It's normal to lose hair in the shower, when you comb it and even when you sleep. But at which point should you start worrying about how much you're losing? The magic number: Eighty to 100 strands each day.
“All of us lose some hair every day. However, increased hair shedding of approximately 100 strands a day should alert you to consult a doctor or dermatologist for a proper assessment,” says dermatologist Dr Eileen Tan of Dr Eileen Tan Skin, Laser & Hair Transplant Clinic.
While genetics, stress and hormones can all play a part, there are some things you can do to help stanch the loss. Here are five ways.
- Don’t comb your hair when it’s wet
Michael Chiew of Hairloom advises against combing your hair straight after a shower, when strands are wet and tangled. If you really have to, “apply some leave-in treatment on wet hair to smoothen it before using a wide-tooth comb,” he says.
- Opt for a “lighter” hairstyle
Hairstyle selection also plays a part in hair loss. Chiew recommends keeping your style “lightweight”, as long and heavy styles can weaken hair follicles further, leading to more hair fall.
- Maintain a balanced diet
Crash dieting or eating the wrong kinds of food can decrease nutrition to your hair, weakening it and causing it to fall out. “Eat foods rich in B vitamins, biotin, zinc and iron to help reduce hair loss,” says Dr Tan. So try to include foods like meat, milk, cheese, citrus fruits, dark green vegetables, raw seeds, nuts, rice, fish, chicken and wholegrain cereals into your daily diet.
- Chill out
Elevated stress levels may lead to increase hair loss. “Alopecia areata is an autoimmune, stress-related condition affecting about 20 per cent of those who suffer from hair loss. This usually causes small round patchy bald spots on the head,” explains Dr. Tan. So it’s important to take some time out to relax your mind.
- See a specialist
If you're losing more than 100 strands a day, or know that hair loss runs in your family, make an appointment to consult a specialist. Usually, a simple blood test can determine the underlying cause of your hair loss.