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Is it shedding or is it hair loss?

Hair loss and shedding are two different things. Shedding hair is normal, and it can be just a bad hair day, or do you have an underlying medical condition that is causing your hair loss? Hair shedding occurs when hair falls out by itself, and it typically happens during or soon after long periods of stress. Hair loss usually involves a reduction in the number of your overall hair follicles in a specific area on your scalp.

Hair shedding is a normal process of your hair growth cycle, by approximately 30-100 hairs per day, depending on your age and gender. Most of the hair that you shed grows back after two to six months. However, some types of excessive hair shedding may be a sign of trouble ahead.

It is normal to shed up to 100 hairs a day, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. But if you notice more than just a few strands in the shower drain or on your pillowcase, it could be a sign that you are suffering from hair loss.

Is seasonal shedding a real thing?

Yes, during certain times of the year, you may notice an increase in shedding, especially in the late fall months. This common phenomenon is known as seasonal shedding.

The exact cause of seasonal shedding is unclear, but studies show that seasonal loss affects more women than men and occurs most often during the fall months, like September and October, and sometimes in the spring, April and May.

If you have been properly maintaining your hair and scalp, seasonal shedding is normally not a cause for concern. With time, shedding should stabilize back to normal daily levels and normal hair growth will continue. However, if you have not been correctly caring for your hair and scalp’s specific needs, you could be experiencing symptoms similar to seasonal shedding which can lead to long-term hair loss.

What are the causes?

As per the American Academy of Dermatology Association excessive hair shedding is common in people who have experienced one the following stressors:

  • Lost 20 pounds or more.
  • Given birth.
  • Experiencing lots of stress (caring for a loved one who is sick, going through a divorce, losing a job.)
  • Had high fever.
  • Undergone an operation.
  • Recovering from an illness, especially if it included high fever.
  • Stopped taking birth-control pills.

Most people notice the excessive hair shedding a few months after the stressful event. As your body readjusts, the excessive shedding stops. Within six to nine months, the hair tends to regain its normal fullness.

Hair loss differs from hair shedding, hair loss occurs when something stops the hair from growing. The most common causes of hair loss include:

  • Hereditary hair loss.
  • The immune system overreacts.
  • Some drugs and treatments.
  • Hairstyles that pull on the hair.
  • Harsh hair-care products.
  • Compulsion to pull out one’s hair.

If you have hair loss, your hair will not grow until the cause stops. For example, people who undergo chemotherapy or radiation treatments often lose a lot of hair. When the treatment stops, their hair tends to regrow.

If you need help to determine if you are losing hair due to excessive shedding or if it’s hair loss, schedule an appointment with a dermatologist or consider doing a TrichoView Hair & Scalp Analysis. This test utilizes micro-magnification to examine hair and scalp health to better diagnose the current state of your hair and follicles. Remember, our users can get this Free Hair and Scalp analysis by filling out the form below. 

Last, but not least, check some tips shared by the Academy of Dermatology Association on how to style your hair without causing any damage!

Remember, our users can get a Free Hair and Scalp analysis by filling out the form below. 

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