Hair Loss: What’s Normal For Women?

Have you ever run a brush through you hair and found some strands caught in the bristles of your brush? Perhaps you notice a few strands on your pillow when you wake up in the morning? If this sounds like your life, don’t panic this just means that you’re losing some hair every day, just like everyone else. According to Dr. Svetlana Kogan, the average woman should expect to lose around 100 hairs a day.

However, if you feel like you’re losing a lot of hair at a rapid pace, you might want to monitor your hair loss, as it might be a symptom of a bigger problem.

Over-styling your hair
If you think your hair loss is from styling your hair with too much heat or too many products, you might be right. Mike Van Den Abbeel, hairstylist at Mosaic Hair Studio & Blowout Bar says he’s seen his fair share of hair breakage and loss among younger and older women. He said that aggressive styling, too much heat and or too many chemical services on the hair can definitely take its toll on hair causing breakage.

However, hair breakage doesn’t necessarily mean hair loss. If hair breakage is usually happening mid shaft to the ends of your hair, you likely just need a hair treatment to repair the damage to your hair. However, if you dye your hair frequently, Van Den Abbeel said that over processing your hair can cause hair breakage much closer to the scalp. Watch out ” enough of this kind of breakage can make it look like you’re losing a lot of hair, and in extreme cases, you might need an emergency pixie haircut.

You need to chill
Besides being the reason you ate a whole box of Pizza Pockets last night, stress can also be a factor in why you’re losing your hair. Several of my clients are top executives and we can always tell when the stress at work is higher than normal, said Van Den Abbeel. The hair is a barometer of what’s going on in a person’s life. Dr. Kogan agrees.

She said stress increases cortisol levels which leads to hair loss, among other issues. So if you’ve been feeling especially stressed lately, and you’re noticing more hair loss than usual, you might want to try and relax. It’s easier said than done, said Dr. Kogan. But if you don’t find a way to de-stress, you could have worse physical issues than excessive hair loss in the future. Take this is as your cue to bust out a bath bomb and a glass of wine to unwind.

You should probably see a doctor
Other reasons you might be losing more hair than usual could be a vitamin D deficiency, Hypothyroidism (low functioning thyroid), or perhaps you’ve just had a baby and are experiencing postpartum hair loss. These conditions can definitely be remedied, but only if you’re proactive and seek medical advice from your physician. If you wait too long, your hair loss could just get worse.
If you begin to notice bald spots forming on your scalp, or perhaps if you’re starting to see your hairline receding ” it is probably time to see a doctor. If you’re losing this much hair, a doctor with typically run all the hormones tests, vitamin levels, and run a heavy metal toxicity panel to figure out what’s going on, said Dr. Kogan.

Reversing the damage
So you’ve visited the doctor, and they tell you that it’s definitely excessive hair loss. There may be ways to reverse the damage that’s been done. Unfortunately, opinions differ on what does and doesn’t work. I’ve seen a multitude of hair regrowth products, and while the vitamins and topical serums help most clients are inconsistent in their regiment and stop before any benefits can be seen, said Van Den Abbeel. If you want to see results, I tell my clients that they have to give it a minimum of three months before they can determining the effectiveness of the product they’re trying.

If three months is too long to experiment with hair loss treatments, Dr. Kogan said there are treatments that actually work. For example, Vitamin D, appropriately dosed based on the results of a blood test, will work for people with a real vitamin D deficiency. She also said that if your hair loss is being caused by a hormonal issue, that can be fixed with medications and supplements ” again, after reviewing the results of blood work to determine the real cause of your hair loss.

She did say that you should exercise caution when using Biotin supplements. I don’t think they work as well as people say they do, but it’s a multimillion dollar industry that people are continually buying into. As far as shampoos go, Dr. Kogan said that it’s best to use ones that are gentle and do less harm, as not to worsen your condition. Unfortunately, though, she said that most of these shampoos don’t have active ingredients and may not actually promote hair growth.

Keep an eye out
You know your body. If you feel like something’s wrong and that you might be losing more hair than normal, it’s better to see your doctor sooner rather than later, to make sure that you prevent any more damage from being done.

Tags: Beauty, biotin, hair loss, hair styling, Health, Stress, top story, topstory

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