How Much Hair Loss is Normal?

How Much Hair Loss is Normal?
The average person loses 50 to 100 strands of loose hair per day. Losing more hair without regrowing new hair can be a sign of a medical issue or significant stress.

Share This Post

We all notice stray hair strands lying around from time to time, but no one wants to experience more hair loss than usual. Despite the fact that hair loss is extremely common in people of both genders, it is a source of embarrassment for many, and most people want to prevent hair loss if possible. 

If you’ve noticed more loose hair than usual lately, you may be wondering how much hair loss is normal. 

How much hair loss is normal?

Everyone has noticed strands of hair caught in their hairbrush or in the drain in the shower when shampooing their hair. While some hair loss is normal, we all want a thick, full head of hair, so seeing too much loose hair can be nerve wracking. 

The good news is that everyone will lose some amount of hair each day no matter how young or old you are or what your gender is, but how much hair loss is normal?

The American Academy of Dermatologists reports that the average person will lose between 50 and 100 hairs per day. Women tend to lose a lot of hair than men each day due in part to styling choices that can encourage hair loss, such as tight ponytails or braids, as well as the use of hair dye and other products that can damage and cause breakage to the hair. 

Of course, no one is going around counting their loose hairs, but normal hair loss generally occurs in the form of individual strands rather than clumps of hair. If you start to notice more hair than usual left over on your pillow in the morning, clogging up the shower drain, or caught in your hairbrush, you may be experiencing abnormal hair loss. 

What is the difference between hair loss and hair shedding?

When you think about the stray hairs you find lying around, it’s easy to think of this as hair loss. However, a more accurate description would be hair shedding. 

Hair shedding is the loss of hair while hair growth is still occurring. When more than 100 hairs are lost per day on a regular basis, it can be said that a person is experiencing a medical condition called telogen effluvium, or excessive hair shedding. 

Excessive hair shedding is usually attributed to one of the following factors:

  • Significant weight loss (20 pounds or more)
  • Experiencing significant emotional or mental stress, such as job loss or divorce
  • Surgical recovery
  • Discontinuation of birth control
  • Childbirth
  • High fever
  • Recovery from serious illness

For the most part, people who experience excessive hair shedding may notice increased hair loss several months after the onset of a stressful event, such as childbirth. 

For example, women who have recently given birth typically find that they experience significant hair loss beginning about two months after childbirth and lose the most hair about four months after childbirth. When the physical or emotional stressor is resolved, the hair usually grows back and normal fullness is restored.

By contrast, hair loss occurs when the hair falls out but no growth occurs because something is stopping new hair from growing. Hair loss is referred to by the medical term anagen effluvium, and it usually does not resolve on its own without some action on the part of the individual experiencing the hair loss. 

Common causes of hair loss include:

  • Hereditary conditions such as male pattern baldness or female pattern baldness
  • Certain medications and medical treatments
  • Hairstyles that pull on the hair, such as cornrows or tight ponytails
  • Trichotillomania, a compulsion to pull out one’s hair from the body or scalp
  • Autoimmune disorders and immune system reactions
  • Harsh hair care products or treatments such as heat styling

If you suspect that you’re experiencing hair loss, it’s important to speak to your doctor about what you’re experiencing before you make any changes to your medications or daily routine.

What are the differences between hair loss in men and women?

There are some important differences between the causes of hair loss for men and women

As noted previously, women tend to lose more hair in general than men do. This is due in part to hair styling choices and the use of certain products or dyes that can exacerbate hair loss, but another major reason why women lose their hair is hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, after childbirth, and during menopause. Hair loss that occurs after childbirth is usually temporary and will begin to resolve itself within six to nine months, but hair loss that occurs after menopause may be more stubborn. 

More than half of women will experience signs of female pattern baldness in their life cycle, also known as androgenic alopecia, by the age of 70. Women will typically notice thinning hair all over the scalp, while men are more likely to experience a receding hairline or thinning hair on the crown of the head.

Male pattern baldness, also referred to as androgenic alopecia, is a genetic condition that affects the vast majority of men. Although many people think that hair loss only occurs as you age, up to 25 percent of men who struggle with male pattern baldness begin losing their hair before the age of 21. By age 50, approximately 85 percent of men with male pattern baldness will have experienced significant hair loss. 

Male pattern baldness primarily causes hair loss on the crown of the head and along the hairline, with many men retaining hair around the sides and back of the head. 

YouTube player

What treatments are available for hair loss?

If you find that you are experiencing significant hair loss rather than hair shedding, there are lots of ways to treat your condition depending on what is causing it. As noted previously, the vast majority of significant hair loss is caused by hereditary conditions like male pattern baldness and female pattern baldness, and there are plenty of treatments that can help.

Thickening Shampoos and Conditioners

You already wash your hair, so one of the easiest switches you can make is to try using  shampoos and conditioners that are formulated to prevent hair loss and thicken your existing hair. In order to determine your best options when it comes to different thickening shampoos, look for saw palmetto on the ingredient list.

