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The Difference Between Hair Loss vs. Hair Shedding

HOW TO TELL IF IT'S HAIR SHEDDING OR HAIR LOSS

There are several terms related to hair fall, but most predominantly, we talk about hair shedding and hair loss. Are they the same issue? Not exactly. There is a multitude of factors contributing to both hair shedding and hair loss. In some cases, shedding is temporary, whereas loss is permanent. It's challenging to wade through the array of misinformation to get to the truth. Most importantly, you want to know how to manage your hair. Let's pinpoint the difference between hair shedding vs. hair loss.

HAIR SHEDDING DEFINED

Many factors can cause excessive hair shedding and hair loss. The difference lies in what causes the hair to fall out, when it happens and at what frequency it falls. 

WHAT IS HAIR SHEDDING?

Shedding is something we all deal with, and it doesn't matter if we have thin or thick hair. Even man's best friend sheds daily! Normal shedding means losing 50-150 strands every single day. What about when hair sheds in excess? 

What Causes Hair Shedding in Men?

Shedding is something we all deal with, and it doesn't matter if we have thin or thick hair. Even man's best friend sheds daily! Normal shedding means losing 50-150 strands every single day. What about when hair sheds in excess? 

A hair loss condition triggered by a major life event like surgery, a medical condition, or extreme stress. Telogen Effluvium shocks the natural rhythm of the hair growth cycle, ceasing growth and sending follicles into the Telogen Phase, also known as the hair shedding phase.

The result: massive hair fall and thinning about 2-3 months after the initial event. While it can send shockwaves throughout your life and deflate your confidence, excessive shedding is temporary. Once you isolate the cause, hair growth typically resumes within 3-6 months. In some instances, hair shedding lasts longer than six months, which is known as Chronic Telogen Effluvium.

WHAT IS HAIR LOSS?

Hair loss affects millions of men around the world, with two out of three men experiencing hair loss by age 35. We understand that a man's hair personifies his identity, which is why we're committed to staying on the leading edge of innovative science, research, and solutions. 

What Causes Male Hair Loss?

Most men's hair loss (95%) is caused by Androgenetic Alopecia, also known as Male Pattern Baldness.

Genetic hair loss occurs because hormones called androgens increase the production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the male sex hormone linked to hair loss.

While hair shedding is more temporary and isolated to a triggering event, men's hair loss is often genetic and permanent. In addition to genetics, factors like stress, diet, and hair hygiene can accelerate or delay the progression of hair loss.

The scalp also plays a significant role in hair health. When the scalp is healthy, it supports the flow of the hair growth cycle. Conversely, an unhealthy scalp creates a compromised environment that may accelerate the miniaturization of the hair follicles.

Androgenetic Alopecia can begin as early as the teen years, but by age 50, 85% of men will experience some form of hair loss. Genetic hair loss is progressive, and over time, the hair at the crown of the head, hairline, or temples may recede.

GETTING A PROFESSIONAL DIAGNOSIS

Physicians and hair loss specialists can use DNA tests to help determine if you have a genetic predisposition to hair loss. They will also ask you many questions about your health, family history, stress levels, eating habits, activities, and significant life events that may have occurred in the past 3-6 months.

Doctors also have unique tests and visual reference guides like the Norwood Scale to isolate the cause and progression of hair loss. The doctor will likely conduct a hair-pull test in which they grasp a small portion of hair and gently pull along the length of the hair shaft to see how many strands come out.

Blood work can highlight nutritional deficiencies or abnormalities in hormone levels. For example, thyroid issues can be a major culprit of sudden hair loss. In this case, the doctor will administer medication and hair should regrow.

innovations in prevention & treatment

The primary differentiation between shedding and hair loss is the timeline. In most cases, shedding is temporary, seasonal, or due to lifestyle factors. Hair loss, on the other hand, is often progressive and primarily due to genetics. Battling hair loss may lead to feelings of helplessness to resolve the issue. Remember that millions of men are also struggling with hair loss, and every year reveals innovative solutions.

In the meantime, use effective cosmetic solutions to boost volume and conceal thinning hair. Eat a healthy, balanced diet and try to minimize stress triggers, which can cause excessive hair shedding.

Additionally, try strategic cuts and styling choices that provide body and fullness. If you're suffering from Androgenetic Alopecia, consult with your doctor about your options for medicinal solutions like Finasteride or Minoxidil. Lastly, you may want to explore procedural solutions like plasma therapy or a hair transplant.

The goal with both shedding and hair loss is to retain and protect your hair. Whether you are struggling with shedding or significant hair loss, we're here to provide effective solutions that stimulate your hair—and confidence—to its full potential. Whatever issue you face, Daniel Alain is in your corner.

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