Did you know that most people shed an average of about 100-125 strands of hair per day? If you happen to have shoulder length or longer hair, then that number might be slightly higher. So, don’t be alarmed if every time you run your fingers through your hair, a few strands fall out. This is perfectly natural, especially if you only wash your hair about three times per week. But, if you’re legitimately concerned that you’re losing an abnormal amount of hair rapidly, then there are a few different signs of hair loss you should be looking for in both men and women. A trusted health professional will be able to determine whether your hair loss is normal.
First, it’s important to note that men and women experience baldness and hair loss differently, whether it’s due to uncontrollable genetic predispositions or external causes and bad habits. While there is some overlap when it comes to determining causes and symptoms of male or female pattern baldness, there are also some glaring differences that must be addressed to accurately treat hair loss for both men and women.
Signs of Male or Female Pattern Baldness
As mentioned, not all people experience male or female pattern baldness in the same way or even to the same degree. The cause of hair loss determines the severity and types of symptoms, so it’s important to get to the root of the problem in order to accurately treat it. Here are a few signs of hair loss in men and women as well as male and female baldness treatment options.
Patterns of Hair Loss and Thinning Hair
Men tend to experience gradual hair loss usually in the form of a receding hairline. It starts from the front of the scalp—the widow’s peak—and works its way towards the crown or center of the head. This pattern often starts on the left and right frontal lobes and leaves some hair in the center of the frontal scalp, creating an M-shape over time. The rate of hair loss and severity of the condition depends on what’s causing it. Certain medications, medical treatments, illnesses, autoimmune disorders, lack of nutrition, and lifestyle habits can all contribute to hair loss in men.
Women, on the other hand, are more prone to thinning hair rather than demonstrating specific hair loss patterns. You might notice that your hair isn’t as voluminous or thick as it used to be or that it gets oily much faster than it used to. Similar to men, women who suffer from autoimmune disorders or who’ve undergone chemotherapy treatment will usually experience either partial or full hair loss. Hormonal changes during pregnancy or caused by certain medications and bodily changes can also hinder the hair follicles’ ability to produce new hair strands which causes more rapid hair loss.
While an occasionally itchy scalp isn’t necessarily a sign of hair loss for either men or women, excessive itchiness could indicate a scalp or skin infection. In some cases, though, itchiness could be caused by lice, dry scalp, psoriasis, or even simply tying your ponytail too tightly. If you start to notice flakiness, redness in your scalp or experience any unusual pain, you should seek medical attention.
Circular or Patchy Bald Spots
Whether you’re male or female, hair loss isn’t always perfectly linear or even. Sometimes, you can experience varying degrees of hair loss on different parts of your scalp or body. For women, patchy but smooth bald spots usually originate at the crown of the head where their natural part is located and they spread to other areas over time. Even though male hair loss usually starts at the front of the head, signs of hair loss can often manifest themselves simultaneously in multiple parts of the scalp and spread in different directions.
Another sign of hair loss that afflicts both men and women is a more prominently visible scalp. Your scalp doesn’t necessarily have to be fully covered all the time. In fact, you should have a clearly visible part down the middle of your head or at least create one artificially on the left or right side depending on your preferences. However, if you notice that your scalp is becoming more and more visible on its own accord without you having to move your hair around, then you should take this as an indicator of hair loss.
Large Clumps of Hair
You might think that losing large clumps of hair is an obvious sign of hair loss for both men and women and in some cases, this is an accurate assessment. However, losing large clumps of hair doesn’t always indicate that your hair is falling out—at least not as quickly or alarmingly as it might seem. There are a few factors that come into play here. Naturally, people with thicker hair are prone to losing more strands daily than people with naturally thin hair because they have more hair to lose and replace. Another factor has to do with how often you brush or wash your hair. Your hair usually falls out the most frequently during or after being freshly washed or brushed because the motions of your fingertips or the tongs from the brush stimulate your hair follicles and urge them to let go of the dead hair to make room for new hair strands. But, if you wash and brush your hair infrequently, then you might notice more strands of hair come out when you run your fingers through your hair. This is because the loose hair strands cling very lightly to your other hair strands until you tug on them to come out, hence giving the illusion of more hair loss than usual. This can apply to both men and women with long hair.
What to Do if You Notice Signs of Hair Loss
In most circumstances, a certain amount of hair loss is a perfectly healthy and normal part of the hair regeneration process. However, if you’re noticing an excessive amount of hair loss to the point where it’s stopping you from living a happy life, then you need to look for a highly qualified hair loss clinic near you.
In Toronto, that clinic is the renowned Canadian Institute of Hair and Scalp Specialists. Having worked in the hair loss restoration industry for over 30 years, our clinicians, hair loss specialists and surgeons can help diagnose the cause of your hair loss and treat it accordingly. Our top priority is to help our clients regain their confidence in their appearances and achieve a high quality of life as a result. To book a free consultation with one of our hair loss experts, please call us at (905) 272-0190 or toll-free at 1-800-563-3836.