Normal Hair fall VS Severe Hair loss: How to differentiate?

Normal Hair fall VS Severe Hair loss: How to differentiate?

What's the difference between normal and severe hair loss?

Hair loss is a big concern to most men and women. In reality, no one ever wants to experience hair loss because we all cherish our hair. That’s why some people with hair loss issues can go as far as spending all their hard-earned money on hair transplants so that everything can grow back together again. 

But what if you don’t even know if the daily hair fall you experience is a normal hair fall or not? This question is what many people can’t seem to get answers to. They find themselves at crossroads when they discover that they cannot differentiate if they are experiencing a normal hair fall or severe hair loss.

However, if you are in such a situation or you know of anyone in such a situation, no need to panic. That’s why this article is for you, and it’s a promising one. 

In this article we will go into details about the difference between regular hair fall and severe hair loss. First of all, let us look at the various levels of hair growth: 


Hair Growth Levels

For us to be able to differentiate when a hair fall is still normal or whether it has moved to the extreme stage, we need to know the different hair growth phases. Understanding the different hair growth phases will give us a clearer explanation as to why we experience hair fall. 

Generally, hair advances through four different growth stages, and they are the: Anagen stage, Catagen stage, Telogen stage, and the Exogen stage.

  • The Anagen stage

This is the beginning stage of the hair cycle. Normally, the hair roots, also referred to as follicles, are the ones responsible for the release of new strands of hair. New hair strands get developed from the hair root during the anagen stage. 

Not only that, the anagen growth level determines the overall length of one’s hair. It takes years for hair to migrate from this level to another. That’s why people call the anagen stage the highest and greatest hair growth level. It can last up to five or six years. Studies have shown that approximately ninety percent of human hairs are at this level.

  • The Catagen stage

After several years of some of our hair strands in the Anagen stage, they progress to the Catagen phase. Note that not all of your hair strands are in the same phase. Some are in Anagen, while others are in other stages too. By the time hair strands progress from the Anagen stage to the catagen stage, the hair follicles would have started declining, and their productivity level begins to decline. And the result of that is the inhibition of hair growth. This stage takes up to two weeks.

  • The Telogen stage

As soon as the hair growth advances to the telogen stage, the hair strands enter resting mode. No growth occurs here. The only new development here is that hair strands pull out from the roots of the hair, but they remain intact on the head. This stage lasts for about three months.

  • The Exogen stage

Generally, this stage lasts for about three months for some people, while for some, it may be up to 5 months. 

These growth phases will lead us to an overview of hair fall.

Hair Fall

Hair fall is also known as hair loss. It’s divided into two categories; they are Normal hair fall and severe hair fall/loss.

Briefly, we will be looking at both normal hair fall and severe hair fall/loss: How to differentiate them?


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Hair fall VS. Severe hair fall/loss

  • Normal hair fall

As the old hair strands fall out, they are replaced by new ones. That is, as some hair strands are progressing from the anagen stage to the catagen stage, the hair roots release some other hair strands to replace the old ones. 

Normal hair falls take place during the exogen stage. It’s a normal hair growth occurrence that happens to everyone. Moreover, there are about 100,000 hairs on our heads. So, when normal hair falls occur, it’s not visible because that’s just about 0.5 percent of the hair strands on our heads. 

Furthermore, normal hair fall is healthy for our hair because, without it, weakened hairs won’t get restored by new ones. However, you may get nervous when you observe strands of hair falling out every day, especially when it’s up to 100 strands. Hence, it’s important to reiterate that constant hair falls may be triggered by some factors that could be easily avoided. This may not allow the last stage to get to the end of its cycle before hairs fall out.

Such factors include:

  • Stress

Too much stress can trigger hair fall. Always try as much as possible to manage stress well. Normally, when one is over-stressed, the body responds to this through weakness; the same works for the hair. Stress weakens the hair roots, and it affects the hair too.

  • Dehydration

Dehydration is another factor that can trigger hair loss. There’s a need for a constant water supply in our body system. When a person gets dehydrated, it limits some body functions. One of which is the hair follicle that won’t get the sufficient nourishment needed, thereby resulting in the fall out of hair.

  • Excessive Combing of Hair

Too much combing of hair exerts a significant force on the hair follicles leading to the pull out of hair strands. In some cases, hair strands get weakened in the process, making them pull out at the slightest touch. 

Also, when a hair is wet, the hair strands are weakened. In such a case, excessive combing of hair can pull out severe hair strands. Try as much as possible to always handle the comb gently when combing.

  • Lack of Balanced Diet

Foods are for nourishment; when a person eats a balanced diet, the food gets to nourish every part of the body. Food contains essential nutrients needed for healthy hair. Proteins, fats, oil, and minerals help get the scalp nourished and well-moisturized.

How do you get rid of unnecessary hair fall?

