The other day, I had someone who emailed me and said something like: “How much hair does a normal person lose when they shampoo because I’ve had a lot of hair coming out when I wash and condition my hair. Should I be worried about this? How much is normal to lose? Should I not shampoo as often if it’s thinning out my hair?” I’ll answer these concerns in the following article.
Some Hair Loss Is Normal When Shampooing: Most people shed some hairs when washing their hair. Through the process of washing and massaging your scalp, the hairs that were in the resting phase are massaged out. These were going to shed anyway. There’s really nothing you can do to keep them in your head once their cycle has changed. Had they not come out through shampooing, they would’ve come out when you were brushing, combing, styling, or manipulating your mane. So seeing a small circle of spend hairs can well be normal, but seeing an amount that would clog the drain or is excessively high for what is typical of you may not be.
Normal Daily Hair Shed: Dermatologists mostly say that losing 50 hairs per day is nothing to worry about. And, up to 100 strands per day can be OK during certain high shed seasons or during short periods of stress. However, if you’re in the 100 per day range for a prolonged period, you might have something else going on. Keep in mind that every one has their own threshold for what is typical. Redheads and folks with course hair will typically be higher shedders than blondes or those with fine hair. Most people have a general idea what is typical or worrisome for them.
But, this number isn’t just from shampooing. For example, if you lose 75 during shampooing, you still have to consider what falls out during combing, styling, or just what comes out over the course of a day. It’s really the total daily amount that counts, not just what happens when you wash your hair.
Should You Limit Shampooing If You’re Losing Too Much Hair?: This is a very common question. It’s hard to see all this hair going down the drain. You figure that you might cut down on your net loss if you cut back. I’ve even had people tell me that they switched to dry shampoo to spare them from having to see all the hair on their hands. I understand this, but it’s a bad idea.
Many conditions that make hair fall are based on the fact that your scalp is affected by DHT and androgens or that your follicles are malnourished or being clogged or choked off. You can not afford to aggravate this by not stimulating or cleaning your scalp enough. And honestly, follicles that go to the resting phase are going to inevitably shed eventually. So you may as well keep your scalp healthy as there is nothing you can do anyway.
You can however, be very gentle when you perform this task. Many people tell me that it’s the conditioner that makes the shedding its worst. It can be tempting to skip the conditioner but if you do, you’ll hair will just look flyaway and more flat – and therefore more thin. I would suggest using a very lightweight conditioner and then thoroughly rinsing it out BEFORE you wash your hair. This will allow you volume and manageability without as much loss.