While undoubtedly worrying, it’s actually perfectly natural to lose hair every single day. This is a result of the distinctive growth cycle of your hair, and it proceeds through different phases during its natural growth, with a shedding phase responsible for the loss of your hair. But what is a normal amount of hair to lose every day, and when do you need to take action? Let’s find out.
How much is a normal amount of hair loss?
Due to the natural growth cycle of your hair, it’s completely normal to lose anywhere between 50 and 100 hairs every single day. While this might sound like a lot, you don’t need to worry if you see a few hairs on your pillow or in the bathtub in the morning. This range of daily hair loss is normal and is caused by the exogen phase of the growth cycle, which we explain in more detail below.
The hair growth cycle
In order to rationalise daily hair loss, you need to understand that there are four succinct phases of the hair growth cycle:
The first part of the growth cycle is known as the anagen phase, sometimes simply referred to as the growth phase. The anagen phase lasts for anywhere between 3-5 years and is the longest phase of the growth cycle. Within this phase, your hair follicles grow, and research estimates that around 90% of the hairs on your head are in this part of the growth cycle at any given time.
After the growth phase comes the catagen part of the growth cycle, which only lasts approximately ten days. You can regard the catagen phase as transitional, as your hair follicles start to shrink, and general hair growth slows down. At any given time, only 5% of your hairs are in the catagen phase.
Lasting approximately three months, the telogen phase of hair growth is when your hair rests. Although there’s not a great deal of hair growth during this time, your hair doesn’t typically fall out, either. While the telogen phase is sometimes regarded as the beginning of the shedding part of the cycle, shedding mainly takes place during the exogen phase, as explained below.
The shedding phase of your hair growth cycle is when hair follicles fall from your scalp. You shouldn’t be worried if you lose anywhere between 50 and 100 hairs per day during this phase. For most men, the exogen phase lasts between two and five months, and new hairs grow in place of those that fall out.
When should you be worried about hair loss?
If you lose more than 100 hairs each day and start seeing patches or bald spots on your hair, it’s likely an indication that your hair loss is not caused by the natural growth cycle. Equally, if new hair follicles don’t grow in the place of those that have been lost, it could lead to long-term hair loss that is permanent.
In most men, this is a result of the growth of DHT – a hormone that binds to the receptors on your hair follicles. But thankfully, you can treat male pattern hair loss by turning to clinically proven medications like Finasteride and Minoxidil. So, if you’re concerned that your hair loss is not part of the natural growth cycle of your hair, check out the hair loss products available to you and schedule a chat with your doctor to discuss the best course of action.