How Much Hair Loss is Normal?

Woman brushing hair

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Don’t worry, stray hairs in your brush is completely normal.

In our Q&A series, beauty experts address your most bewildering issues. Have a beauty-related quandary of your own? Submit your question in the comments below or via Twitter.

Q: How much hair loss is normal?

A: “Hair loss in women is, to a certain extent, normal,” says New York-based leading hair restoration specialist Dr. James C. Marotta. “The average woman loses between 50 and 100 strands of hair per day, even up to 150 in some cases.” So don’t let those stray hairs in the shower drain scare you.

“If you are nervous that you are losing an excessive amount of hair per day, you can try this trick: Take about 60 hairs between your fingers and pull, running your fingers through your hair.  Usually between 5 and 8 hairs will come out—this is normal. An excess of 15 hairs, however, is not as common and means you are losing more hair than you should be.

“For most, 90% of the hair on your head is in the growing phase, while about 10% of your hair is in the ‘resting’ phase, meaning that 10% will fall out and leave room for new hair growth within a certain period of time. If you are losing more than 15 hairs per pull, it likely means more than 10% of the hair on your head is in the ‘resting’ phase. While this still may not be a true cause for concern, it would be a good idea to ask an expert about what to do to halt this process.

“The cause of excessive hair loss can be as simple as too much stress or a lack of vitamins, so it is important to take a look at your lifestyle when hair loss becomes an issue.  However, hair loss can also become prevalent due to hormonal, immunological, and infectious issues, so it is important to see a doctor for treatment in these cases.”

Read more: Tricks to Disguise Thinning Hair

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