How Much Hair Loss Is Normal When You Shower?

by Sienna Fantozzi

If you're a girl with mid-length, long, or thick hair, you've probably had this experience: Get in the shower, wash your hair, find legitimate clumps of hair in the drain, and think "OMG, I'm losing my hair prematurely!" So really, how much hair is normal to lose in the shower? It's probably time to find out the facts, before I like, go Google crazy and diagnose myself with some incurable disease on WebMD.

Because a lot of the information you find online is often generic and broad, I'll give you my personal experience. I have long and thick hair, so I'm used to the normal shedding (read: finding strands of hair on your pillow case, on your floor, your clothing — yeah, been there, done that), but without fail, every time I wash my hair, I pull out strands. Upon strands. Upon strands of hair. By the time I get out of the shower, the hair I've lost fills up a small fistful. It's terrifying, yet my hair is still ungodly thick, which seems to defy all logic. So what gives?

Finding clumps of hair in your shower drain is actually totally normal. I spoke to celebrity stylist Ken Paves, who said that women naturally lose between 50-100 strands of hair per day. That number can increase when you rough it up with shampoo, have longer hair, or wear it up in elastic bands frequently.

If you're like me and only wash your hair once a week, it would make sense that you might pull out a little bit more than 50-100 strands, so don't stress too much.

But if you're still wondering why your hair doesn't thin out with all those strands coming out everyday, consider the numbers. The human head has 100,000 to 150,000 hairs on it, according to Beautylish, so 50-100 strands a day is a pretty small percentage of all the hair on your head.

But while losing 50-100 strands a day is normal, some hair loss actually is cause for concern. Here are warning signs to look out for:

1. Your Hair Loss Is Increasing

If you've always lost a lot of hair in the shower, don't stress, but if you start to see more and more hair in the drain every time you shampoo, that's a better indication of abnormal hair loss.

2. Your Ponytail Feels Thin

Anna Webber/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

If your ponytail is usually thick and voluminous, but you notice it's starting to feel sparse, then you might want to schedule a check-up with your doctor.

3. You Can See Your Scalp

"I recommend discussing with your doctor or a Trichologist when you have areas that are losing excessive amounts and you are able to see your scalp when you once couldn't," said Paves.

Images: Sienna Fantozzi; Piotr Marcinski/Fotolia; Hygiene Matters/Flickr