Is It Hair Loss or Hair Shedding? Is it a Matter of Semantics, or is There Really a Difference?

Is It Hair Loss or Hair Shedding? Is it a Matter of Semantics, or is There Really a Difference?

We all lose a certain amount of hair every day. It's a normal process known as shedding. We all know that pets shed hair and we know that it's no reason for concern, but it may come as a surprise to many to realize that shedding is not confined to our pets! We normally shed between 50 and 100 hairs per day, but new hair is continually growing in at the same time. It's not unusual for people to experience excessive hair shedding due to certain conditions and/or circumstances, and while it may be a bit alarming when it's happening, it's typically a temporary situation that corrects itself as the conditions or circumstances change.

Excessive Hair Shedding

There's a name for excessive shedding. It's known medically as telogen effluvium, and several factors can cause its onset, including

  • excessive weight loss (20 lbs. or more) 
  • childbirth 
  • being exposed to high levels of stress 
  • stopping birth control pills 
  • having suffered a recent illness that included a high fever 
  • having recently undergone surgery 

As your body readjusts and "resets" itself, the excess shedding will return to normal levels and hair will regain its normal appearance -- usually within 6-9 months of the stressful circumstance(s). Your hair follicles have come out of their "resting phase" and back into their normal cycles of shedding and regrowth.

In some cases, excessive hair shedding can continue to occur if the stressful situation that triggered it doesn't go away. For example, suppose you're caring for a terminally ill family member while still working and taking care of your own family at the same time. This prolonged state of stress can keep the problem of excessive hair shedding going for an extended period of time.

Hair Loss

Hair shedding becomes hair loss when follicles die and stop re-growing hair. Hair loss has its own list of possible causes like:

  • heredity 
  • an over-reacting immune system (an autoimmune problem) 
  • certain drugs and treatments (e.g., chemotherapy) 
  • tight hairstyles that are worn regularly (e.g. you pull your hair sleekly into a tight pony tail daily)
  • harsh hair products 
  • obsessive hair pulling 
  • hormones 

The good news is that in some cases, these sometimes alarming, confidence-crushing experiences of noticeable or even total hair loss are sometimes just temporary -- as in the case of cancer treatments like chemo and radiation therapies. But even when you begin to feel defeated by the problem of hair loss -- and perhaps especially then -- you deserve to know that there are real options for restoring your hair available at places like New Image Hair Clinic, Pennsylvania's premier hair loss clinic.

At New Image, you'll have the opportunity to learn more about the reasons for hair loss, but more importantly, you'll be presented with treatment options, and guided by experts in the field toward the solution that's best for your unique hair loss reasons. Solutions include

More good news: New hair treatments and technologies are continually evolving and becoming viable solutions for anyone -- man or woman -- suffering through the often devastating emotional side effects of hair loss.

At a hair loss clinic like New Image Hair Clinic, you'll receive a free scalp analysis and consultation, which is the first proactive step to taking charge of hair loss and ultimately triumphing over it. You'll feel better as soon as you take action, so what are you waiting for. If you’re in Pennsylvania, contact us at New Image Hair Clinic and take that first life-changing step toward your personalized hair loss solution!


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  • Thank you for your fairness and understanding. People, like you and Bonnie, are why I look forward to my monthly trip there for my haircut.
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    Terri Young
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