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Hair Shedding vs. Hair Loss - How to Differentiate between the Two

Hair Shedding vs. Hair Loss - How to Differentiate between the Two

Posted by Superhairpieces on 2021 May 28th

Experiencing hair loss can be one of the most demoralizing and stressful issues for just about everyone. For some, it means losing their identity while for others, they fear potentially going bald or looking significantly older as a result.

That said, it’s easy to confuse hair loss with hair shedding. After all, everybody naturally sheds their hair and this can lead to some over worrying from some as to whether they are losing their hair or not.

However, there are some key differences between the two which this article will go through.

What is hair shedding?

What is hair shedding

Hair shedding is when hair strands fall from the scalp or body and is part of the natural cycle of hair.

It is completely normal for everyone to shed their hair with the average being 50 to 100 hairs shed per day. However, this isn’t hair that is permanently lost. Rather, after a hair follicle goes through its natural cycle, it will fall before regrowing and the cycle repeats itself.

Because this is a regular occurrence, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to see your fallen hair on your pillow or in the bathroom for example. Those with longer hair can also expect to see more hair shedding than those with shorter hair.

Hair growth cycle explained

Hair growth cycle

There are hundreds of thousands of hair follicles on our heads with each of them having different phases with the cycle lasting from two to five years approximately. The first phase is the anagen phase with 90 percent of the hair most people have said to be in that stage. Hair grows 1 centimeter per month during this phase.

The next stage is the catagen with only 1 to 2 percent of all hair strands said to be in this phase. This is when the hair strand stops growing at all. The last and final phase is the telogen phase which is when the hair follicle is ready to shed. It is said that 8 to 9 percent of our hair is already in this phase.

The condition known as telogen effluvium occurs when more than 10 percent of your hair is in the telogen phase. This can be caused by factors including heavy stress, but it is only a temporary condition.

What is hair loss?

What is hair loss

Hair loss, on the other hand, is when hair is prevented from growing.

This is known as anagen effluvium and unlike telogen effluvium, this can be caused by various factors such as hereditary hair loss like alopecia and male pattern baldness. Other factors include chemotherapy, nutritional deficiencies and hairstyles that pull on the hair which can lead to a receding hairline.

Hair loss tends to be more permanent depending on the particular situation but can be treated.

How to differentiate between hair shedding and hair loss

hair shedding vs. hair loss

The main difference between the two is that hair fall from shedding is temporary while the hair fall from hair loss is more permanent. But how do you differentiate between them?

The first step is to go to a dermatologist and get an expert opinion if you feel you are losing your hair. In general, however, if you start to notice that you are shedding a lot more hair than usual, that is usually a first sign that you are suffering hair loss.

This can be done simply by general observations of hair fall in your home. Another way is to see how much hair you’re shedding in the shower with the use of a hair snare which not only prevents your drains from getting clogged by catching your hair, but also allows you to gauge if you’re losing more hair than usual.

Bald spots, bald patches and thinning hair resulting in your scalp being more visible than before are also signs that you are suffering from hair loss.

Hair loss solutions

Hair loss solutions

It’s important to take action early when you notice hair loss.

Some common solutions include prescription drugs such as finasteride and/or minoxidil while others opt for hair transplants and other procedures.

For an instantaneous fix, however, hair systems are your best bet as they provide better coverage and have zero complications, side effects or chances of infection. From wigs and men’s toupees to hair extensions and hair toppers for women, there are plenty of options to choose from for both genders.


If you are interested in learning more about hair systems, contact one of our Superhairpieces consultants today at 1-866-814-7879 or email us at to set up your virtual appointment.

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