If you’re like me, the sight of your own hair in your shower drain stirs feelings of paranoia followed by mind-bending calculations of what’s been shed and what’s left on your head and how many days it’s going to be before you run out of hair totally!
Hair shedding, thinning or loss, call it what you will, is a natural part of life. We all do it, but knowing how much is actually normal is not so widespread.
The reality is we can shed anywhere between 50 and 150 strands of hair a day. The average person will shed approximately 100. That’s probably a lot more than you realised and explains the strands that you find in your drain and hairbrush.
Our hair is constantly in one of 3 different stages of growth. Simplified this process goes like this:-
- Phase 1 is all about growth. It’s called the anagen phase and lasts between 2 to 6 years.
- Phase 2 is a much shorter, transition phase which lasts a mere 2-3 weeks. It’s called the catagen stage.
- Phase 3 can last anywhere from 1-4 months and is when your hair starts shedding. This is called the telogen phase.
Through your lifetime, your hair will have follicles going through all these different phases at once – growing, resting and shedding.
So the short answer is hair shedding is normal but excessive (more than 150 strands a day) may be an indicator that something else is a foot and time for you to seek out support from a professional.