Why Does My Hair Fall Out When I Wash It?

By Contributing Writer

You might be alarmed to see your hair fall out during washing. However, usually, there's no need to fret over your wet tresses. It's perfectly normal to lose about 50 to 80 strands of hair a day. While this number varies by day and every person, there may be underlying health issues if hair loss is excessive. But for most people, gentle care will keep your hair fall at a minimum.

Woman combing her wet hair
credit: Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images


Hair fall is a natural occurrence. Each hair strand grows from a sac called the hair follicle. A hair follicle has a lifespan of approximately four to five years. Follicles undergo an innate life cycle that consists of three phases. These are growth, resting and shredding. On the final year, the follicle enters the resting cycle and stops growing. When hair strands fall, a new growth cycle follows. About 90 percent of your hair follicles are in the growth phase while a small percentage is intended to fall at a given time.


You may notice hair strands coming off easily after massaging your hair with shampoo and conditioner. If you are using hair products with no harsh chemicals, then you can be assured that the shredding is bound to happen. The process just becomes more apparent because weak hair shreds faster when it is wet and stimulated by your massaging. It's also normal to lose strands even while combing or doing other activities other than washing or showering. Daily washing is not the cause of hair fall.


Harsh conditions, such as heat from blow-drying and the use of hot water, and chemicals can cause damage to the scalp and hair roots, triggering excessive hair fall. The frequent use of chemicals such as hair strengtheners and sprays blocks the natural flow of oxygen and nutrients from the roots. Hard scrubbing of your hair can disrupt hair follicles on the rest and growth phases. Anything done or used excessively can be harmful to your hair.


If you exceed the estimated number of normal hair loss, it's better to investigate further. Excessive and unnecessary shredding of hair can be due to factors such as 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. Such occurrence is believed to contribute to the permanent hair loss condition known as alopecia.


Treating hair entails getting into habits that promote healthy hair growth. Like any body part, hair needs nutrients and vitamins. Nourish your hair with natural substances such as coconut and aloe vera that protect and strengthen it. Proper washing and use of hair products improve blood circulation of follicles. For severe hair loss problems, there are several treatment products available in the market. However, to avoid making guesses and wasting time, seek the assistance of a dermatologist.