Fun fact: everyone loses hair in the shower. Okay, so it's not a "fun" fact, but it is nothing to freak out about. Normal hair loss varies from person to person, but the average person loses about 50 to 80 strands a day. Gentle care helps keep this to a minimum and, as an added bonus, makes our partners' feel less horrified when unclogging our hair from the shower drain.
If hair loss is excessive, there may be some health issues at play. "Excessive daily hair shedding (which is known as telogen effluvium) is not reliant on having a genetic predisposition, it occurs as the result of an internal imbalance or upset, such as a nutritional deficiency, severe stress, crash dieting or an illness," says Anabel, a leading Trichologist at the Philip Kingsley Clinic in London. Visiting a doctor is important to determine any next steps if there are issues. In the meantime, continue reading for the low-down on all the hairy details as to why our hair falls out when we wash it.
Natural cycle of hair growth and loss
Each strand of hair grows from a sac called the hair follicle, which has a
Common hair myths
Daily washing is not the cause of hair loss. Phew. Even though it would have been nice to have an excuse to skip the occasional shower. You may notice hair strands coming off easily after shampooing and conditioning. If you're using hair products with no harsh chemicals, this shedding is inevitable. The process becomes more apparent because weak hair sheds faster when it's wet and stimulated by massaging of the scalp. It's also normal to lose strands while combing, especially when it's wet as the strands are weaker and more prone to damage.
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What causes hair damage?
Attaining Pinterest-worthy hair usually comes with the use of hot hair tools such as a curling iron or a straightener. Sadly, this heat styling, the use of hot water, and chemicals, can damage the scalp and roots, triggering excessive hair loss. Also, frequent use of chemicals like hairspray blocks the natural flow of oxygen and nutrients to the roots. Hard scrubbing can disrupt hair follicles on the rest and growth phases.
Excessive and unnecessary shredding of hair can be due to factors like stress, diet, and illnesses.
Abnormal hair loss can also be attributed to the overproduction of the hormone called DHT (dihydrotestosterone), created by the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase, which impedes the natural hair growth cycle. This hormonal issue is believed to contribute to the permanent hair-loss condition known as alopecia.
The best treatments
Like any body part, hair needs nutrients and vitamins. Your regular hair masks each week might not be cutting it. Instead, nourish your hair with natural ingredients like coconut and aloe vera to protect and strengthen it. Proper washing improves blood circulation of follicles. For severe hair-loss problems, be sure to visit a dermatologist or doctor.
- The Hormone Help Center: Female Hair Loss (Alopecia)
- Hair Loss Learning Center: What Causes Hair Loss?
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- The hair’s life cycle
- The Stages of the Hair Growth Cycle Explained