We Asked A Doctor: How Much Hair Loss Is Normal?

February 4, 2016 by Lisa Fogarty
shefinds | beauty

Hair loss happen. Whether you’re going through a particularly stressful time in your life or have recently given birth, changes in your body can often contribute to a more significant shedding of hair then you’re typically used to. But that doesn’t make the experience any less harrowing–particularly when you have no idea why your hair is falling out in the first place or whether you’re going to go completely bald before it stops.

Adding to the hair loss confusion is the fact that we’re told it’s normal to lose a certain amount of hair every day. But how much is too much? And what, exactly, could be contributing to more shedding than normal? Dr. Jill Waibel, owner of Miami Dermatology & Laser Institute, is here with answers.

“As women age, hair will begin to gradually thin,” says Waibel. “If a woman will have hair loss difficulties, it becomes apparent in her 20s or 30s. On an average day, it is very common for a woman to lose up to 100 hairs on their scalp. When a women is losing up to 300 hairs on any given day, this is what we would consider as abnormal. At that rate, I would advise following up with a board-certified dermatologist to discuss treatment options and diagnosis of hair loss.”

Once you consult a board certified dermatologist, you will learn there are many reasons why hair loss is occurring, Waibel says. Blood tests can determine whether you are experiencing an iron deficiency (anemia), hormonal changes (such as pregnancy, menopause, menstrual cycle, etc.) or thyroid disorders, she says.

Other, less common, culprits could include: an overproduction of the male hormone androgen, which is common with polycystic ovarian syndrome, says Dr. William D. Yates, a board certified hair restoration surgeon in Chicago. A genetic female pattern hair loss called Androgenetic Alopecia could also be the cause of your hair loss.  “This is inherited from either parent,” Yates says. “Women with female pattern hair loss typically maintain their hairline (unlike their male counterparts) and thin in the front to mid-scalp in a christmas tree pattern.”

Medical treatments for hair loss include minoxidil 5% topical solution, Low Level Light Laser Therapy which stimulates circulation to the hair follicle in the scalp and increases ATP (adenosinetriphosphate), a cellular energy source and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy and Stem Cell Therapy, Yates says.

If you’re still unsure whether your hair loss is over the top, consult a doctor as soon as possible so you can find a solution and free your mind of worry. “Thinning hair for women can be devastating, frustrating and emotional,” Yates says. “Finding the right physician to help diagnose and treat the hair loss is critical but challenging. However, more and more solutions and resources are becoming available to women who suffer from hair loss. As with any other disease process, the sooner you seek treatment, the better the outcome will be.”

For more beauty tips and news, check out the best conditioner for dry hair and the right hair brush for your hair type.

[Photo: A Beautiful Mess]



Lisa Fogarty is a lifestyle writer and reporter based in New York who covers health, wellness, relationships, sex, beauty, and parenting.

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