How Much Hair Loss is Normal? We Asked

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101dalmations/E+/Getty Images

101dalmations/E+/Getty Images

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?

Seeing a lot of hair whirling down the shower drain? Don’t freak—yet. “Hair loss in women is, to a certain extent, normal,” advises leading New York-based hair restoration specialist Dr. James C. Marotta. “The average woman loses between 50 and 100 strands per day, even up to 150 in some cases.”

But if you really feel like you’ve started to lose an excessive amount of hair each day, Dr. Marotta recommends this trick: “Take about 60 hairs between your fingers and pull, running your fingers through your hair. Usually between 5 and 8 hairs, which is normal,” he says. “An excess of 15 hairs, however, is not as common and means you are losing more hair than you should be.”

Here’s the deal, says Dr. Marotta: “For most, 90 percent of the hair on your head is in the growing phase, while about 10 percent of your hair is in the ‘resting’ phase, meaning that 10 percent 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 percent of the hair on your head is in the ‘resting’ phase,” he explains. “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.”

Even if you find that you are losing quite a bit of hair, it’s not necessarily a cause for concern. “The cause of excess hair loss can be as simple as too much stress or a lack of vitamins,” Dr. Marotta says, “so it’s important ot take a look at your lifestyle when hair loss becomes an issue.” He does warn, however, that “hair loss can also become prevalent due to hormonal, immunological, and infectious issues,” so no matter what, a trip to the doctor is never a bad idea, if only to ease your anxieties.

Read more from Daily Makeover: Tricks to Disguise Thinning Hair

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