Hair Shedding and Hair Thinning: The Difference

While shedding and hair thinning oftentimes appear similar, they are not the same. One condition is unavoidable and the other is treatable. If you’re noticing more hair than usual in your brush or in the shower, it’s worth understanding the difference between shedding and thinning in order to take the appropriate next steps.

Hair Shedding

The exogen (shedding) phase is the final stage of the hair growth cycle and occurs when the hair follicle is no longer active, causing a hair to be released and fall out. Around 5% of hair exists in that phase at any given time as shedding is a completely natural process – it happens to make room for new hair growth.

Hair Thinning

Hair thinning occurs when follicle miniaturisation takes place, when the follicle shrinks with each generation of new hair. As miniaturising hair sheds, the next new hair will be finer, thinner and less robust. If your hair is thinning you might see more shedding, and eventually feel your ponytail or braid is less full than before, while also noticing your scalp is more visible.

How to tell the difference between shedding and thinning

It’s normal to lose around 50 to 100 hairs a day – especially for people with thicker hair. If you begin to experience excessive shedding, noticing much more hair in your brush or shower drain, it could be time to speak with an expert. While it might be a short-term condition, it could also be the miniaturisation process taking its toll.

What causes shedding versus thinning?

Stress: Emotional trauma, pregnancy, illness, surgery, certain medications, dramatic weight loss, and other physical and emotional stressors may lead to an increase in the amount of hair you are losing. Stressful events can lead to hormonal shifts that cause shedding. Often the hair growth cycle will recalibrate and return to normal, but sometimes excessive shedding can trigger the miniaturisation effect.

Harsh hair products: Harsh hair products can be a culprit when it comes to hair thinning. Many problematic ingredients can appear to work in the short-term, but ultimately cause damage to the scalp and hair follicles. Switching to products that utilise gentle but powerful ingredients can do wonders for your scalp and help you achieve quality hair gain.

Hair follicle miniaturisation: The aforementioned process of hair follicle miniaturisation, when follicles shrink and produce thinner hair is the primary indicator that you’re experiencing thinning rather than shedding. We have designed the Harklinikken Method (which includes our Extract) to directly address the effects of miniaturisation. Our products and treatment techniques will help to strengthen follicles and allow them to produce thicker, more vibrant hair.

Unsure where to start?

We only accept candidates who we believe we can help, which is why our online Hair Assessment is the best place to start. Based on your results, you will either qualify for immediate treatment or we will organize a consultation.