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Hair Shedding vs. Hair Loss: How They Are Different

Several studies reveal that an average person sheds up to 100 hair strands per day. More than that, it can be due to an underlying medical condition. It can also be because of the wrong hair treatments that make you lose hair strands. Make sure to consult trusted hair experts before going to a Brazilian blowout salon or a permanent hair straightening salon.

Hair shedding may vary from person to person. Some people seem not to experience such since they have thicker or longer hair than others. Hair shedding is normal unless you see clumps of hair on your pillow or the shower drain. Also, is hair shedding the same with hair loss? Here’s what you need to know.

Hair shedding vs. Hair loss: What’s the difference?

Hair shedding and hair loss are commonly used interchangeably. However, these two are different from each other. Also known as telogen effluvium, hair shedding is common to those who experience stress and other factors such as:

  • Significant weight loss
  • Recent birth
  • Recent high fever
  • Recently gone through surgery
  • Not taking birth control pills for some time

As mentioned, stress is also a major factor for excessive hair shedding. But if you can overcome or adjust to a stressful situation, the alarming hair shedding usually stops without undergoing any surgery or medications.

Hair loss, on the other hand, is also known as anagen effluvium. It happens when hair stops growing due to several factors, such as:

  • Genetics
  • Reaction due to treatments or drugs/medication
  • Using hair products with harsh ingredients (ex. products used in a questionable Japanese hair straightening salon)
  • Using human hair extensions or clip-in hair extensions improperly (ex. not removing them after the recommended)
  • Hairstyles that pull your hair too much (ex. ponytail)

There are treatments for hair loss, but may not be as effective to everyone who suffers from it. Instead, you might need to consult a dermatologist to treat your hair loss as soon as possible. More so, dermatologists can determine if you are experiencing hair shedding or hair loss.

Hair life cycle

Like frogs and other living things, our hair also goes through a life cycle. It starts in the follicles, where it receives all the nutrients to ensure healthy hair growth. Our hair undergoes four stages of hair growth (and loss).

Stage 1: Anagen

This is also known as the “growth phase”. During this phase, our hair can grow as long as 3 feet. It can last for up to 7 years.

Stage 2: Catagen

Also known as the “transition phase”, it is when your follicles shrink and your hair starts to detach. Hence, the start of “hair shedding”. This phase lasts for up to 3 weeks.

Stage 3: Telogen

This is also known as the “resting phase”. It occurs when there is hair regrowth going on in the follicle and pushing the old hair. This entire phase lasts for 3 months.

Stage 4: Exogen

This last phase happens when the old hair falls off completely and the new hair grows continuously. At the same time, some of the hair naturally sheds off.

When to know if your hair fall is normal

There are two popular ways to know if you are experiencing normal hair fall: the pull test and the comb test. In the pull test, you get a couple of hair strands and gently comb them using your fingers. If you get more than 20 strands from it, it can indicate excessive hair fall.

In the comb test, find a bedsheet with a light color and, while leaning, comb your hair starting from the back down to the front. After combing, check for any loose strands. If there are more than 15 loose strands, it can be a sign of excessive hair fall.

Preventing hair fall

Here are tips you should do to lessen, if not prevent, hair fall.

  • Pay attention to your diet. Eat more protein and greens.
  • Take supplements such as vitamins A, B, C, D, zinc, iron, and selenium.
  • Consider taking biotin supplements, too. But make sure to consult a doctor before taking any health supplements.
  • Check first the hair products used before having a keratin treatment by a hairstylist.
  • Use a mild shampoo when washing your hair.
  • Use medications specially prescribed for hair fall (ex. Minoxidil, Propecia)
  • For quality hair treatments, trust the best salons that offer services such as Brazilian keratin straightening in Rockville and more!