Information and Solutions for Men and Women

What Amount of Hair Shedding is Normal?

What is a normal amount of hair shedding?

Experts indicate shedding up to 100 hairs a day is normal. However, in androgenetic (male and female patterned) hair loss, shedding can be less than that. If you elect to see a dermatologist, he or she will conduct an examination and perform other diagnostic tests to fully determine the particular type of hair loss you have in order to treat it appropriately. One of the first steps is to identify how much of your hair is in the growing phase versus the percentage of hair in the resting phase.(27)

When a minimum of three sections of hair (each containing roughly 40-60 hairs) are gently pulled, normally less than six hairs in the telogen phase should come out. Additionally, when examined 85-90% should be in the anagen phase of the hair growth cycle, only about 7-10% in the telogen (resting) phase, and 1% or less in the catagen phase. You can tell the difference between the two types by looking at the hair root: anagen hairs have a larger, pigmented hair bulb at the plucked end of the hair strand, with an attached sheath to the root that is missing in telogen hairs with smaller, unpigmented hair bulbs.(2728)

Differences in these percentages can give you an indication of the type of hair loss you have:(2729)

Types of Hair Loss Indicated by Hair Growth Cycle Changes

Types of Hair Loss Indicated by Hair Growth Cycle Changes

Growth Cycle Phase

Normal Cycle % of Hair

Changes in % of Hair Found in Phase with Hair Loss

Type of Hair Loss

Hairs in Anagen Phase
higher % than normal
Anagen Effluvium
Hairs in Telogen Phase
higher % than normal
Telogen Effluvium or Androgenetic Alopecia (If hair shedding averages less 100 strands/day
Hairs in Catagen Phase
higher % than normal

If you are noticing that your hair is thinning (most people will notice at about 25% hair loss in themselves), you may want to investigate treatment options sooner rather than later, since some (such as minoxidil) work better if used during the first year of hair loss.(13)

Disclaimer: This website is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed physician. If you require any medical related advice, contact your physician promptly. Information presented on this website is exclusively of a general reference nature. Do not disregard medical advice or delay treatment as a result of accessing information at this site.
Obsessive-compulsive hair pulling disorder.