Tag Archive for: hair shedding

What’s the Difference Between Hair Shedding & Hair Growth?

Hair shedding and growth explained by dr. ben behnam at Happy HeadAs a world-renowned board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Ben Behnam answers the question of why you may experience a shedding phase once you start your hair growth treatments. Hair shedding and hair growth are two distinct, but equally important natural processes in the hair growth cycle that can happen at the same time. Understanding the difference between them can help you stick to your hair growth solutions and maintain the results you’re seeing. Dr. Ben Behnam explains everything you need to know about the differences between hair growth and shedding, in addition to understanding the science behind hair growth ingredients work to stimulate growth. Understanding the ingredients that go into your hair growth solutions and what you may experience with topical versus oral medications, can help you talk to your dermatologist about making adjustments to your formula as you go.

At Happy Head, our hair growth solutions are customized to your needs, sex, medical history, and hair growth goals, made fresh to order and shipped to your door. Custom ingredients at their highest strengths can get you the results you want in just a few months. So what’s the difference between hair shedding and hair growth?

Let’s walk through what defines these various stages of the hair growth cycle and get familiar with the reason you may see shedding.

Understanding the Hair Growth Cycle

For new hair to grow, your existing hair follicles go through three main stages: anagen, catagen, and telogen. The anagen phase is known as the primary growth phase and can last anywhere from 2 to 7 years, depending on genetics and overall health. During this stage, your hair grows approximately half an inch every month. (1)

The catagen phase follows anagen, which lasts about 10 days. This stage signals a transitional period where the hair follicle gets ready to shed its old hair before entering into the resting phase known as telogen. In telogen, your hair stops growing and falls out naturally. This happens after just a few months. It’s estimated that about 10% of our scalp hairs are in this stage at any given time. Which phase or growth stage you’re in will vary by person and not every hair on your scalp will be in the same phase. When the growth phase stops due to stress, when you accumulate Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in your hair follicle it is possible to see growth.

When you start to incorporate hair growth products that target this stress hormone and manage your stress levels, the ingredients block stress hormones from accumulating (DHT) and allow the hair to reenter the growth phase as normal. Of course, not all hair loss is due to stress but could be linked to an underlying health concern or genetic condition so it’s important to see a dermatologist to understand which types of hair loss are treatable. Hair growth can happen if the hair follicle is still present and simply dormant.

What Happens When Hair Sheds?

Hair shedding refers to the the telogen phase of hair growth when the hairs finally fall out after completing their cycle. On average, we lose anywhere from 50-100 strands of hair per day through shedding alone, which is totally normal and should not be cause for concern. Shedding 100 hairs a day is nothing to worry about unless it becomes excessive or accompanied by other symptoms such as itching or inflammation of the scalp.

While individual rates of shedding may vary due to genetics and external factors like stress or diet, consistent levels of shedding indicate a healthy process of renewal within your hair follicles. Dr. Behnam explains that only a small percentage of people, about 5%, see shedding when they start a new hair growth treatment.

If you’re concerned about hair shedding when you start hair growth treatments with Happy Head, your assigned dermatologist can help answer any questions and make adjustments to your formula as needed.

Ingredients for Hair Growth Success

At Happy Head, we formulate our hair growth solutions with the highest concentration of FDA-approved ingredients available. Here are some you can find in yours:

  1. Finasteride: Stops hair loss and regrows hair by targeting the enzyme that converts Testosterone to DHT. Clinically proven to grow hair. For men (age 18+) and women (age 50+). Not recommended if you or your partner are breastfeeding, pregnant, or planning to become pregnant

    Products Including Finasteride:

  2. Dutasteride: Stops hair loss and regrows hair by blocking the two enzymes that convert Testosterone to DHT. A stronger version of Finasteride. For anyone who hasn’t seen results from Finasteride, men (age 18+) and women (age 50+).

    Products Including Dutasteride:

  3. Spironolactone: Stops hair loss and regrows hair by blocking DHT from attaching to its receptors. For women under 50 only. Not recommended if you’re breastfeeding, pregnant, or planning to become pregnant.‍

    Products Including Spironolactone:

  4. Minoxidil: Promotes hair growth by extending the anagen (hair growth) phase. Clinical studies show best results when Minoxidil is combined with Retinoic Acid. Our topical Minoxidil is the strongest available at 6% for women and 8% for men. Our Minoxidil is the highest concentration available compared to competitors. For men and women.Products Including Minoxidil

Now you know the difference between hair growth and hair shedding, you’re ready to start your hair growth journey confidently. To get started with custom hair growth solutions formulated by Happy Head dermatologists online, get a FREE consultation with our board-certified dermatologists and see results in 3-6 months.


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499948/#:~:text=This%20cycle%20can%20be%20divided,into%20proanagen%20and%20metanagen%20phases

Your Summer Hair Care Guide

Trying to keep your hair healthy this summer? Make sure to keep it clean, add nourishing hair care, and eat well to avoid hair loss and stress that comes with it.

Dealing with summer hair can be tough. Trying to get my frizzy strands under control when the humidity is at its peak is an exercise in futility, but there is always the not-so-sleek ponytail to fall back on. Now that I have alopecia, summer brings on a whole new set of hair dilemmas. Will chlorine make my hair fall out? Are UV light treatments good for hair loss? Is the sun okay to be out in? Will a hat protect my hair or harm it? Is summer shedding really a thing? So I asked a few Happy Head team members to get answers to a few summer hair care questions. There are so many old wives’ tales out there that it can be challenging to separate fact from fiction. Read on to learn how to care for your hair during summer with this hair care guide and get answers to some commonly asked questions.

