What is Considered Excessive or Normal Hair Loss?
It’s perfectly normal to experience hair shedding – all people (men, women, or even children) can have it. The big question, how to figure out whether your hair loss is normal or associated with something else? The answer is not always easy, but there are a few guidance indicators!
Hair follicles, where your hair shafts grow, are a part of the structure in the skin. They are filled with very small blood vessels to support your hair growth.
There are three major phases for your hair life cycle; the growth (anagen) phase, transition phase, and shedding (telogen) phase. Each hair follicle has its own life cycle.
Thankfully, most of hair follicles are going with the anagen phase in normal situation, so you can have thickness of hair in your head at any given time. Meanwhile, there usually are only a few of them go into the telogen phase.
Also called alopecia, hair loss can affect the entire body or just the scalp of your head, depending on the underlying cause of the problem. And a number of factors can contribute to cause the problem.Some of those factors are certain medical problems, certain medications, or inherited genes!
Is hair loss a big problem? Should it be treated promptly? The answer varies. While some may assume it as serious issue that must be treated, others prefer to let it run its course without treatment.
If you decide to treat it, what kind of treatment you need will depend the cause of the problem. For instance, if the problem is caused by stress or poor diet (lack of certain nutrients), a few adjustments with lifestyle measures are probably enough to deal with.
But if the cause is certain medical condition (like thyroid disease), medical intervention is needed! For more guidance, see a dermatologist!
In general, the average hair shedding in the range of normal category is about 100 hairs /day.
Losing more than 100 hairs /day is considered abnormal, especially if this occurs without known reason and doesn’t respond to lifestyle measures.
The way of how your hair loss progresses may help determine the specific type of your hair loss. For example, if it progresses gradually with specific M-shape pattern, in which hair shedding is more significant on your temples — this’s likely to be associated with pattern hair loss, especially if you have a family history of androgenic alopecia.
Pattern hair loss in men may lead to partial or complete baldness. It’s treatable, but incurable. Several treatments are available to prevent the problem from getting worse.
Hair loss is usually nothing more than a cosmetic problem. This medically inconsequential thing would not kill you. However, it’s also important to keep alert, because in a few cases it may signal a medical health condition.
If it occurs suddenly and massive, you should not ignore it! Seek medical help right away to keep safe, especially if it gets worse!
There are two major groups of factors that increase your risk of 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 hair care practices are controllable risk factors. You can change and modify these factors to help treat your hair loss.
Uncontrollable risk factors include age (your risk increases as you age) and genetic (having a family history of hair loss problem).
Other factors such as certain medications (cancer treatments for example) and health conditions (e.g. thyroid disorder and cancer) can also increase the risk!
Your dermatologist can identify which one that has the most significant effect on your hair loss. Physical examination is often enough, but sometimes a few tests may be suggested.
Typically, there are some questions to ask. The most common ones include; about the amount of hairs you lost a day, when it started, and whether you have a family history of baldness or thinning hair!