Hair loss can be a distressing experience; impacting one’s confidence and the way we feel. Hair is a key part of our genetic make-up. Throughout our life, we give our hair attention and love through the way we style and colour it to going to the hairdressers on a regular basis for a cut and blow. Hair is a huge part of who we are and how we present ourselves to the world and when we start to lose it or when it starts to shred, it almost feels like we are losing our identity in some respects.
Hair loss or shedding can be caused by a combination of factors and for this reason, it can be hard to address the problem and solve what’s causing it. For example, you may want to treat your hair loss but, in the process, you may also need to make changes to your diet and nutrition as well. This can lead to a long and complex treatment process.
It is entirely normal for hair loss to be confused with hair shedding though. Both situations can be extremely upsetting however in this blog, we explain the differences to help you work out what you could be experiencing, what you steps you can take to address the issue and the different hair shedding treatments available.
What is Hair Shedding?
Everyone sheds hair on a daily basis. Shedding hair is a normal process whereby 50-100 hairs can fall out per day, but your body easily grows the hair back again. Hair follicles grow on a cycle whereby in the telogen phase, hairs are pushed back out of the follicle which causes shedding.
Although temporary some people may experience excessive hair shedding at some points in their life whereby more hair is shedded per day. Excessive shedding can also be now as telogen effluvium.
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What Causes Hair Shedding?
Usually, telogen effluvium or excessive hair shedding is brought on by a stressful event or by hormonal changes. Factors can include:
- Pregnancy – if you are pregnant or have recently had a baby
- If you are going through a stressful period of your life
- Recovering from illness
- Paused birth control
How Do You Know If You’re Shedding Too Much Hair?
There are some easy ways to tell if you are experiencing normal or excessive levels of hair shedding. Things like noticing more hair in your shower plug or on your hairbrush can be tell-tale giveaways. The other thing you test is running your fingers through the ends of the hair. If you have lots of strands of hair coming off your fingers just by doing this one, you could be experiencing excessive shedding.
What is Hair Loss?
Hair loss is when you stop growing hair causing complete loss. Not always the case, actual hair loss can result in alopecia or baldness; both of which can be experienced by men and women. The medical name for hair loss is anagen effluvium.
The anagen stage of the hair cycle is the growth phase and this means if hair isn’t growing properly in this phase, it can lead to hair loss.
Men are more likely to experience balding whereby big patches of hair fall out while women usually experience thinning of the hair over time. Find out more the causes of male hair loss and how you can find the right male hair loss treatment to suit you.
What Causes Hair Loss?
Similarly, to hair shedding, hair loss can be caused by a myriad of issues including:
- Diet & Nutrition
- Hormonal Imbalances
- Weight Gain
- Absence of enough of the right vitamins
Learn more about hair loss and the causes in our complete guide.
What is the Main Difference Between Hair Loss & Hair Shedding?
The main difference between hair shedding and hair loss is the fact that hair can be difficult to grow back if you have experienced hair loss. As hair shedding usually is caused by a specific factor such as stress or pregnancy, once some time has passed, your hair usually starts coming back as normal again. However, in some cases, this process is slow if you are still under stress.
Hair loss can be more permanent and be difficult to treat once it’s gone.
What Can You Do to Avoid Hair Shedding & Hair Loss?
Hair shedding and hair loss are common conditions that both females and males can experience at any point in their lifetime. The two aren’t completely unavoidable however there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of hair loss or shedding and find an effective hair regrowth treatment to suit you.
This includes following a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of protein and vegetables, minimising stresses in your life, getting a good night sleep each night and styling your hair in the right way to minimise damage.
Hair care tips include:
- Using heat protection spray
- Limiting use of heating equipment such as straighteners and curlers
- Opt for relaxed looks to avoid pulling hair back too tightly
- Wash your hair after swimming
How Can I Reduce Stress?
Stress can be complex and brought on by a number of things including moving or losing a job to going through a break-up or moving to a new house. These situations are highly stressful, and it can be challenging to keep stress at a minimum during these times. Having said that, looking after ourselves and indulging in self-care and exercise can help keep stress levels down from day to day.
Improve Your Diet and Nutrition
Having healthy hair and skin starts with your diet. Drinking plenty of water and feeding our bodies with goodness such as the right vitamins and minerals and right balance of protein, carbohydrates and fats can help to keep your hair as healthy as possible.
Combat Thinning Hair with Hair Loss Supplements
As someone who went through hair loss herself, Simone Thomas knows all too well how much of an impact your lifestyle and diet can have on the health of your hair. While there’s no replacement for a good diet, using supplements to support a healthy lifestyle can help to keep hair in top condition and promote healthy hair growth.
For example, The Biotin Haircare Plan from Simone Thomas Wellness contains a high dose of biotin. Biotin which is part of the Vitamin B complex is essential for strong, thick hair and in some cases hair loss can caused by a vitamin B deficiency which is why biotin for thinning hair is so commonly recommended. Therefore, using natural supplements can be a measure that you can take in preventing hair loss. Other benefits of biotin include targeting conditions such as dermatitis, eczema and scalp irritation. With stress being one of the main causes of hair shedding and hair loss, Vitamin B can also improve the body’s response to stress; something which is especially important in people who struggle with hair pulling.