Fact #1: Everyone Loses Some Hair Daily

The first thing you need to know is that no matter what time of the year it is, seeing strands of your hair in the sink shouldn’t be a cause for alarm. People typically lose anywhere between 50 to 100 strands of hair per day. (01) There’s a difference between normal hair shedding and excessive hair loss, though. If you start to notice your hair gradually thinning, bald spots developing, or hair loss on your body, something else may be happening. It’s a good time to talk with Happy Head dermatologist if you are noticing some change in your hair shedding over time. We offer free consultations with a board-certified dermatologists and prescriptions for custom hair growth medicine all online.

Fact #2: Hair Loss Peaks During the Summer

If you think you’re seeing more hair in the sink now then you saw a few months ago, it’s certainly possible. It’s proven that people  lose more hair during the summer than any other time of the year. (02) When 823 women were tracked over a six-year period, researchers found that a maximum proportion of hair was in the telogen stage during summer. Telogen rates were the lowest during winter months. (03) The reason why still has yet to be determined.

One hypothesis is that people naturally keep their hair in the winter in response to cold weather. Like animals who grow a winter coat and shed it in summer, people may keep their hair to stay warm during the colder months. When the weather warms, the body reacts by shedding excess hair.

Figuring out whether the amount of hair you’re losing is typical can be challenging, especially during the summer. Ponytails, chlorine, salt water, and the sun can all contribute to damage and breakage, which you might think is hair loss. If you’re concerned, it’s always a good idea to consult with a board-certified dermatologist or hair specialist, especially if you notice thinning or bald patches.

Fact #3: Chlorine Does Not Cause Hair Loss

Although chlorine can damage your hair, it will not cause hair loss. In a study published by the Journal of Dermatology in 2000, researchers compared the hair of 67 professional swimmers to that of 54 non-swimmers. The study did not find evidence that the swimmers had more hair loss than the non-swimmers. The swimmers, however, did have hair discoloration and cuticle damage due to the chlorine. (04)

If you swim a lot in general or mostly on vacation, there are things you can do to prevent chlorine from damaging your hair. Here are some tips that will help:

  • Condition your hair before swimming (leave-in conditioner works)
  • Wear a swim cap
  • Shampoo your hair thoroughly after getting out of the pool
  • Replace lost moisture with a deep conditioner

Fact #4: Wearing a Hat Will Not Make You Bald

Hats that fit properly, and aren’t too tight, do not make your hair fall out. The reality is that it’s sweltering outside, and we’re seeing extreme temperatures all over the world. If you’re heading out to the pool or the beach, wear a hat to protect your hair and scalp. UVA (Ultraviolet A) and UVB (Ultraviolet B) rays damage your hair’s cuticles causing thinning, frizziness, discoloration, and dryness with prolonged exposure to the sun.

A hat is critical if you’re already using oral or topical medications such as Minoxodil, Finasteride (05), or Spironolactone. Medications can cause sun sensitivity in some people, resulting in sunburn or a rash. In some cases, UV light can cause a structural change to medications. As a result, some people produce antibodies that make them photosensitive. In other cases, the medication absorbs the UV light and releases the evolved drug into the skin. (06)

Fact #5: Hydrating Your Hair is the Best Way to Fight Humidity and the Elements

Hydration is your best bet if you’re worried about your hair being dry, brittle, dull, or frizzy. Here are some tricks that will help:

  • Use a sulfate-free hydrating shampoo
  • Deep condition regularly
  • Try heatless hair styling
  • Hydrate from the inside out by drinking plenty of water
  • Test out hydrating hair misting solutions made from natural ingredients

Fact #6: It’s Easy to Get Traction Alopecia During the Summer

Beware of pulling your hair back into tight buns and ponytails when your hair is wet. The pulling on your hair follicles can cause traction alopecia, which can be reversed early on but not after the hair follicles have been damaged. If you want to wear braids, keep them loose. Frequently changing up your hairstyle will also help prevent a particular hair loss pattern from forming.

Fact #7: Eating a Protein-rich Diet Will Help Your Hair Stay Healthy & Shiny Year-Round

Protein is the primary building block that makes up your hair. If you’re concerned about your hair staying healthy during the summer months, be sure to load up on healthy and lean proteins like avocados, nuts, grass-fed chicken, salmon, tuna, and seafood. Although the richest source of protein comes from animals, there are also plenty of plant-based protein sources for vegetarians. Egg whites, beans, and authentic Greek yogurt are all good sources. Protein supplements have also been proven effective in supporting healthy hair growth and are easy to pack for your vacation. (07) Although many people use whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate is a better option, especially for people predisposed to androgenic alopecia.

Still Have Questions About Your Summer Hair Loss?

If you’re losing more hair than normal over the summer, it’s possible that you’re experiencing summer hair shedding or have telogen effluvium that resolves itself. However, if it turns out that you have a form of alopecia such as androgenic alopecia, the sooner you are treated, the faster you can stop the hair loss and start the regrowth process. Topical and oral hair regrowth options range from easy-to-apply over-the-counter topicals such as Minoxidil and Finasteride to oral medications such Spironolactone. Keep in mind that many hair loss medications are only available by prescription. If you have further questions, contact us for a complimentary consultation with a board-certified dermatologist and hair specialist.


(01) https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/hair-loss/insider/shedding

(02) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/bjd.16075

(03) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19407435/

(04) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11092265/

(05) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/jgf2.510

(06) https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/sun-sensitizing-drugs

(07) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jocd.12400