If you’ve noticed a few hairs on your pillow in the morning, in the drain during your shower, or on your shirt throughout the day, don’t be alarmed. It’s totally normal. Of the hair that’s on your head, 90% of it is in the growing phase. The other 10% is in the resting phase—which means it will fall out to leave room for new hair growth.
“Hair loss is normal to a certain extent,” says Dr. Robert Dorin, DO, and board-certified hair transplantation surgeon. In fact, the average person loses between 50 and 100 strands of hair a day, and in some cases up to 150 strands. With almost 150,000 hairs on your head, that’s still less than .1%.
Nervous you’re losing an excessive amount? Dorin suggests a quick trick: “Take about 60 hairs in your hand and run your fingers through it. Usually between five and eight hairs will come out—this is normal.” (You’re running your hand through your hair right now, aren’t you?)
However, an excess of 15 hairs is not as common and you’re likely losing more hair than you should be. If you’re worried, there are some easy ways to stop hair shedding before consulting your doctor:
All About Hair Shedding
1. Chill out.
Excessive hair loss can be as simple as too much stress, says Dorin, so before you initiate medical help, look at your lifestyle. Are you stressed out? Try taking a short walk outside, deep breathing techniques, or even give a loved one a hug.
2. Reevaluate your hair routine.
If you’re seeing a lot of shedding especially in the shower, take a look at the beauty products around you. Use a sodium laureth sulfate-free shampoo, suggests Dorin, wash with luke warm water, and use a high quality reparative conditioner with each washing. When it comes to styling, don’t leave hair in styles with constant tension for long, like braids or in a tight pony.
3. Don’t discount a healthy diet.
Dorin suggests a balanced diet that includes essential vitamins (like D and E, omega-3 fatty acids, and biotin) and anti-oxidants to promote hair health, and plenty of vegetables in each meal.
4. Get a good night’s sleep.
While catching up on your zzz’s can’t reverse hair loss, it can help prevent premature hair loss conditions, says Dorin.
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