.
  2. Catagen (Transition Phase): This is a brief transitional phase lasting about 2-3 weeks. During this time, the hair follicle shrinks, and the hair separates from the blood supply.
  3. Telogen (Resting Phase): In this phase, hair does not grow, and it eventually falls out. It lasts around 2-3 months, and it’s normal to shed a certain amount of hair during this time.

Normal Hair Loss

On average, it is considered normal to lose about 50-100 hairs per day. This may sound like a significant amount, but given that the scalp contains approximately 100,000 hair follicles, it is a small fraction of the total hair. These lost hairs are often in the telogen phase, preparing to be replaced by new hair during the anagen phase.

Person pulls hairs out of brush

Factors Affecting Hair Loss

Several factors can influence the amount of hair a person loses on a daily basis:

  1. Age: Hair growth tends to slow down with age, and hair loss may increase, especially in men.
  2. Hormones: Hormonal changes, such as those during pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause, can affect hair growth and shedding.
  3. Genetics: Family history plays a significant role in determining hair loss patterns. If your parents or grandparents experienced hair loss, you may be more prone to it.
  4. Health Conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as thyroid disorders, autoimmune diseases, and nutritional deficiencies, can contribute to hair thinning.
  5. Stress: Physical or emotional stress can lead to temporary hair loss. The condition known as telogen effluvium is characterized by excessive shedding caused by a significant stressor.

When to Seek Professional Advice

While a certain amount of hair loss is normal, there are instances when it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional:

  1. Sudden or Severe Hair Loss: If you notice a sudden, notable increase in shedding or significant thinning, it’s advisable to seek medical advice.
  2. Patches of Baldness: The development of bald patches or unusual patterns of hair loss may indicate an underlying issue that requires attention.
  3. Persistent Itching or Redness: If your scalp is persistently itchy, red, or inflamed, it could be a sign of a scalp condition that needs evaluation.

A man with hair loss holds up a clump of hair

How to Proceed

Understanding the normal range of hair loss is essential for maintaining a realistic perspective on this natural process. While shedding 50-100 hairs per day is considered normal, paying attention to changes in hair loss patterns, seeking professional advice when necessary, and adopting a healthy lifestyle can contribute to maintaining optimal hair health. If in doubt, consulting with a healthcare provider or a dermatologist can provide valuable insights into your specific situation.

Got Questions?

This is the general form for students who are interested in programs

"*" indicates required fields

I am interested in…*
Anticipated Education Year
Anticipated Educational Season

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top