Shedding is a natural process that happens to everyone, but losing hair can be quite scary. And let’s be honest, not everyone who loses hair will end up looking like a movie star (take Vin Diesel—have you seen the man’s muscles?). So how much shedding is considered “normal,” and when should we start worrying?
Most people have about 100,000 hairs on their heads and lose around 100 to 125 hairs per day (imagine trying to count each one). Alopecia, the medical term for normal hair loss, occurs because scalp hair grows in cycles. Each hair follicle undergoes a growth stage that lasts two to eight years, followed by a two-month resting stage where no growth occurs. Then, the hair strand falls out and a new one begins to grow in its place.
For a healthy person, this means between 80 and 90 percent of hair follicles are growing hair at one time, while the rest of the follicles are resting or shedding. Losing more than that? Something could be wrong. When the loss exceeds 125 hairs per day, it’s no longer just considered “shedding.” It could be a condition called “telogen effluvium,” when something pushes more hairs into the resting phase, says Adriana Schmidt, M.D., a dermatologist at Santa Monica Dermatology Medical Group. The…