If you’re startled by how much hair you shed, you’re not alone: Experts say that it’s completely normal to lose up to 100 strands a day.
“About 90 percent of the hair on your head is in the growing anagen phase, while 10 percent is in the resting telogen phase, meaning that 10 percent will fall out and leave room for new growth,” explains New York City hair restoration surgeon, Robert J. Dorin, DO.
Certain factors may cause more or less shedding through life. Here’s what you need to know about what’s normal.
Feeling unwell causes more hair loss. “Hair is very sensitive to internal upsets, so more hair loss is to be expected when you’ve been sick, stressed or are eating poorly,” explains Anabel Kingsley, a Philip Kingsley hair and scalp expert. However, the shedding usually occurs six to 12 weeks after the event that caused it, so people don’t always connect the two.
Juicing and dieting can make you shed. “Hair cells grow quickly but are given last dibs on nutrients you ingest, as they’re non-essential to survival,” says Kingsley. Rabid juicing and dieting trends have become common triggers that cut off hair’s energy supply by not providing enough protein and iron. Popular hair growth vitamins like Philip Kingsley Tricho Complex can help grow more hair if you’re deficient in certain vitamins, adds Dorin.
Pregnancy increases shedding. About 50 percent of women will experience a phenomenon known as postpartum shedding a few months after giving birth. Higher estrogen levels during pregnancy lengthen the hair growth phase. As estrogen lowers after birth, more follicles will enter the resting stage, causing increased hair loss. It may feel disconcerting, but isn’t cause for alarm. “This type of shedding is only temporary – the hair will grow back when balance is restored,” assures Kingsley.