What’s the Difference Between Hair Shedding and Hair Loss?

When you rinse your shampoo, did you ever notice that at least a few strands fell out of the bottle? Even while it’s simple to draw hasty conclusions in situations like this, you should rest easy knowing that, on average, each person loses 50 to 100 hairs per day. So, even though it seems intimidating, a few hairs are expected.

But if you see thin areas or keep pulling out hair clumps, it should be a warning sign. Hair shedding and hair loss can be difficult to deal with, but Neograft Hair Restoration Orange County can help.

Here’s how to tell the difference between hair loss and hair shedding, which often have different meanings and require different medical treatments.

Hair Loss vs. Hair Shedding

So, how can you determine whether you’re experiencing hair shedding or hair loss? To begin with, excessive hair shedding is typically a temporary condition. For example, telogen effluvium, a disorder that causes excessive hair shedding for several months, might be brought on by severe stress or an adverse situation. Hair falls out more frequently than the average quantity of 50 to 100 hairs daily because cortisol causes hair to prematurely enter the telogen (resting) phase and depart the anagen phase (growing) earlier.

The signs of telogen effluvium, which are more common in women, include a generalized, progressive hair thinning and an apparent increase in excessive shedding. Although it might localize on any area of the scalp or disperse uniformly over the entire head, it is typically localized at the top of the head. When the stressor is removed, in the case of excessive hair loss, hair should resume normal growth patterns.

However, hair loss, sometimes called anagen effluvium, occurs when a problem prevents hair from developing and won’t start growing again unless the problem is fixed. A receding hairline, unexpected hair loss, patchy or bald patches, and full-body hair loss are all possible symptoms of hair loss.

You can encourage healthier hair while minimizing stress on the scalp and hair, regardless of whether you’re suffering from hair loss or shedding. Every day, apply GRO+ Advanced Hair Serum to dry hair. It works by circulating concentrated extracts of red clover, mung beans, curcumin, and Nicotiana benthamiana into troubled regions, strengthening the roots and giving the appearance of more volume, thickness, and hair density. Micro-encapsulated broad-spectrum hemp extract is added to promote healthy hair development for its calming and soothing effects on the scalp.

Is There a Difference Between Shedding and Losing Hair? 

Do you use the terms “hair shedding” and “hair loss” interchangeably? It might surprise you to learn that these terms actually describe two different conditions! What makes hair shedding different from hair loss? Everyone sheds hair from time to time. Losing somewhere from 50 to 100 hairs daily is normal. If a person is shedding more than that, however, it’s likely that there’s a reason for that.  Why do you need to know the difference between hair loss and hair shedding? If you have a better understanding between these two conditions, you’ll understand what you can do to protect your own hair. 

What Is Hair Shedding?

As a normal component of the hair growth cycle, hair sheds; the American Academy of Dermatology estimates that a person typically loses between fifty and one hundred hairs daily. Even though it may seem excessive to shed up to 100 hairs a day, it depends on that person. Recall that each human has about 100,000 hair follicles.

The exogen phase of the hair development cycle includes the shedding process. After the telogen (resting) phase, the body gets ready to shed hair from the hair follicles and start a new growth cycle. It is known as the exogen phase. The exogen phase of the hair development cycle is the shortest, lasting only a few days, whereas the telogen phase lasts almost three months. While certain hair shedding appears normal, if you’re experiencing excessive shedding, it may indicate a deeper underlying problem instead of healthy loss.

How to Tell Hair Shedding from Hair Loss 

Hair specialists refer to shedding as “telogen effluvium.” While there are different types of hair loss, one of the most common types is “androgenetic alopecia.” Of course, names aren’t the only differences between these medical conditions.  To truly understand how shedding and hair loss are different, you must look at where the life cycle of hair begins. 

The Start of the Hair Growth Cycle 

The hair growth process is cyclical. 

