What is Considered Excessive or Normal Hair Loss?

It’s perfectly normal to experience hair loss – even all people (men, women, or even children) can have it. The big question is how to categorize it into something that should be worried because its chance to cause baldness. What is considered abnormal or normal hair loss? If you have some or many risk factors of baldness, you need to know the answer of this question!

In healthy people – why do they also need to lose some hairs?

To make some hairs, your body need special cells called hair follicles. They are one of the fastest-growing body cells. In general, hair follicles are a kind of structure in the skin. They are filled with very small blood vessels that very crucial to make hair.

In healthy people, hair follicles can divide every 23-72 hours. The adequate amount of hair loss is needed to replace the old hairs which the new cells. There are three major phases for the cycle of your hair’s life; the growth, rest and shedding phase.

To keep the thickness of your hair in the head, you need at least the balance amount of between hairs that grow and others that fall out!

What actually is hair loss?

Medically, it is called alopecia. It can affect the entire body or just the scalp. Baldness is referred to a condition of hair loss from the scalp. There are some possible causes that can lead to excessive hair loss problem. Some of those factors are certain medical problem, certain medications, or inherited genes!

normal_vs_ abnormal_hair_loss_illustrationDoes it a big problem? Should it be treated promptly? The answer can vary from person to person. While some may assume it as serious issue that must be treated and hidden, others prefer to let it run its course unhidden and untreated.

If you decide to treat it, the way of the treatment that you need to follow is closely dependent on the cause of the problem. For instance, if the problem is caused by stress or poor diet of certain essential nutrient for the health and growth of the hair, you may need to make some few adjustments to cope with the problem.

But if the cause is an underlying medical problem (like thyroid disease), medical intervention is typically needed! For more guidance and clearly answer of the cause behind your abnormal hair loss, talk with your doctor!!

So, when is your hair loss considered normal and abnormal?

In general, the average hair lost per day that can be categorized normal is about up to 100 hairs /day.

Losing more than 100 hairs /day is not common, and this can be a sign of baldness (particularly if you have a family history of baldness). With this type of hair loss (typically occurs in the age of 50 or older), the chance of developing thinning hair ‘especially on the top of head’ is pretty high in women. And in men, it may lead to receding hairline or some bald spots of the head.

However, losing hair more than 100 /day also can occur at any given time such as hair loss after giving birth in women. For this case, there should be nothing to worry about.

But if it is chronic or even if the amounts of your hair loss get worse over time and you care about the chance of getting baldness /thinning hair, it’s much better to see a dermatologist to find a completely evaluation!

How do you get abnormal hair loss – and how do you know it?

There are two major groups of factors that increase your risk of having excessive hair loss. They are controllable and uncontrollable factors. Stress, poor dietary intake of specific essential nutrients (such as lack of protein and iron), and bad habits in cleaning or styling your hair are some factors that you can control to avoid abnormal hair loss.

And for uncontrollable factors, these can include age (your risk increases as you age) and genetic factor /having family history of hair loss problem. Furthermore, having certain health conditions and taking its medications (such as cancer, hair-pulling disorder, arthritis, thyroid problem, etc) also can increase your risk!

Then how do you know when your hair loss is not normal? Counting each one of your hair that falls out every day is not always easy, especially if you do it on your own. But if you notice that your hair loss gets worse, see a dermatologist for more guidance!

Typically, there are some questions that will be asked by doctor. Some of them are about the amount of you’re losing, when you notice for the first time ‘when it started’, and whether you have a family history of baldness or thinning hair problem!