We’re all familiar with this situation: You're going about your day and finding strands of your hair almost everywhere—especially in the shower. Which probably has you wondering, “How much hair do you lose in a day?”. It may even have you stressing over the idea of suddenly going bald—but we’re here to help ease your concerns. You see, losing some hair is normal. In fact, it’s all part of a healthy hair cycle. So, before you get in your head about your hair loss woes, read on to learn how much hair loss is normal in a day, along with hair care tips that can help reduce hair shedding.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HAIR LOSS AND HAIR SHEDDING?
Now that you know that hair fallout is a normal thing, you’re probably wondering how much hair loss is normal. First, you should know that hair loss and hair shedding are two different things, but the terms are commonly used interchangeably.
The Cleveland Clinic states that hair shedding is part of your natural, balanced hair growth cycle, where some hairs grow out as others grow in. However, when this balance is interrupted—AKA, you’re losing hair without new hair growing in—hair loss happens. To further explain the process, let’s break down the three phases your hair goes through, courtesy of the Cleveland Clinic.
Phase #1: Anagen. This is the phase where your hair grows. It accounts for the majority of the hair on your head (85 to 90 percent) and can last anywhere from two to eight years.
Phase #2. Catagen. This is the transition phase in which your hair follicles shrink. This phase lasts about two to three weeks.
Phase #3. Telogen. Also known as the resting phase, this process takes two to four months. Once you reach the end of the telogen phase, the hair falls out, and the cycle begins again!
HOW MUCH HAIR DO YOU LOSE IN A DAY?
Now that you’ve brushed up on a bit of hair science, let’s talk about the normal amount of hair shedding you can expect in a day. The Cleveland Clinic states that we all have about 250,000 hairs on our heads at any time. When you include hair follicles that have broken off into several strands, that number grows even larger. Back to how much hair it’s normal to lose in a day, on average, you lose 50 to 100 hairs a day, per the Cleveland Clinic, but this can vary depending on a few factors, which we’ll dig into below.
1. Hair length and thickness. Those with shorter or thinner hair appear to shed less than those with thicker or longer locks. Some of this can be attributed to the fact that the hairs you would normally not notice shedding throughout the day can get caught around the rest of your hair, making it seem that more hair comes out when you shower or brush your strands. When those with long or thick hair wash it, they can lose between 150 and 200 strands of hair.
2. How often you shower. If you only wash your hair a few times a week, you’ll likely notice an increase in hair shedding on days that you shower. In general, most hair shedding occurs in the shower, as well as when combing your hair.
3. How often you brush your hair. Speaking of combing your hair, how often you break out your hair brush or comb can also play a part here. If you brush your hair every day, you may notice less hair shedding during each individual brushing session, whereas if you only brush once a week, there’s likely to be a lot more hair left in your brush. Still, it’s likely that the total number of hairs you lose in a week would be similar.
HOW TO REDUCE HAIR SHEDDING
Like we said, hair shedding is normal. But, there are a few ways you can reduce it. Here are a few tips, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Tip #1. Wash less. Try to wash and condition your hair only one to three times a week.
Tip #2. Use a wide-tooth comb. Avoid using a bristle brush or fine-tooth comb, as these can cause breakage and pull out more hair.
Tip #3. Let your hair down. Try to leave your hair down as much as possible and avoid constantly wearing it in a tight ponytail or bun. You should also steer clear of rubber hair ties.
Tip #4. Limit heat. You may already know this, but heat styling can lead to hair damage and, in turn, hair shedding, so try to limit it when possible. When you do use heat tools, make sure to apply a heat protectant. We recommend the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle SLEEK IT Iron Straight Heatspray.