It is completely normal to lose hair. On average, each person loses between 50 to 100 hairs every single day. If you feel you’ve been losing more hair than usual, however, you may be concerned about hair loss. But did you know there are actually major differences between true hair loss and just increased hair shedding?
If you’ve noticed an increase in the amount of hair left behind on your hairbrush, in the shower, or on your pillow in the morning, you may only be experiencing increased hair shedding, rather than true hair loss. This increase in hair shedding is medically referred to as telogen effluvium. This is typically short-term and fully reversible. It occurs following a change, shock, or stress to the body. Common causes of telogen effluvium include recently giving birth, undergoing surgery, or being hospitalized. Recent weight loss, illness, nutritional deficiencies, high levels of emotional stress, and changes in hormone levels, such as menopause, can all cause increased hair shedding, as well. Increased hair shedding typically resolves on its own without treatment, within six to nine months after the stress or bodily change has occurred.
Alternatively, if you’ve noticed bald spots, areas of excessive thinning, or a receding hairline, you may be experiencing true hair loss. Hair loss involves a halt in hair growth, in which an underlying cause or condition prevents the hair from growing. Common causes include hereditary conditions like male or female pattern hair loss, certain medications, autoimmune conditions like alopecia areata, underlying medical conditions like thyroid disorders or anemia, and certain hairstyles, products, or devices. Hair loss is typically very treatable through the use of topical or injectable corticosteroids, such as Rogaine (minoxidil), and by addressing any underlying medical conditions.
Here at Goldstein Dermatology, we can help determine whether you are experiencing hair loss or increased shedding. Through physical examination and lab testing, we can work toward establishing a diagnosis and creating an appropriate treatment plan for your needs. Contact Goldstein Dermatology for more information and to schedule an evaluation.