“Ugh why won’t my hair quit shedding so much!” Have you ever stared at your comb after a detangling session and thought this to yourself? All those precious strands snatched from your head making you feel like you’re going in reverse when you’re trying to grow your hair out?
Well I’ve been there too but then I’m reminded of the biological processes of our hair and how shedding is just a natural product of our hair growth phases. Although there are numerous amounts of hair treatments out there such as black tea rinses to reduce shedding, it’s important to know that you shouldn’t completely get rid of it and here’s why?
If you take a closer look at those strands that have fallen from your head you will notice that there aren’t any root tags. That means it’s dead hair!
Our hair goes through three different phases: anagen, catagen and telogen.
Anagen is the active growth phase. Our hair is formed from a follicle of a scalp. At the bottom of the follicle sits the derma papilla which is feeding our strands the necessary nutrients for active growth. At the root of our hair the cells are dividing and adding more protein (keratin) on top of each other resulting in these epithelial appendages, or in other words, our strands of hair!
This phase goes on for about 3-5 years and is followed by the catagen phase. During this short period of regression, it signals the end of active hair growth and sits for about 2-3 weeks while our root stem starts to dissolve.
At the conclusion of catagen is the onset of the telogen phase which is also referred to as the resting phase. Here it sits for about 3 months, the entire strand including the root is keratinized and it is then followed by hair shedding.
The average human has about 100,000 hair follicles that can each grow about 20 hairs in their lifetime. And because each one of our follicles are at different stages we are constantly in rotation and shedding will occur. It’s natural!
So with the knowledge of our hair processes know that hair shedding is actually a good thing! It’s a sign of a healthy scalp and that it is just going through it’s natural phases.
Do keep in mind that if you notice an abnormal amount of shedding or can see hairs with roots or follicular tissue attached then you should consider seeking help from an expert due to the chance of a much larger underlying issue.