Man using a brush in the bathroom
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An estimated 50 million Americans, both men and women, are affected by permanent or temporary hair loss. For men, it can start while they are in their twenties, while for women it usually begins after menopause. Look at your hair brush or comb to determine how much hair you are losing.

Designate a brush or comb that only you use. Sharing your brush with others, such as your kids or spouse, can make matters look worse than they really are. If you’re trying to determine how much hair you’re losing, you may not only be seeing your hair, but the lost hair of others.

Clean your brush or comb of old hair. Starting with a clean brush daily will allow you to see how much fresh hair is being lost.

Compare daily amounts of hair that is pulled from the brush or comb. You may keep the hair collected from your brush to judge against several days' worth. If you don’t see any increase, it may just be your imagination. If you see an increase in hair left in the brush or comb, you may be suffering from hair loss.

wooden comb image by Mikhail Olykainen from

Remind yourself that some hair loss is OK. The average estimated amount of hair lost daily can be 100 hairs or more. Having some hair in your brush may not indicate unusual hair loss. If your brush looks like a small wig, however, this can be a sign of hair loss.

Gauge how long you've been noticing increased amounts of hair in your brush or comb. If you only see a large amount for a few days, it may be a temporary spell of hair loss. If it's occurring for months on end, you may be experiencing permanent hair loss.

Talk to your doctor. There are many causes of hair loss, some of which are temporary. For example, prescription drugs like blood thinners may cause the problem. Birth control pills and stress can also lead to increased amounts of hair loss. Sometimes, if you stop taking such medications, or your stress levels decrease, your hair loss will slow down.