The Hair Clinic London

When Is Hair Loss Not Actually Hair Loss?

When we talk about male hair loss, it is important to note that not all hair loss is the same, and not all hair loss is permanent.

People can lose up to 100 hairs a day without even noticing, and this is typically part of a cycle of hairs growing, falling out and growing again.

However, for men worried about going bald and noticing more strands of hair in their brush, this can still be worrying, and there are plenty of options available if you are losing your hair prematurely, but there is a quite likely chance that there is another, less permanent explanation.


What Is Hair Shedding?

Hair loss is a condition that many people will experience at some point in their lives, but hair shedding is something everyone will experience every day.

Hair shedding is the final part of the final phase of hair growth. After the anagen (hair growing) phase and the catagen (transitional) phase, the telogen phase is the phase when hair follicles stop growing, the hair cells rest and typically the old hairs fall out.

It works much like any other regrowth cycle such as with skin cells, and since only around 100 hairs fall out of a scalp of around 100,000.

This part is natural, and whilst there are conditions that can speed up or disrupt this cycle such as telogen effluvium, hair shedding by itself does not necessarily mean that you are losing your hair and will not get it back, even if a thinning scalp can still be upset.


When Is Excessive Shedding Normal?

If you wait a few days between washing your hair, you might notice more hairs shedding than usual, but typically this is just a case of hairs being released but either staying loosely connected, knotted with other hairs or otherwise clinging on.

As well as this, there are studies that suggest that there is a seasonal element to hair loss, with people tending to lose more hairs at the start of autumn. 

Whilst it is not known for sure why this is the case, the prevailing theory is that hair is held on longer in summer to protect our scalps from the sun, before they are shed to allow thicker hairs to grow to keep our heads warm in winter.

There is also a link between stress and hair shedding, so worrying about hair loss can create a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy which can make a case of hair shedding look more severe than it is.

As well as this, naturally there are medications and procedures that can cause sudden hair loss, such as chemotherapy. This can cause hair to fall out very quickly, but once the course of treatment is completed, it will return just as quickly.

Often, concerning levels of hair shedding that you may need to consult someone about is not a case of shedding 101 hairs but instead noticing patches of thinning hair, a broader parting or hair coming out in clumps.