Laser Hair Therapy

Difference between Shedding And Hair Loss

Everyone sheds 50-150 hairs a day, which is about how many hairs you can hold with two fingers. If you’re shedding more, you’re likely having excessive shedding.


Is your hair falling out or thinning? Hair shedding and hair loss are both common occurrences, but what’s the difference, and when should you seek medical attention?

What is Hair Shedding?

It’s vital to know that the stray hairs on our beds, clothes, and combs are quite natural. In the hair development cycle, hair loss is a natural component of the process. Hair follicles on the human scalp are in one of three phases of a four-phase hair shedding cycle, which we shall discuss in detail in the section on hair shedding. Normal hair shedding is distinct from excessive or pathological hair shedding. There are various possible causes of excessive hair shedding, including Androgenic alopecia, Stress or shock, and autoimmune conditions such as Lichen Planopilaris.

Phases of Hair Shedding


Anagen is usually the longest phase since it is the period of growth. There are a few instances in which a hair can remain in the anagen phase for seven years or more. During this stage, hair follicles create hair that are in the growth phase.


After the anagen phase, there follows a ten-day transitional period known as catagen. As hair growth slows, the follicles will contract. The hair follicle will detach from the hair, but the hair will remain attached to the follicle for a few weeks. About  3% to 5% of hairs are in catagen at any given moment.


After catagen, hair goes into a resting phase for around three months. During this time, hair growth has ceased, yet it does not fall off. New hairs begin to grow in follicles that have just shed their old hairs. This phase is experienced by 10% to 15% of your hairs at any given moment.


It is possible to think of the exogen phase as an extension of the telogen stage, which lasts from two to five months. During this phase, hairs shed. Shedding is initiated when the follicle begins to grow a new hair and push the old hair out. Most people lose between 50 and 100 hair each day, but if you are losing more hair than this, it might be an indication of hair loss.

Causes of Hair Shedding

  • Hormonal Imbalance and changes– Menopause, thyroid disorders, pregnancy, and delivery can cause hormonal changes. Hair loss can be temporary or permanent depending on the severity of the problem.
  • Medications– Hair loss is a common adverse effect of several medications, including those used to treat disorders including heart disease, hypertension, arthritis, and cancer.
  • Genetics– Androgenic alopecia (male pattern baldness or female pattern baldness) is the most frequent cause of hair loss in men and women, and it can be handed down down the generations. Age-related hair loss manifests itself in several ways, such as a receding hairline or thinning on the crown.
  • Hair Styling techniques and treatments– Traction alopecia can be caused by ‘tight’ hairstyles that pull the hair back, such as cornrows, braids, and pigtails. These treatments include hot oils and chemical texturizers that can lead to baldness. Hair may not regrow if there has been hair loss.
  • Some medical conditions- Trichotillomania (hair-pulling problem) and scalp infections are among the many medical illnesses that can cause hair loss. Alopecia areata, an autoimmune ailment, is another common reason for hair loss (ringworm).
  • Hair Loss after Hair Transplantation Surgery- Hair shedding or loss following a hair transplant is possible as well. This is a normal aspect of the healing process and it’s known as “shock loss.” In 3-4 months, hair starts falling out and is replaced with thicker, fresher hair.
  • Radiotherapy– Cancer patients who get radiation to treat their disease could have hair loss as a side effect.

Difference between Hair Loss and Hair Shedding

It’s important to remember that extreme hair shedding or hair thinning might indicate that you’re losing your hair. Explicit hair loss and excessive hair shedding share many similarities. It is common to use the term “excessive hair shedding” to characterize transitory kinds of hair loss, such as those that are caused by certain disorders, medicine, or trauma. When it comes to hair loss, androgenic alopecia and other kinds of excessive hair shedding fall under this group.

If you’ve lost a significant amount of hair in a short period, you may be suffering from excessive hair loss. If, on the other hand, your hair is falling out in a predictable pattern, such as the phases of the Norwood Scale, then you are experiencing a healthy kind of hair loss. So, if you’re losing your hair, what should you do? A good hair loss clinic will be able to help you choose the best therapy for your hair loss.

How To Treat Hair Loss

Many non-surgical and surgical options are available when hair loss progresses from typical shedding to full-blown baldness.

Non-Surgical Hair Loss Treatment Option

The following are non-surgical options for thinning hair:

  • Finasteride, a 5-alpha-reductase enzyme blocker, is found in hair regeneration treatments in topical solutions, such as Minoxidil.
  • A regenerative medicine, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy for hair loss
  • The use of low-level laser treatment to encourage the development of new cells

Surgical Hair Loss Treatment Option

Follicular Unit Extraction

FUE hair transplants use tiny ‘punches’ to remove individual follicles from the back of the scalp. The follicles are inserted into small openings drilled in the recipient’s skin (where the new hair will grow).

Follicular Unit Transplant

During FUT hair transplants, a single graft is removed from the back of the scalp, then a strip is separated into smaller portions and implanted in the desired location.

    Schedule Your Consultation

    When you’re ready to take the next step toward addressing your hair loss, the specialists at Northwestern Hair are here to help. We’ll work with you to evaluate your level of hair loss and to find the most effective treatment for your needs.