Interesting fact: the average scalp has around 100 000 strands of hair at any given time.
The natural process of hair growth sees that strands grow about half an inch per month. After growing anywhere from 6 months to 2 years, the strand then stops and rests before falling out. As it happens, about 85% of the hair on your head right now is actually growing. The remainder is just hanging out before it’s ready to drop off.
So, let’s just make this clear: your hair should be falling out. It’s normal and natural to lose up to 100 strands a day!
There are, however, causes that can make you lose more than the expected rate. If you think you’re noticing more hair in your shower plug than you ought to be, here are a few factors that could be messing up your hair cycle!
Have you heard of this little thing? It’s an incredibly important gland that controls certain hormone levels in your body. It is responsible for the production of the hormones that regulate you hair production. If your thyroid levels are too low or too high, it can throw the growth cycle of your hair out the window. If you think you might be showing signs of high or low thyroid levels, head to the doctor and ask for a blood test to get them checked.
Anaemia is caused by the lack of red blood cells which we need as they carry oxygen around the body. As well as symptoms such as tiredness, an irregular heartbeat and a pallid complexion, this condition can also cause hair loss. Usually it’s caused by your body not getting enough, or unable to absorb iron. You can try and up your dose of iron in your diet. A supplement is often necessary to get your levels on track. Do not start taking a supplement, however, unless advised by your doctor. It can be just as detrimental when your iron levels are too high.
Believe it or not, pregnancy can affect the hormones which tell the hair that is ‘resting’ to fall out. This means that, during pregnancy, we have more hair build up waiting to fall out. Once we give birth and our levels return to normal, all of the hair that is no longer growing begins to fall out. Really, you are not losing any more hair than you would have, you are just losing it all at once, rather than it being spaced out.
Alopecia areata is when the immune system attacks healthy hair follicles by mistake. As a result, your hair falls out in patches. This can be scary and upsetting but the effects aren’t usually permanent. While we aren’t certain what causes auto-immune issues, it could be triggered by infections or viruses, some medications or certain environmental factors.
Excessive hair loss might be as simple as your body showing physical signs of stress. Whether it is physical or mental stress, out bodies can shed more than usual. Rather than stressing yourself even more about it, try to tackle the original source of concern. The effects on your hair won’t be permanent; it should have returned to normal after 6-8 months
The contraceptive pill can often be responsible for hair loss as it contains hormones to suppress ovulation. This can also effect the hair. Other medications that might be leading to thinning hair can be blood thinners and those treating high blood pressure, arthritis and depression.
Tight hair styles.
It is possible to put your hair under physical stress by constantly wearing tight hair styles. Styling such as cornrows, tight ponies or buns can irritate the scalp and lead to shedding.
We all have periods where it seems we’re seeing our hair everywhere but on our heads! I’m constantly amazed by how much can come off my head as I run conditioner through my locks. Just remember that it can be normal, you just need to be aware of what’s normal for you so that you can notice any changes.
Image Credit: Cath Belle Instagram