Unnecessary hair fall can be reduced by;

  • Avoiding too much stress. 
  • Exercising daily
  • Massage your scalp: For instance, when you plant a seed, you make sure that they are well planted in good soil and watered daily so that it can grow well. The same works for the scalp, too; a healthy scalp makes healthy hair. When you wash your hair, wash your scalp too well and massage it. You can also apply oils to the scalp after washing it—oils such as coconut oil.
  • Avoid hairstyles that can pull your hair: Some hairstyles can greatly pull your hair, especially your hairline. Resist the urge to always make hairstyles that can exert force on your hair roots.
  • Eating a proper diet is mandatory because they contain the essential nutrients needed for maintaining healthy hair. Vitamins are one of the essential nutrients that the hair needs. Vitamin B, D, K, etc., help with hair growth. Foods that contain iron will significantly help too with the constant passage of blood to the scalp. Prioritize taking healthy meals.
  • Getting enough rest, the body needs time to cool down and reset before every part of the body can work properly. So, schedule rest periods every day for yourself.
  • Take supplements; Supplements play a major factor in providing those hair growth nutrients that are limited in food. You can go for vitamins supplements or iron supplements. You can easily get a supplement at any nearby pharmacy store around you.
  • Using excellent hair conditioning: Hair conditioning helps improve the feel, appearance, and manageability of hair. It’s also used to reduce hair breakage, improve hair’s texture and protect the hair from damage. Conditioners are used primarily after shampooing so that the hair can retain some of the moisture that is lost while washing with shampoo. There are various kinds of conditioners based on the purpose it’s intended for. Examples are deep conditioners, leave-in conditioners, etc.

How much hair fall is considered normal to be lost in a day for males?

Normally, everyone loses hair at one point or the other throughout their lifetime. An average hair fall is expected to be around 50-150 hair strands per day, but this varies in human beings due to some factors. Some may fall out 150 strands daily, while in another person, it can be 25 strands of hair daily.

As reiterated above, hair fall is actually what helps keep our hair healthy. The problem arises when the old hairs do not get replaced. While some men do experience a more visible quantity of hair fall frequently than others, there’s no need to panic if you observe clumps of hair strands on your bed when you wake up or when you wash your every morning as it is a normal occurrence. 

But what happens when the hair roots get miniaturized and unable to give out new strands of hair? This is where a severe hair loss comes in.


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  • Severe Hair loss

Severe hair loss is an entirely different term; it’s not to be considered a normal hair fall/loss. Severe hair loss occurs as a result of the exclusion of the anagen stage during the normal hair development stages. Normally when hair strands migrate from the anagen stage to the catagen stage, the hair follicle is expected to bring out new hair strands. 

But when the hair follicles refuse to give out some new sets of hair strands, this means that no new sets of hair strands replace the former hair strands that have just migrated to the catagen phase. Hence, the anagen stage remains dormant with no activity happening there. So, as the cycle goes round the clock, it becomes evident that there’s a severe hair loss with no replacement. 

Moreover, if you observe that you experience about 200- 500 strands of hair fall daily, it’s advisable to seek medical counsel immediately. Hair fall greater than 150 hair strands per day is not a normal one.

Factors responsible for severe hair loss

There are numerous factors responsible for the severe loss of hair in men;

  • Genetics

Most men who deal with hair loss often realize that they have it in their genes. They often inherit from their family members, especially either their grandfather or their father.

People with such cases can’t fight their genes, so what they can do is get medications that can help them treat it. For instance, medications such as Finasteride and Minoxidil could help out with such cases.

  • Finasteride

Finasteride acts by reducing the secretion of Dihydrotestosterone in circulation. Dihydrotestosterone is a hormone responsible for the shrinkage of hair roots. Too much dihydrotestosterone is not healthy for the hair.

So, when finasteride inhibits the activity of Dihydrotestosterone, the hair follicles start to dilate. This favors the proper growth of the hair.

  • Minoxidil

Minoxidil acts by stimulating the flow of blood to the scalp, thereby getting the hair follicles nourished.

It’s medically safe to combine both Finasteride and Minoxidil as they work hand in hand. As Finasteride gets Dihydrotestoterone reduced in circulation, Minoxidil, on the other hand, gets the hair roots nourished through the passage of blood to the scalp.

Also, researchers have confirmed that both Finasteride and Minoxidil work well for hair loss.

  • Hormonal Imbalance

Another factor responsible for severe hair loss is hormonal imbalance. Men that fall around the age of 50 and above often experience severe hair loss due to other medical conditions they are treating. Medical conditions such as obesity, liver disease, diabetes, cancer, etc., can result in severe hair loss.

People with such conditions should seek medical advice before getting over-counter medications for it because they never can tell if those unprescribed medications can interact with their usual medications.



It’s normal for a person to experience daily hair fall. But when it exceeds the expected range, which is around 50 to 150 strands of hair, it’s no longer considered a normal hair fall. Such a person should seek medical attention immediately as it can be treated.