I've had several people coming to me lately saying that they are experiencing a significant amount of hair loss so I thought I would come here to explain what's normal and what's not.
Thoughout the year it is normal, for a person with medium thinkness hair to loose on average between 50 and 100 hairs a day. That may seem a lot but with the average hair density being 1,500 per square inch it is a realitivily small amount. It is widely accepted that we have around 100,000 hairs on our heads so we loose approx. 0.1% daily. These hairs are constantly being replaced, so we never notice a significant drop in hair thickness. Of coarse this is all based on the law of averages. Some people may feel that they don’t have that much hair or a bit more than average but the main point is that it is all normal.
So why are we noticing it now? In the autumn we do tend to shed a bit more than average. This is because, over the summer our bodies have not shed quite so much to protect us from additional UV rays in the warmer months. Once the days start to shorten and the temperature drops these additional hairs are no longer needed and fall out.
Another subject that isn’t widely discussed is postpartum hair loss. Yes, it is a thing, but has anyone ever told you why?
It all starts at the very beginning. When you become pregnant your body starts to produce extra blood to support the pregnancy. You can in fact have upto 50% extra blood in your system. So whilst you are pregnant your hair (and nails – made from the same stuff as your hair) are great. Thicker, grows quicker and is lovely and shiny! Normal shedding whilst pregnant pretty much stops due to the extra blood being supplied all around your body.
So once baby has arrived and blood levels return to normal (this starts happening at around 34 weeks) all that hair that you’ve been hanging on to for 9 months starts to come out. A lot. Many will notice it mainly around the hairline as that’s what we see fore and centre when we look in the mirror but it is happening all over your head. It can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months for the extra shedding to slow down and your hair should be returning to its normal shedding and growth patterns by your childs first birthday.
Genuine hair loss can happen for many reasons, it is unfortunately something that happens to many as they get older and usually is hard wired into our genes. This is called male or female pattern baldness. You may notice your hairline receding and or the hair on the top of your head, particularly the crown area becoming thinner. Unfortunately if this is the case there is little that can be done by way of treatment, however you can discuss styling options with your stylist. They will likely have many tips and tricks up their sleeves for making the hair look fuller.
Other reasons for sudden hair loss include an illness, stress, cancer treatment, weight loss or an iron deficiency. The most important thing in these circumstances, if you are worried, is to seek medical advice from your doctor.
The effects from these problems are usually only temporary and your hair can return to normal once treatment is sought. Sometimes the effects of worrying about a problem can exacerbate it, so its good to talk to someone you feel comfortable discussing it with whether this be a doctor, your stylist or a therapist.
I am, of course, always on hand to talk about any of your hair concerns.
I hope this has helped to reassure you that many things that happen with your hair are totally normal and there is no need to worry.