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When looking at your shower drain or the strands left in your hairbrush, you may wonder, “How much hair loss is normal?” Now, even if you leave hairs behind everywhere you go like a physical souvenir, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have a hair loss problem. On average, women tend to shed roughly 50 to 100 strands each day. However, if you notice that you’re losing far more than this, there may be an underlying problem at hand.

Hair loss may be caused by a variety of factors, such as lifestyle habits, genetics, physical health, or mental well-being. Oftentimes, you may not even realize something in your life is causing this to happen in the first place. Here are some of the sneakiest causes of hair loss:

Over Styling

Wearing tight hairstyles, such as ponytails or braids, can pull your hair too roughly causing more to fall out. If done repeatedly, you may even notice balding in certain areas, primarily around the hairline. Immoderate hot tool use and harsh hair products can also damage your strands and lead to hair loss.

To counter these effects, be sure to wear your hair in looser styles when possible. This will reduce excessive pulling on your hair and give your scalp some relief. Additionally, it’s a good idea to let your hair air dry and avoid applying heat as often as you can. Lastly, you can use hair products that promote hair growth, such as a DHT shampoo, a strengthening conditioner, and a minoxidil treatment.

Iron Deficiency

When you lack proper iron levels, your body is unable to produce hemoglobin in the blood. This function is crucial as hemoglobin carries oxygen around the body for the growth and repair of cells. In turn, this can affect the cells that trigger and maintain hair growth.

Luckily, hair loss due to iron deficiency isn’t permanent. However, it will require you to take a few steps to reverse its effects. First, it’s important to visit a doctor to verify that you’re actually iron deficient. From there, your doctor may suggest you incorporate more iron-rich foods into your diet, such as salmon, spinach, or items labeled “iron-fortified.” Or, they may recommend that you take a daily iron supplement instead.

Stressful Events

Stressful situations like a big move, divorce, or the loss of a loved one can trigger hair loss even months after the event has happened. Additionally, hair loss can occur when experiencing prolonged stress due to anxiety. When we’re stressed, our bodies produce cortisol, which is the hormone that gives us our fight or flight response. With excess amounts of cortisol over a period of time, this can disrupt your hair cycle causing it to fall out and/or stop growing.

First and foremost, it’s important to implement relaxation techniques into your daily routine. This will help give you a healthy outlet to relieve stress while also improving your coping abilities. Common techniques include going for a walk in nature, journaling, talking to someone, and exercising. In some cases, you may want to speak to a doctor or therapist to find the proper solution for you.

Hormonal Fluctuations

Hormones send signals around the body, dictating behavioral and physical functions. Oftentimes after pregnancy or during menopause, your estrogen and progesterone levels are out of whack. This hormonal imbalance may trigger shifts in your hair cycle, causing hair to fall out more frequently and in larger amounts. Similarly, thyroid dysfunctions can cause shifts in the thyroid hormone leading to more shedded strands.

It’s crucial to speak to your doctor about what you’re experiencing to get your hormones back on track. Some life events are easier to reestablish a balance than others. The good news is your hormone levels will likely go back to normal within the first few months following childbirth. As for menopause, some women find success through estrogen therapy administered by a gynecologist. For thyroid dysfunctions, your doctor may prescribe you medication or try to find a natural plan for you. It’s important to always be vocal about the problems you’re experiencing to ensure you address them in a timely manner!

Change in Weather

Whenever the climate changes, your body also undergoes changes in order to keep up. During your body’s adjustment period to the new season, it’s normal for your hair cycle to be a little thrown off. For example, your hair tends to grow more throughout the summer and shed more as the weather gets cooler. The same may happen as your hair adjusts from the cold winter months into the sunny spring season.

There’s not much you can do in this situation other than to listen to your body’s needs. Since weather-related hair loss isn’t permanent, you can just give your locks some extra TLC. As you transition between seasons, try using hair masks to restore moisture and strength, and take a few days off from washing it. Your hair will return to normal before you know it!

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