Normal Hair Loss:
We all lose about 150-200 hairs per day, out of the 100,000 contained by the average scalp. This is due to a few factors:
- Lifespan: The average lifespan of a single hair is 4.5 years; the hair then falls out and is replaced within 6 months by a new hair.
- Styling: Harsh chemicals used in some products can weaken and damage the follicles.
- Aging: After the age of 30 (and often before), men and women both start losing hair, though men tend to do so at a faster rate.
Hereditary Hair Loss:
- Gender: Hereditary, or “pattern” baldness, is much more common in men than in women.
- Age: By age 30, 1 in 4 men are balding; by age 60, 2 in 3 men are balding or are bald.
- Hormones: Pattern baldness is associated with testosterone; women who have more of it in their system as they age tend to lose (or, technically, fail to re-grow) more hair. This is also why more men experience pattern baldness.
Stress and Hair Loss:
- The more common type is called telogen effluvium. With this less severe type of hair loss, the hair stops growing and lies dormant, only to fall out 2 or 3 months later. Then it grows back within 6 to 9 months.
- The other type of stress-induced hair loss is known as alopecia areata, and involves a white blood cell attack on the hair follicles. With this type of hair loss, the hair also falls out within weeks (usually in patches), but can involve the entire scalp and even body hair. Hair may grow back on its own, but treatment may also be required.
Other Hair Loss Factors:
- Hormonal changes
- Pregnancy, childbirth, and birth control pill usage
- Nervous habits