We joke about that little ball of hair that we stick to the side of the shower wall, and there's something disgustingly satisfying about pulling a Cousin It-esque clump from the shower drain . . . but exactly how much hair is normal to lose in a single wash? A few wayward strands? A quarter-sized wad?
For the answer to this pressing question, we consulted Dr. Sejal Shah, a New York City-based cosmetic dermatologist who's an expert in hair loss. "Shedding is a normal part of the hair cycle," said Dr. Shah. "On average, between 50 and 100 hairs per day is typical, but note this is an average so it can be more or less in some cases."
Dr. Shah explained further, saying that the hair follicle has a natural growth cycle, which has growing, resting, and shedding phases. Once a strand of hair has entered the resting phase, it must eventually shed as a new hair in the growing phase comes in.
"This cycle is continuously happening, and not all the hair is in the same stage at the same time," she said. "So while most of it is in the growing phase, a smaller number is in the resting or shedding phase, which is why it is normal to shed daily."
If you feel you are shedding more than normal — or experience a noticeable uptick in your hair loss — it's best to see a board-certified dermatologist to pinpoint and address why this is happening. Your derm can provide answers and help reverse the issue!