Losing hair is a terrifying concept. And I often have women (and blokes) in tears in my office.
Hair loss is remarkably common, and EVERYONE sheds hairs on a daily basis…But how much is too much?
I always was taught that losing 100 hairs a day is NORMAL! We are constantly leaving little strands around the place, and mostly they get blown away with the wind. Sometimes the delicate fall maybe more noticeable with a new bathroom mirror, a change in the bathroom floor colour or the new white linen bed sheets! But now the current thinking is that lightening the load of your scalp by 150-200 per day is entirely expected. But how do you know how much you are losing, and whether you should be worried? Well I usually ask my patients to collect hairs in an envelope daily for 2 weeks and INDIVIDUALLY count the hairs (I have given up doing it myself!) But when patients bring in this kind of ‘evidence’ it makes my job a whole lot easier. After all you might come to the clinic on a ‘good day’ and have no shedding whatsoever!!!
Shedding of greater than 150 hairs per day, beyond a period of 6 weeks is considered “above average” and there are several causes. Nutritional deficiency, post pregnancy, medications, chronic telogen effluvium, and hormonal types of hair loss (androgenetic alopecia or male or female pattern balding)
So what can you do about it?
My usual advise is RIDE IT OUT, however the concept of riding out continued hair shedding is unacceptable to most of the women in my practice. So There are things you can do! Ensure you speak to your doctor about the possibility of an underlying cause. And then nourish from the inside. Take biotin and silica, ensure you diet is ‘geared for growth” and investigate medical treatments.
And do not go joining alopecia support groups and buying wigs!