Saw palmetto is a natural extract that works to lower levels of DHT, a male sex hormone that can accumulate in the scalp of men who are suffering from male pattern baldness. Rising levels of DHT cause the hair follicles to shrink, which makes the hair fall out and prevents the new growth cycle. 

When you choose a shampoo that contains DHT, you may be promoting hair growth by lowering the levels of DHT in the scalp to prevent additional hair loss, removing build up around the hair follicles to allow for new hair growth, and increasing the volume of your current hair for a fuller look. 

Dietary Supplements

Some hair loss can be attributed to nutritional deficiencies, so addressing any existing nutrient gaps in your diet is an important step to preventing hair loss and encouraging regrowth. B-complex vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc, selenium, and iron have been shown to contribute to healthy hair according to multiple studies

Vitamin B7, also known as biotin, is perhaps the best known vitamin that contributes to hair health. In addition to contributing to hair health, biotin also promotes the health of the skin and nails. 

Keratin is a type of protein that makes up the structure of the hair, skin, and nails, and biotin makes up the majority of the infrastructure of keratin. 

When you don’t receive an adequate supply of biotin, your hair may fall out faster and you may notice that your hair, skin, and nails become more weak, brittle, and dry.

Topical Treatments

Although invasive procedures like hair transplants are well known, you don’t have to jump straight to a surgical procedure in order to address your hair loss. Many people experience success and hair regrowth by using topical products like minoxidil, which is sold under the brand name Rogaine. 

You don’t need a prescription in order to get minoxidil. The treatment is available in both a solution and a foam and it can be purchased online through a number of telehealth companies as well as most big box stores and pharmacies. Topical minoxidil has been repeatedly proven to be effective in a variety of clinical studies conducted since the 1980s. 

Approximately 40 percent of patients treated with a solution containing 5 percent minoxidil will experience new hair growth, according to clinical studies. Another study indicated that topical minoxidil reduced hair loss and bald spots in 62 percent of men.

Prescription Hair Loss Medication

Depending on the cause of your hair loss and your gender and medical history, you may be able to use a prescription medication to treat your hair loss. Finasteride is a prescription medication that is available in both oral and topical forms and works to treat hair loss caused by male pattern baldness. Some men are not able to take oral finasteride due to their medical history or experiences with certain side effects, but some may be able to use the topical form of the treatment with no issues. 

Finasteride is an extremely effective treatment option, but it is currently only approved for use in men. Ketoconazole is a prescription shampoo that can help treat seborrheic dermatitis, and anecdotal evidence suggests it can sometimes be used off-label to encourage hair regrowth.

Summary

It is normal to experience some hair loss every day, and most people’s hair sheds naturally between 50 and 100 loose strands each day. 

However, if you notice that your hair is falling out more than normal and new hair does not seem to be growing in, you may want to speak to a doctor about the possible causes of your hair loss and the best treatment options.

References, Studies and Sources:
https://www.healthline.com/health/how-much-hair-loss-is-normal 
https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/hair-loss/insider/shedding 
https://health.clevelandclinic.org/hair-loss-in-women-when-should-you-worry/ 
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs13555-018-0278-6 
https://www.jaad.org/article/S0190-9622(03)03692-2/fulltext 

We are committed to providing our readers with only trusted resources and science-based studies with regards to medication and health information. 

Disclaimer: This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. If you suspect medical problems or need medical help or advice, please talk with your healthcare professional.

Share This Post

Pharmacists.org Discount Club

Get Started for $1.

  • Cheapest cash pay option at your retail pharmacy
  • 1,000s of drugs below $10.00 that can beat your co-pay
  • Start for $1 for your first month. Cancel anytime. 
  • Tell us your meds, we tell you the cheapest options.

Popular Destinations

Recent Articles

Nutrafol Review: Are These Hair Supplements Effective?

Nutrafol is a telehealth company that offers a range of hair supplements for both men and women. Are these supplements effective, though?


We review and include products we think are useful for our community. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a commission. For more info, please read our ad policy, content principles and vetting policy.

Read More »

Hers Hair Review: Are Their Hair Loss Products Effective?

Hers is one telemedicine company looking to provide women with a solution for hair loss. The products found in their Hers Complete Hair Kit look to do just that, from hair regrowth to hair strengthening. 

But are their products effective? Do these products actually work? This review contains everything you need to know to answer these questions.


We review and include products we think are useful for our community. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a commission. For more info, please read our ad policy, content principles and vetting policy.

Read More »

Pap Smears: Everything You Need to Know

If you are a woman, there's a good chance that you will need to get a pap smear at some point in your life. Short for Papanicolaou smear, a pap smear is a simple cervical cancer screening test that helps your doctor detect abnormal cells on the cervix. In this article, we will answer all of your questions about pap smears and discuss what they are, why they are performed, and who needs them. We'll also talk about the preparation involved and how the test is performed and even explain how to interpret the results of your pap smear.

Read More »

Share On:

More To Explore

Nutrafol Review: Are These Hair Supplements Effective?

Nutrafol is a telehealth company that offers a range of hair supplements for both men and women. Are these supplements effective, though?

