How Much Hair Loss Is Normal?

Find out how much hair is normal to lose in a day, plus what may be causing you to shed more strands than usual.

Hair Health Hotline: How much hair loss is normal?
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Hair Health Hotline is your direct access to dermatologists, trichologists, hairstylists, and other beauty pros. Each story in this series tackles a common hair or scalp concern and offers science-backed solutions to care for your strands.

Maybe your hairbrush collects strands quickly or maybe you stick a lot of hair to your wall during showers to avoid a clogged drain. For one reason or another, you've probably asked yourself a common Q: How much hair loss is normal?

Hair shedding is a natural part of the hair growth cycle and often nothing to be alarmed about. That being said, abnormal shedding can be frustrating and is sometimes a sign that you're dealing with a health issue. Here, Anabel Kingsley, brand president and consultant trichologist at Philip Kingsley, sheds light on how much hair loss is normal.

Q: I've noticed that I lose a lot of hair every day, but I'm not sure if I should be worried. How much hair loss is normal?

A: Under normal circumstances, most people lose up to 100 strands of hair per day. However, there are multiple reasons you may lose more or fewer, even if nothing's amiss.

Each strand of hair on your head goes through a growth cycle during its lifetime, and every growth cycle is broken up into four phases: growth, intermediary, resting, and shedding, according to Kingsley. Normally, people lose up to 100 strands of hair daily during the shedding phase, she says. That may sound like a lot at first, but the average person has 120,000 hair follicles on their scalp, according to Kingsley.

To be clear, that's not a universal rule. "It varies from person to person," says Kingsley. "Some people will say that they've kind of always lost a lot of hair." Some people notice that they shed a greater amount of hair seasonally, often losing more hair in the summer or fall, but losing more hair during a particular season each year isn't a cause for concern in and of itself, she notes.

Theoretically, your hair type may factor into how much hair you lose. "People with fine hair actually have [a greater number of strands] on their scalp," says Kingsley. "I actually don't think studies have been done on this, but you could deduce that people with fine hair would lose more hairs and people with coarser hairs would lose less of them. Because at any given time in a normal hair growth cycle you'll have 10 percent of hairs in the resting or shedding phase." And 10 percent of, for example, 120,000 total hairs is greater than 10 percent of 100,000 total hairs.

Hair shedding is not to be confused with hair thinning, which refers to a decrease in the thickness of new strands that are growing in rather than the number of strands that fall out. Hair thinning is often linked to changes in hormones, such as from androgenetic alopecia, aka male or female pattern baldness, says Kingsley. Both shedding and thinning can contribute to an overall decrease in the fullness of your hair.

Hair Health Hotline: How much hair loss is normal?

What Can Throw Off Your Rate of Hair Loss

These are three of the most common circumstances that can throw off how much hair you're losing daily.

Telogen Effluvium

"Telogen effluvium is really common," says Kingsley. "It's a reactive type of hair shedding or hair loss caused by stress, illness, a nutritional deficiency, or postpartum [changes]. "With telogen effluvium, hair loss is really noticeable, and you'll see more hairs coming out when you shampoo, when you brush your hair, on the floor, on your clothes, maybe on your pillow."

This cause of hair loss can triple the amount of hair you lose each day, increasing the number of strands lost from around 100 to around 300, says Kingsley. Telogen effluvium occurs when a greater portion of your hairs are sent into the resting (aka telogen) and shedding phases than normal, she explains.

It's typically not a slow, gradual process. The hair shedding usually starts six to 12 weeks after the event that causes telogen effluvium, and then it stops around after three months, says Kingsley. At that point, you can expect your hair growth cycle to return to normal, she says.


If you're pregnant, you may start to notice more or less hair shedding than typical and that can change throughout your pregnancy. "The vast majority of women will notice, especially in their second or third trimester, less hair shedding, and this is because estrogen levels rise significantly and estrogen helps to keep hair in the growth phase," says Kingsley. "Some women claim to lose like 10 hairs per day."

On the flip side, some people experience more shedding than the normal amount of hair loss during pregnancy. "You can get telogen effluvium in pregnancy too, depending on how your general health has been," says Kingsley. "I think there is a lot of pressure during pregnancy to have glowing skin and amazing hair, and while this can be the case, it's not uncommon for it not to be the case. If someone has iron deficiency which is really common during pregnancy or gestational diabetes or really severe pregnancy sickness, or any other problems in pregnancy, women can use more hair than usual during pregnancy." Many people also experience increased hair fall during the postpartum period.

Low Iron Levels

On a similar note, many people experience lowered iron levels when they get their period or just in general, and that can throw things off, according to Kingsley. "Iron and ferritin (a protein that stores iron) are needed to produce the protein that your hair is made of, and [insufficient levels of the nutrients] is the most common cause of excessive hair shedding in women," she says.

Your iron levels could be to blame for hair loss, even if the results from your latest blood test didn't uncover an iron deficiency, says Kingsley. "Iron levels don't have to be deficient to cause hair shedding," she says. "Because your hair isn't an essential tissue physically, the blood reference ranges are much more narrow." In other words, it's common to have enough iron and ferritin so that your body's essential systems can function properly, but not enough to maintain normal hair shedding. "The same applies to vitamin B12, vitamin D — those levels have to be much higher for hair growth than general health," says Kingsley. (

How to Tell If You're Experiencing a Normal Amount of Hair Loss

Technically you could attempt to count how many hairs you're losing daily, but that's not the most helpful approach. "I don't recommend checking with a hair count," says Kingsley. "It's a really common thing. It can stress you out and people end up pulling their hair out and breaking it off."

Instead, go with your gut. "You'll know if you're shedding too much because it's much more than what you're used to," says Kingsley. "So if you think too much of your hair is coming out, it probably is."

If you experience an uptick in your daily hair fall, it's important to pay attention to how long it lasts, and whether you can pinpoint an event that may have triggered temporary increased hair loss. "Some hair loss is just transient," says Kingsley. "Let's say you had the stomach flu or COVID or surgery. You can expect that six to twelve weeks later, hair is going to come out, and just know that that's a reflection of the past and ride it out. But if you're worried or if you have hair shedding that lasts longer than 12 weeks or is recurring (it starts and stops), or are getting patchy hair loss, see someone." If you're noticing that your hairs are falling out at a shorter length than usual, that's another sign you should seek help from a professional, she says. "There's probably something internal going on or maybe it's the beginning of hair thinning."

The short answer to, "How much hair loss is normal?" is 100 strands per day, on average, but you can lose more or less than that even when nothing's wrong. Rather than trying to gather up your strands, it's best to consider how your current rate of hair fall compares to what's normal for you.

Have a hair health question you want answered? Send your Q to for a chance to have it featured in a future installment of Hair Health Hotline.

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