My son will be 12 this August, I have been noticing lately on his pillow in the morning, there is some lose hair on it, I would say about 12 strands. I have never noticed this before and I would like to know if this is normal or something I should be concerned about. I was wondering if this could be related to puberty, his voice is starting to change or if it is coincidental? Thanks for your time.
It is normal to lose 100 to even as many as 200 hairs a day. Furthermore hair grows in cycles (see below) and you may notice more hair falling out at different phases and seasons of the month. In other words, hair growth and hair loss can be a cyclical phenomenon. Other factors certainly contribute to hair loss such as hormonal changes, malnutrition, etc. While your son’s hormonal changes of puberty may be coinciding with the hair loss, it is my opinion that 12 strands a day is perfectly normal.
Hair follicle cells have three phases of growth:
- Growth phase (Anagen phase) which lasts anywhere from 2 to 6 years. This is the phase where your hair is actively growing at approximately 10cm per year. 85% of hair is at this phase at any given time.
- Transitional phase (Catagen phase) which lasts about 2 weeks. This is the phase where the hair follicle shrinks and prepares to enter the resting phase.
- Resting phase (Telogen phase) which lasts about 1- 6 months. This is the phase where hair does not grow but stays attached to the follicle. Some hairs are shed at this phase, but at the end the hair follicle re-enters the growth phase to start the cycle over again. 10-15% of hairs are at this phase at any given time.