A little hair loss is perfectly normal. But if you think you're seeing a few more hairs in the shower drain than usual, there are a couple methods you can use to check for abnormal hair loss at home.
Photo by Paul Padshewscky.
The general consensus among hair loss experts is that an average person loses somewhere between 50 and 100 strands of hair per day — especially as you get older. It's natural for hair to fall out, so don't freak out at the first sign of hair loss. Your body regrows some of them. That said, if you want to test your own rate of hair loss, here are two ways to check:
- Pull test: Dr. James C. Marotta suggests you take about 60 hairs between your fingers and pull a little bit as you run your fingers through your hair. It's normal to see five to eight hairs in your hand. If you have 15 to 20 hairs, though, you could be losing more hair than normal.
- Comb test: Before shampooing, comb from the back of the top of your head forward to the front of the scalp for one minute. Do this while leaning over a lightly coloured bed sheet, then count the hairs on the sheet. Research suggests you should see about 10 hairs.
These tests will either give you peace of mind or give you a jump on reducing further hair loss. You can't tackle a problem until you know about it, right? That said, Vikas Sharma, MD, dermatologist and hair transplant surgeon, explains on Quora that you shouldn't stress too much about the actual number you lose and pay attention to any increases in those numbers over time. Don't drive yourself crazy counting hairs every day, but at least know what's normal for you so you can tell when it has gotten worse.