The Important Difference Between Hair Loss and Hair Shedding

In last week’s post, 6 Myths About Hair Loss, I left out one very important myth, because I wanted to give it its own post.

Everyone who loses hair has hair loss. FALSE. If that were the case, we’d all have hair loss, right?

We all lose hair every single day - it’s a normal part of the hair cycle. There wouldn’t be room for new hairs, if the old hairs didn’t fall out. 

This week on the blog, I’m discussing the important distinction between hair loss and hair shedding. 

What You Need to Know About Hair Shedding

Most people lose between 50 to 100 hairs per day. This form of hair loss is called hair shedding. 

There are instances when you may shed over 100 hairs per day for an extended period of time without it being permanent. Excessive hair shedding usually comes after stressful events or moments that cause major changes to your body chemistry:

  • Giving birth

  • Extreme weight loss

  • After a major illness or high fever

  • After experiencing an emotionally traumatic event

In these moments, the excessive hair shedding may be temporary. Your body will eventually recalibrate to its normal levels, and you should expect your normal hair density to return in 6 to 9 months. 

What You Need to Know About Hair Loss

When you’re experiencing hair loss, hairs will not grow back after they’ve fallen out. Just as with hair shedding, hair loss has numerous causes. In some cases, your hair will grow back, but not until what is causing the hair loss has stopped (e.g. hair grows back after chemotherapy treatments cease). Common causes of hair loss include:

  • Hereditary hair loss

  • Overreaction of the immune system

  • Reactions to some medications and treatments

  • Styles that pull at your hair follicle (e.g. tight hairstyles)

  • Harsh hair products

What You Can Do

If you’re worried you’re losing more hair than normal, consult with a dermatologist or a medical doctor who specializes in hair loss. These doctors will be able to identify whether you’re experiencing hair shedding or hair loss. Depending on the type of hair loss, they may also be able to provide you with treatment options.

As always, I want to remind you that your hair does not define you. If you’re experiencing hair loss, you are not any less of a person. The good, the wonderful, the bad, the ugly - it’s all a part of what makes each and every one of us our own unique beings. 

Hair LossDorin AzeradComment