You’re panicking about all the hair left behind in your brush. So here’s a guide to what could be happening

Who amongst us hasn’t had a slight panic when seeing clumps of hair circle the shower drain or accumulating in a hair brush? Suddenly you’re inspecting your hair as if you can accurately count the number of strands coming out of your scalp to try and determine if you’ve got a problem on your hands. 

Here’s the thing: It’s completely normal to lose some hair each day. Around 50 to a hundred, in fact. (Give or take - it all depends on your natural hair thickness and where your hair is at in the hair growth cycle). 

If you’re losing significantly more than that and on a regular basis, you’ve noticed your hair is looking and feeling much thinner than usual, or you’re worried that your part is looking wider than it used to, you could be dealing with one of three things: hair shedding, hair thinning, or hair loss.

They all sound the same, but they’re actually all a little difference. Here’s a quick rundown:

Hair shedding

Also known as telogen effluvium, this is when you’re losing more than that hundred-or-so strands of hair a day. There are a few reasons this could be happening. Stress is a big one, as is giving birth, illness, surgery, diet, dramatic weight loss, and even stopping to take the contraceptive pill. All of these things can change your hormone levels, which can then impact the hair growth cycle and lead to hair shedding. 

It’s worth knowing that if your hair is shedding, it’s usually because of something that happened a few months back (and not because you had a shitty stressful week at work). The great news is that the hair will grow back, and the excessive shedding should stop when your body readjusts.

If you want to help the process along, make sure to take a long, hard look at your diet (wholegrains, proteins and fibre are excellent for improving hair growth), manage your stress levels (meditation will be a God-send) and up your overall wellbeing with a supplement. Taking AÉDE Hair Activist twice daily is a game-changer for hair health and (and overall health, tbh). The super-supplement boasts a whopping 14 active ingredients (including riboflavin, biotin, silicon, and zinc) to help support healthy hair growth and encourage longer, stronger and shinier strands.

Hair thinning

Hair thinning is essentially the beginning stages of hair loss, where the hair follicle itself shrinks and each actual strand of hair that grows begins to become thinner with each growth cycle. Your hair will look and feel less dense, and may be more prone to breakage.

Hair thinning typically starts happening as you get older, but can also be a result of other factors, like exposure to pollution (hot tip: Hair Activist has some pretty powerful 

antioxidants that help protect against this!) dying your hair, harsh hair care products, and sadly, all those cute, tight ponytails and buns.  

You can try slowing the thinning process by getting some good nutrients in you (ping: Hair Activist!), being more gentle on your hair (so use gentle, mild products, switch to scrunchies, and maybe go easy on the hot tools) and try a little scalp massage. 

You can also look into laser therapies and scalp microneedling.

Hair loss

AKA anagen effluvium, hair loss happens when your hair stops growing completely. You’ll know you’ve transitioned from hair thinning to hair loss when your hair becomes ‘vellus’, i.e soft, fluffy, white and almost invisible. These will start to appear as bald spots. The common causes for this is genetics, hormonal changes, medical conditions, or simply ageing, and it tends to be more common in men than women.

Regrowing this kind of hair loss is a bit trickier, especially if it’s a genetics thing. You can look into scalp treatments, laser therapy, medication, and even hair transplants, but the best first step is ensuring your inner health is all in order by looking at your diet, managing your stress levels, and taking a daily supplement to ensure your body is getting all the nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants it needs.