Hair Falling Out
Every day, the average person loses between 50-1001 hairs. You probably don’t notice many of them – they might fall onto your carpet to be swept away by your vacuum, or they might blow away in the wind while you’re out and about. It’s totally normal to lose this amount of hair on a daily basis – it will be replaced by other hair as part of the regular hair growth cycle.
But what happens when you start to notice more hairs than usual – perhaps in your shower, on your hairbrush and clothes or on your bed sheets? If you’re running your fingers through your hair and coming away with a dozen strands attached to your fingers, or if your hairbrush is suddenly overflowing with hair that’s been shed, there’s a chance you could be shedding more than normal.
If you feel that the amount of hair you’re losing is excessive, it’s most likely that there’s an underlying cause which you’ll need to address. Hair loss never occurs for no reason, and it’s important to discover the root cause of your shedding so you know how best to approach treatment.
There are a variety of different reasons why you might be losing your hair – one of the most common is hereditary hair loss, also known as female-pattern baldness.
Hereditary hair loss causes the hair cycle to shorten, which means that the hair spends less time in the growing phase before falling out – giving the appearance that you’re losing lots of hair. The hairs you shed may also start to look lighter and thinner in appearance.
Unlike men, who tend to experience receding hairlines, women suffering from female-pattern baldness experience diffuse hair loss, which is when hair is lost from all over the head. The crown and the temples are particular hotspots but the hair will most likely shed from all over the scalp.
It can be difficult to tell whether your hair loss is normal or whether it’s something to be concerned about, especially if you don’t have a visibly receding hairline, so you’ll need something to compare it to. Check out some old photos of yourself from six or twelve months ago – if you notice that your hair appears thicker and more voluminous in the older pictures, you could be experiencing the beginnings of female-pattern baldness.
Other reasons for hair falling out
Though hereditary hair loss is the most common form of hair loss in women, there are other factors which could be exacerbating your shedding. The contraceptive pill for women affects some women’s follicles, and factors like stress, diet and lifestyle can also result in higher levels of shedding.
Women who have recently given birth are also at risk for hair loss – though this type of high shedding (known as telogen effluvium) is temporary. The hormones present in the body when carrying a baby can increase hair growth throughout pregnancy, but after you’ve given birth, these hormones deplete and the hair falls out afterwards – this is known as post-partum hair loss, and is very common.