We review and

Prenatal Vitamins for Hair Growth: Do They Work?

Many women who aren’t expecting take prenatal vitamins for longer hair and stronger nails. This guide from Pharmacists.org explains if this strategy works.

How to Get Rid of a Yeast Infection in 24 Hours

The last thing you want to hear when you have a yeast infection is that it might take a while to cure it– everyone

Hers Hair Review: Are Their Hair Loss Products Effective?

Hers is one telemedicine company looking to provide women with a solution for hair loss. The products found in their Hers Complete Hair Kit

Pap Smears: Everything You Need to Know

If you are a woman, there's a good chance that you will need to get a pap smear at some point in your life.

What is Fluconazole: Uses, Side Effects, Dosages, and Interactions

Fluconazole is an antifungal medication commonly used for the treatment of fungal infections like yeast infections, fungal meningitis, athlete’s foot, and more.

What Is Nystatin Cream Used For?

If you find yourself wondering what is nystatin cream used for, you may be surprised by the applications it has to a very common

More Than PMS: Could it Be PMDD?

PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder) is a more severe form of PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome). The symptoms can cause extreme mood shifts that negatively impact relationships,

A ScalpMed Review: Is ScalpMed Legit and How To Use

ScalpMed is no more a mystery. Read full article and find in depth overview of hair regrowth product. Article includes real-life examples.

We review and

Perimenopause 101: How to Create Hormonal Harmony

Perimenopause is a transitional time before the onset of menopause. Most women experience symptoms related to perimenopause in their 40’s and 50’s, but sometimes

What are the side effects of Midol?

Midol is a common and popular brand of painkiller that many women use to treat their headaches. Unfortunately, there are some side effects associated

What is Estradiol: Uses, Costs, and Dosage

Estradiol, sometimes referred to as oestradiol (E2), is the strongest of the three estrogens that are naturally produced in the body.

Midol and You: What is Midol, What is in it, and How does it work?

Midol is a brand of medication used to treat pain and menstrual cramps. There are several different types of Midol, each with their own

For Thinning Hair: Minoxidil Foam

Here is your guide on minoxidil foam, its use, and whether the product is right for you. 

What is Vestibular Papillomatosis and How Do I Treat It?

Vestibular papillomatosis is a condition that occurs in women on their vulva, which are the external parts of female genitalia. These tiny bumps can

Does Minoxidil work?

With so many promises of stronger, longer, thicker hair it may be difficult to know whether minoxidil, a topical hair growth treatment, really works.

Surprising Reasons Why Women Lose Their Hair (And How You Can Prevent It)

The average adult head has about 100,000 to 150,000 hairs and loses up to 100 strands a day. As people age, the rate of

Shapiro MD Review: Does Their Hair Loss Treatment Work?

Shapiro MD uses natural DHT blockers in its shampoos, conditioners, and topical treatments, which may help stop hair loss and promote hair regrowth in

Minoxidil Before and After Results

Minoxidil is a topical medication that has been shown to be effective in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia or male/female pattern baldness. It’s effective

What is Miconazole: Uses, Side Effects, Dosages, and Interactions

Patients using miconazole for the treatment of a fungal infection of the skin may experience side effects like burning, swelling, redness, tenderness, stinging, irritation,

What are the Side Effects of Estradiol?

Premenopausal women and women of all ages may also benefit from estradiol to help with ovarian failure, adrenal gland dysfunction, sexual function, and other

Monistat vs Diflucan (Fluconazole): Comparison of Effectiveness

Both Monistat, a topical medication available over the counter, and Diflucan, a prescription medication taken orally, have been shown to be equally effective.

How Much Does Birth Control Cost?

If you’ve never had to pay for birth control, you may not have any idea just how costly avoiding pregnancy can be. According to

Everything You Need to Know About Endometriosis: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment Options, and More

Endometriosis is a chronic disease that affects millions of women all over the world. It is a condition where the endometrium, or lining of

Non-Hormonal Birth Control Options: A Detailed Comparison Guide

There are 13 different non-hormonal birth control options, each of which works slightly differently to prevent pregnancy without the use of hormones. 

Needed Prenatal Reviews: Is Their Pregnancy Nutrition Legit?

Needed is a supplement brand aimed at providing nutrients for pregnant mothers. But do you really need Needed? Read on to find out.

We review

Ritual Vitamins Review: What To Know Before Buying

Ritual is a vitamin and supplement company that uses clean, natural, science-backed ingredients in all of their products. Continue reading for an in-depth look

Hello Wisp Reviews: Birth Control, UTIs, STD Tests & More

Wisp is a company that offers direct to consumer healthcare focusing on reproductive and sexual health. Find out how it rates and if you

The Pill Club Reviews: Are Their Birth Control Products Legit?

The Pill Club is a birth control provider that seeks to remove barriers to womens healthcare. Read on to see if their products are

Nurx Review: Why Their Personalized Healthcare Is Unique

Nurx is a telemedicine company that could help you get medications easier than visiting your doctor. Find out what users think about their service.

We