There are three phases within the hair follicle cycle.  The Anagen phase describes when the follicle begins to grow from the dermal papilla (DP), which is the follicle root. The phase can span from four to seven years. It can be diagnosed clinically when it is possible to see new hairs growing from the scalp.  The anagen phase is followed by the catagen phase. This is essentially the death phase of hair. During this phase, hair detaches from the DP. It’s a fixed regression stage that may involve cell to cell signaling. It spans around two weeks and can be appreciated by the way the regressing hair and the follicles around it fully separate from the DP.  The third phase is the telogen phase. This is a resting phase for hair. The hair shaft separates from the hair follicle and stays dormant for between 4 to 6 months. When the follicle begins to grow again, it goes back to the anagen phase.  There are many factors that can have an impact on this growth cycle, including hair care products, diet, and stress levels. The anagen phase naturally shortens as people become older, which causes hair to become thinner. 

What Causes Hair Shedding? 

Shedding is a natural component of the life cycle of hair. As mentioned previously, it’s perfectly normal to shed anywhere from 50 to 100 hairs each day. In the majority of cases, shedding is just temporary. If a person is shedding an unusual amount of hair, there are a number of potential causes. 

* Quickly losing a significant amount of wait 

* Vitamin deficiency 

* Hormonal shift caused by giving birth or discontinuing oral birth control 

* Systemic illness or high fevers 

* Surgery 

* Physical and emotional trauma 

High stress or anxiety levels can also lead to hair shedding and loss. That’s why you should seek out ways to keep your stress levels in check. If you’re able to effectively manage stress and anxiety, it’s likely that shedding will decrease as well. You should also consider whether your hair care routine is contributing to your shedding. Anytime you wash, comb, or style your hair during the telogen phase, it can lead to shedding, even if you don’t use heat. You may need to adjust your routine in order to keep your hair from shedding. Thankfully, in most cases, it’s possible to reverse hair shedding. After the condition has been diagnosed by a professional, patients can receive treatment and identify potential triggers. From there, hair will typically grow back within six months to one year.

What Is Hair Loss? 

Hair shedding is a natural part of the hair growth cycle. Hair loss, on the other hand, takes place when hair ceases to grow. Not everyone experiences hair loss.  Normally, hair grows for four to seven years before moving into the resting phase. When a person experiences hair loss, the growth phase shrinks. This causes a condition referred to as “miniaturization,” which causes hair to become thinner over time. In addition to that, it can also take longer for new hair to grow, which means hair that has been shed may not be replaced. 

Genetic and androgenic alopecia are common sources of hair loss for men and women alike. For women, it’s typical for hair miniaturization to occur across the head. However, hairlines rarely receded. For men, hair is lost in a clearly defined pattern. Genetic hair loss is often referred to as male-pattern baldness.  It’s likely that there are numerous environmental and genetic factors that influence hair loss.

In many cases, there are multiple issues contributing to the loss of hair. Some of the more frequently seen causes of hair loss include:  * Immune system reactions  * Side effects of drugs or medications  * Genetics  Unlike hair shedding, hair loss typically is treated via surgical or medical means. Treatments can vary based on the root cause of the hair loss and the number of hair follicles can have been lost. This means that results may vary as well. For women that have experienced hair loss, medication is a common treatment. Men often require both medical and surgical treatments, such as a hair transplant, in order to see noticeable results. 

How Much Hair Loss Is Too Much? 

There are a number of elements that can lead to shedding and hair loss. If you’re struggling with one of these issues, and you haven’t been able to resolve the issue on your own, a physician that specializes in disorders involving the hair and scalp can help.  Even if you don’t know if you’re dealing with shedding or hair loss, Neograft Hair Restoration Orange County can help. We’ll work with you to identify the cause of your issues and find a solution.  To set up an appointment, just give us a call at (949) 644-3592 or send us an email at info@drgeorgebrennan.com. 


Hair shedding and hair loss are very different, although people often use the terms interchangeably. While daily light shedding is normal, increasing hair shedding needs further investigation because it can swiftly progress to hair loss, another condition with many causes and treatments. For an evaluation, if you need to check if you’re losing hair, see a doctor, dermatologist, or trichologist. Caring for your scalp is always a good idea, regardless of your hair’s condition.