How to Know If You're Losing Your Hair

by Paul Bright ; Updated September 28, 2017

Baldness is sometimes considered attractive for men, especially for those who voluntarily shave their heads to the skin. However, hair loss beyond a natural process can be of concern to both men and women. Since we naturally shed hairs as new ones replace them, seeing those strands on your shoulder or pillowcase might prompt you to question if your hair is thinning or disappearing.

Examine your shower drain, pillowcase, clothes and brush for loose hairs. A few loose strands are normal. People naturally lose up to 100 hairs a day. But if it looks like your hair loss is about 200 or 300 hairs and you don’t feel them being tugged from your scalp as you wash or brush your hair, there may be a problem.

Look at any significant life events or medications that you have begun in the past three months. Some events, such as a recent birth, can cause temporary hair loss, while medicines associated with chemotherapy also can cause temporary hair loss. Stress also is associated with some hair loss.

Check recent photos and compare them to past photos, looking particularly around the scalp. Male pattern baldness is not preventable, but the way the hair is lost is predictable. Men that have male pattern baldness tend to lose their hair from the forehead hairline toward the back and the sides of the head last.

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About the Author

Paul Bright has been writing online since 2006, specializing in topics related to military employment and mental health. He works for a mental health non-profit in Northern California. Bright holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of North Carolina-Pembroke and a Master of Arts in psychology-marriage and family therapy from Brandman University.