Hair follicles live and die just like all other living things. When you see hair collecting in the trap in your shower drain, that indicates normal hair loss. So is the sight of hair caught within the bristles of a hairbrush.
No matter how young or old you are, normal hair loss occurs. But there are times when you might wonder how much hair loss is normal.
Maybe you ran your fingers through your hair and realized you have more forehead and bare scalp than you once did. Maybe you frequently wear a baseball cap or another type of hat and wonder if it might accelerate your normal hair loss.
Many things might cause you to wonder if your hair loss is normal or if it might be a sign of something else. Fortunately, there are ways to find out.
Healthcare Providers Can Determine Normal Versus Problematic Hair Loss
The longer you allow your hair to grow, the more it might appear you are losing more hair. That is because normal hair loss looks worse when the strands are longer. But it should not be a concern for most people.
If you are concerned about how much hair loss is normal, you could consult with your doctor. A medical doctor can help determine whether your hair loss is excessive or normal for people your age. And if it seems excessive, your doctor could help determine if an underlying medical cause or condition is causing excessive hair loss.
Common Conditions That Cause Uncommon Hair Loss
There are many ways in which women and men might experience excessive hair loss due to a physical or medical condition. Male pattern baldness is an obvious cause of excessive hair loss that affects many men of virtually all ages.
But you also might suffer from one of the many types of alopecia. Alopecia is mostly a naturally occurring condition with many subtypes, including male pattern baldness. But it also might be alopecia areata, which happens when the autoimmune system mistakenly attacks hair follicles. As the follicles suffer damage, they stop growing hair.
Sport hair braids or cornrow hairstyles are especially tight and could pull the hair from your follicles. The constant tension creates a traction-like effect that is typical of traction alopecia. And if you lose all of your hair, including your eyebrows, alopecia totalis is the likely culprit.
There are other causes of excessive hair loss other than the many kinds of alopecia. Your medical doctor or a dermatologist can help to determine the exact cause and discuss options with you.