August 8 2007, 1:33 pm PT | Posted in: Hair Loss Causes
Dear Dr. Rassman,
Thanks for taking the time to run this blog. It has been very helpful to me in understanding hair loss.
I’ve looked through the archives but have been unable to find any answers to a particular question I have. I know that it’s normal to lose between 100 to 150 hairs per day. Of course, the most obvious times for discovering this hair loss is when taking a shower (looking at your hands after putting shampoo in hair, seeing the hairs on the shower floor) or when waking up from a night’s sleep and seeing hairs on the pillow. By counting these hairs, I suppose it gives some indication of how many hairs one is losing, but hair must be falling out throughout the day as well. My question is what percentage, on average, of normal daily hair loss falls out during hair washing? It seems like I expend about 50% of my daily allowance of normal hair loss in the shower. What a amount of hair loss is normal when washing hair, in your estimation? I think knowledge of this might help alleviate some anxiety about whether the amount of hair loss I’m experiencing is normal. Since it’s difficult to know how much hair is falling out during other parts of the day, it would at least be helpful to know how much is normal during those times when hair loss is easier to guage.
Also, I know that you recommend a miniturization study to truly determine whether atypical hair loss is occurring, but, to my knowledge, I don’t have access to anyone who can do such a study anywhere near where I live. So, I’m hoping your response to this question will give me some indication about the normality of my hair loss.
Thanks for your time and efforts.
Hair shedding is uniform, but clearly when you massage the hair (in the shower) or abrade it on your pillow, the loose hair that is about to fall out, will fall out a few hours ahead of your genetic schedule. That is why we suggest that you do not really rub hard in the shower and use a wide-tonged hair brush for combing, as it does not pull on the hair. I am sure that if you paid attention to what comes off in the comb or on your fingers in the shower, you are seeing more for that period of time when compared to never washing your hair.