What Causes Hair Shedding and How To Reduce It

By Nina Christmas, Creative Director



What causes hair shedding? And how to prevent it.


I have the benefit of speaking to and working with hundreds of clients a year and each year our salons service thousands of clients. So, I wanted to write this to clear up some misconceptions about hair shedding because I and so many of our stylists frequently have this conversation with clients.


Shedding is a natural occurrence that is necessary for new hairs to take place. There are approximately 150,000 hair strands in one persons’ scalp. While hair naturally sheds 30-150 strands per day, abnormal shedding is beyond 150 strands per day. There is this amazing growth cycle we learn about in cosmetology school called the ACTE growth cycle.


A for Anagen or growing stage where 80-90% of the hairs are in this stage for 2-7 years. This length of this stage determines the length of the hair.


C for Catagen or the transitional phase is about  ten days. During this stage, the hair follicle decreases in size and detaches from the dermal papilla or root.


T for Telegen, or resting, phase, which generally lasts around 3 months. Around 10-15% of the hair on your head is in this phase at any given time. While the old hair is resting, a new hair begins the growing phase.


E for Exogen a part of the resting phase where the old hair detaches and sheds, and new hair continues to grow. Approximately 50 to 150 of your hairs may fall out daily. That is considered a normal rate of hair shedding.


 Hair Cycle


Hair tends to shed less during a woman’s pregnancy, the body is in an incubation state and keeps as much hair and body fluids as possible  to “incubate” the fetus. When the baby is born the mother may return to her normal shedding routine. This act is called postpartum shedding, I told myself I would loose hair after having my baby because I’m a hairstylist, but no whimsical thought can stop nature. My hair did seem to come out tremendously but regenerated within a year of shedding. Many suggest continuing prenatal vitamins to prolong the postpartum act of shedding.


What Can You Do About Shedding?


1. Stress, hormones and changes in health contribute to excess in hair shedding. A good diet and exercise can help regulate hair growth.


2. I, personally, am a fan of hair brushing to remove excess hair that has shed. Brushing exfoliates. Brushing also stimulates blood flow. The benefit of increased blood flow is that the blood carries oxygen and nutrients that produce more growth.


3. Brushing also helps your natural sebum oil to be pulled from the root to the tip of your hair. This oil will keep your entire hair strand better moisturized - naturally. A boar bristle brush is best, in my opinion.