The other day, I had someone email me and say, in part: “every time I run my fingers through my hair, at least ten hairs come out into my hands. I could do this all day long with no end in sight. I know that this number is too high. But how many hairs would be normal in this situation?” I’ll try to answer this question in the following article.
Normal Daily Hair Loss Is Typically A Small Percentage Of Your Total Hair Volume: You will often read that it’s “normal” or “typical” to lose up to 100 strands of hair per day. However, what you often won’t read is that this number is based on the idea that it’s also “normal” for 10%-15% of the total hairs on your head to be in the resting phase at one time. So, if you have less or more hair than the average person, then your typical loss could be more or less than this number.
Additionally, as hair loss and shedding progresses, the number that is considered to be low enough not to worry about will also decrease, since the number of strands on your head is also decreasing. Therefore, even if you are using the same percentages, the sum should be less. Simply put, in this scenario, the person is working with less strands than they started with, so they therefore can afford to lose less if they are hoping to maintain the same volume that they have always had.
Variables That Can Influence How Much Hair Comes Out In Your Hands: Another thing to consider is when you tried this experiment. If you’ve very recently shampooed, you might find that you lose more because the manipulation that comes with washing loosens many of the strands that were waiting to fall out. Likewise, many people will find that less hairs come out in their hands after they have just brushed. This is because brushing will remove many of the lose strands. Probably the best time to try this is a few hours after you have brushed on a day that you have not recently shampooed. This will ensure that it’s not manipulation that is causing much of the loss.
How Many Hairs Do Most People Lose After Running Their Fingers Through It?: This can be a tough question to answer because of the variables that I’ve just discussed. Everyone has a varying amount of hair that is going to “normal” for them. And this can change based on what has just happened with their regimen. What’s perfectly fine for one person may result in greatly decreased volume for another. Generally speaking though, I have seen this question posed on many hair loss forums and I tried it myself during times when I was actively shedding and when my hair was completely normal.
Most of the time, people who are not shedding will come away with between 2 and 5 hairs without this being worrisome for them. If they’ve recently brushed, they may not come away with anything at all. Often, if you see more strands than this, it may be because you have just washed or manipulated your hair or because you are losing or shedding more strands than normal for some reason.
People who have shedding for reasons like telogen effluvium, androgenic alopecia, or allergic reactions can come away with large numbers of strands in this situation. I’ve had people tell me that they were easily able to come away with 10 – 20 strands and that this was true no matter how many times they tried this experiment. Keep in mind though that your doctor is much better equipped to help evaluate your hair loss than any experiment that you might try on your own.