Hair Shedding Vs Hair Loss and How to Tell the Difference

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay – kaboompics

The moment that you start noticing more hair in your brush or falling in your sink can give you reason for concern about hair loss. However, you could just be shedding more hairs than usual vs. hair loss, which is another story. Therefore, let me explain how to distinguish between the two because your hair situation may not be as dire as you originally thought.

For the most part, it is common for everyone to lose hair. In fact, the average is between 50 and 100 strands fall out per day. When you start finding lots more hairs than what the American Academy of Dermatology set as normal with those figures or your hair loss lasts longer than three months, which is a complete hair growth cycle, then this time to consider making an appointment with your doctor. Unless you recently had a baby the shedding could last even four months because of what your body is going through with decreasing estrogen levels.

What can cause this shedding are things such as excessive stress, considerable weight loss, poor diet, pregnancy, high fever and a bout of illness, following an operation, tight pull-back hairstyles to stopping some medications like birth-control pills. According to AARP, other medications also can contribute to hair loss that might explain what is happening to your scalp such as beta-blockers, blood thinners, antidepressants, drugs to reduce cholesterol, certain nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen for example and hormone-related drugs like thyroid medicines, hormone replacement therapies or steroids.

Unlike losing hair to shedding, the hair can grow back in time once you can discover the probable cause. Something as simple as worrying less and learning to cope better with stress or changing to a different medication may be all that is needed. The best thing that you can do is be patient and keep a check on the thinning area. In fact, you may want to take photos periodically if the shedding keeps getting worse for when you visit your doctor for an evaluation.

On the other hand, losing hair is destruction of hair follicles called alopecia that causes scarring.
There is also another form referred to as non-scarring alopecia where the hair loss can vary in different spots on the head, which sometimes can grow back once diagnosed at times with nutritional supplements or stopping certain medications. Though alopecia is a result of heredity, ethnic group or race, it can be unpredictable when it comes to regrowing hair. But, topical treatments such as minoxidil or corticosteroids to low-level laser light therapy using red light may spur the return of hair.

Regardless of hair shedding vs. hair loss, this problem is never something that we desire. It is just a part of life that we often have to deal with. Hopefully, the information presented here will help give you more insight and answers that can make a difference. Please know that this post was not meant to diagnose because only a medical professional can do that.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.