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View Full Version : If we shed so much hair a day, how come we don't go bald? Or have short hair?



Shelley48
March 9th, 2016, 07:12 PM
Hi everyone!

I simply cannot wrap my mind around this. My hair is almost, if not already, waist length. I loose so many of my longest strands a day. I've never counted (I'm scared to) but I would say it's probably average. This gives me anxiety even though it's supposed to be "normal" because my hair is really thin naturally... (Wasn't blessed with my moms thick Italian hair :()

So, if every day I'm loosing all these really long hairs, how is it that I even have any long hair left at all? I'm assuming my shed is normal. I have no visible bald patches or clumps (besides what comes off from brushing) falling out. But still, this gives me anxiety because I'm (too) attached to my hair and going bald is actually a fear of mine because it, to me, threatens my feminity (I know it shouldn't!)

Can anyone explain this and make me feel better? It doesn't even seem like I have more than 1,000 hairs on my head.

(as a side note, I'm 24 years old with no known medical problems besides severe anxiety disorder and mild mental OCD)

ChloeDharma
March 9th, 2016, 07:45 PM
It's just part of the process, don't worry :) If you are not thinning and the shedding is normal for you then you have nothing to worry about. By the way, from your avatar pic your hair really doesn't look thin!
Basically hairs grow for a certain amount of time then when that phase ends they stop growing and fall out ready for another hair to grow in their place. I know it can seem weird seeing hairs come out but we have so many of them on our heads that as long as it's normal shedding and not a medical problem of some kind then it really isn't a problem :)

spidermom
March 9th, 2016, 08:03 PM
Because while you are shedding out hairs that have reached the ends of their growth cycles, you are growing in new hairs. That's why you have hairs of every length on your head.

Llama
March 9th, 2016, 08:19 PM
You just don't realize how much hair is actually on your head...I think the average is 100,000 strands or so?
It all evens out. Nothing to worry about :)

Robi-Bird
March 9th, 2016, 08:59 PM
Blonds have an average of 150,000-140,000 strands on of hair. Red heads typically have the least number of follicles at 90,000. Brunettes have an average of 100,000-110,000.This all varies, of course with some people having thicker or thinner heads of hair than the average. If we go with the average of 100,000 strands of hair and the average shed rate of 100 strands per day, you only shed 0.1% of your hair volume at any given day. These shed hairs are replaced as a new strand grows from the follicle. Provided your ponytail's diameter doesn't go down, the cycle is normal and healthy and there is no reason to fret.

EdG
March 9th, 2016, 09:07 PM
Hair has a growth cycle. Shed hairs have reached the end of their growth cycles and will be replaced by new hairs.

The growth cycle is the body's way of regulating hair length. Most hairs on one's body have short growth cycles. Hairs on one's scalp have long growth cycles.
Ed

SparrowWings
March 9th, 2016, 10:08 PM
Blonds have an average of 150,000-140,000 strands on of hair. Red heads typically have the least number of follicles at 90,000. Brunettes have an average of 100,000-110,000.This all varies, of course with some people having thicker or thinner heads of hair than the average. If we go with the average of 100,000 strands of hair and the average shed rate of 100 strands per day, you only shed 0.1% of your hair volume at any given day. These shed hairs are replaced as a new strand grows from the follicle. Provided your ponytail's diameter doesn't go down, the cycle is normal and healthy and there is no reason to fret.
Those are some interesting numbers! I pity the poor souls who had to do the counting for it.

I have to wonder, though -- what does shedding significantly less than the average mean in terms of hair length? Is that an indicator of how far a person is from their terminal length? Shed 100 strands a day, you're at terminal. Shed 50 strands, your hair can reach twice its current length. Shed only 10 strands, and you're only a tenth of the way to terminal? What about shedding significantly more than the average? The person just has super duper thick hair? I would have thought the growth cycle would be more time-based than strictly length- or thickness-based, though, so how do those fit together?

EdG
March 9th, 2016, 10:47 PM
The growth cycle is based on time. Hair follicles grow hair for a certain amount of time, and then go dormant for another amount of time. Time and growth rate determine terminal length. This can be modeled mathematically.

One complication is that the growth cycle is not the same duration for all hairs on one's scalp. This results in a complex distribution of lengths.
Ed

calmyogi
March 9th, 2016, 11:56 PM
The growth cycle has always perplexed me. I don't really understand how your hair ever gets longer if hairs are constantly falling out? SparrowWings question is also something that has come to mind as well.

Wusel
March 10th, 2016, 12:07 AM
Those are some interesting numbers! I pity the poor souls who had to do the counting for it.



It was a machine/scanning computer which did the counting. In less then 30 seconds :)

lapushka
March 10th, 2016, 07:21 AM
Blame your anxiety and OCD. It really is that. :flower: The shedding is perfectly normal. It, of course, is harder when you don't have much hair, but if you don't lose clumps (tufts) and you don't have bald patches, it's all okay. Shedding is part of everyday life. And as others have so eloquently explained, it is part of a cycle, you lose hair, others grow back, that's how it maintains itself.

If you feel anxious, try and come on here, and what you might want to do to keep your mind at ease is measure your ponytail circumference *once* a year. It honestly varies so much throughout the year that you really want to pick a time for it, because otherwise you'll worry yourself sick!

Wusel
March 10th, 2016, 07:36 AM
It honestly varies so much throughout the year that you really want to pick a time for it, because otherwise you'll worry yourself sick!

Yes... After one of my bigger seasonal (?) sheds I had 1/2 inch less circumference and it grew back. But I've successfully stopped obsessing over my my circumference, growth and shedding. :)