How Much Hair is Normal to Lose in the Shower?


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hair loss after washing in shower

Hair Falling Out in the Shower? Hair Loss Questions Answered

If you’re wondering how much hair loss it is normal to lose in the shower drain, then you’re not alone! Beginning to notice excessive hair loss can be concerning, but it is completely normal. On this page, you will find everything you need to know about shower hair loss: from its causes, symptoms, to potential treatments.


Hair loss in the shower is often one of the first ways that someone may think they are suffering with hair loss/hair shedding. While completely normal, this can be uncomfortable for those experiencing shower hair loss. Although there are several causes of hair loss, there are also several remedies and treatments for this.

Why Do We Lose Hair in the Shower?

Every day, it’s completely normal for us to lose between 50-150 hair follicles. This process occurs without many of us even noticing! Hair loss normally occurs when we touch, brush, or run fingers through our hair. Hair follicles are quite delicate, and so they can become easily dislodged.

It’s unsurprising, then, that we seem to lose hair when we’re showering. Washing our hair in the shower requires us to touch, massage, and clean our hair whilst we shampoo and condition it. This causes older, brittler hair follicles to dislodge and shed, naturally.

What makes hair loss very obvious when showering is that our lost hair tends to be very visible around the plughole, alerting us to how much hair we have lost. Many people tend to become worried when they lose noticeably more hair than usual.

But this doesn’t explain why we may lose hair in the shower! So, what causes us to lose hair while we shower?

What are the Causes of Hair Loss and Why Do We Notice it in the Shower?

Simply put, hair loss refers to the process by which we lose hair at a faster rate than we can replenish it. Although having a shower is one of the most common ways in which we see hair falling from our scalps, there are usual several genetic and hormonal factors underpinning a noticeable “hair loss” condition.

There are several explanations for how hair loss, or hair shedding, occurs. Hair loss often has a genetic component, explaining conditions such as male pattern baldness and female pattern baldness. These hair loss conditions are sometimes called “androgenic alopecia”.

Some hair loss conditions are caused by internal bodily factors such as hormonal changes or auto-immune conditions (like alopecia areata). There are also external triggers, such as hair loss from stress or traumatic injury, that can also cause hair shedding.

The general process by which our hair follicles shrink and fall out is by a process called “telogen effluvium“. As part of the “telogen phase”, hair follicles begin to shrink and rest. They stop growing as part of the “anagen phase” and become ready to shed.

Around 10-15% of hair follicles on the scalp are in their telogen phase, so it’s easy to see how noticeable hair loss occurs in places like the shower, as this is a sizeable percentage.

So, when we see hair falling out in the shower at a much greater rate than usual, there is usually another factor underpinning this that is altering the hair growth cycle, causing hair follicles to shrink, and making them more prone to shedding whilst we shower.

Losing Hair in the Shower: the Self-Administered Factors

As we shower every day, one of the key ways in which we begin noticing hair shedding is when we are taking a shower. When we wash our hair, we are not only massaging hair follicles (in some cases displacing them), but we are also adding shampoo and conditioning treatments that can dry or irritate the scalp.

This is why, hair shedding in the shower can quickly become noticeable as you’re likely to be causing hair breakage, unsettling the hair follicle root, or exposing it to harsh chemicals sometimes found in cheaper hair care products.

Showers can also be very hot which, again, can dry out, the hair follicle and cause small amounts of shock hair loss. This is why you will probably want to use a gentle shampoo and a milder shower temperature if you want to reduce hair shedding in the shower.

So, hot showers, massaging the scalp, and hair care treatments do naturally cause a small amount of hair loss every time we wash. It’s unsurprising, then, that when suffering from another underlying hair loss condition (such as male or female pattern hair loss) shower hair shedding is a very common symptom.

Hair loss Symptoms Associated With Showering

Of course, we don’t just lose hair when we’re in the shower. Excessive shedding of the hair can occur through several different methods as well – many of which tied to showering and drying. But what other symptoms of hair shedding should you be considering if you think you’re suffering from hair loss?

Hand Drying Your Hair

As part of getting dry, we often will dry our hair with a towel. If we don’t use a towel and persist with wet hair, we leave ourselves susceptible to things like the cold and flu.

However, towels tend to be quite a rough, abrasive surface when dry. That combined with a rigourous running of the towel through the hair can often cause hair loss after a shower.

To avoid this, maybe invest in a microfibre cloth and be sure to dry your hair gently after a shower. This should help to minimise the upset of the hair growth cycle, and maintain thick hair for years to come.

Brushing Your Hair

Another common way of spotting hair loss is when brushing your hair after a shower. Like showering, brushing and combing your hair can unsettle the hair follicle from the root, causing hair loss. We can brush either dry or wet hair after a shower.

To avoid this, use a brush with soft bristles or a wide tooth comb. For those with longer hair who tend to use a brush to alleviate knotting, be sure to hold the affected strands of hair just above the knot to avoid dislodging the follicle from the follicle root.

Using Hot Styling Tools

Common with women more than men, you can sometimes shed hair when using heat styling tools such as hair dryers or styling tongs. To prevent excessive hair shedding, limit heat styling practices unless absolutely necessary.

Hair In Tight Hairstyles

For those with longer hair, tight hairstyles such as dreadlocks or tight ponytails can also lead to excessive hair loss. We often tend to put our hair in a ponytail as part of exercise routines (like going to the gym, or swimming). So, when undoing ponytails or plats before a shower, this can lead to hair loss.

Scraping hair back or dreadlocking hair can put excessive stress on the hair follicle root, again, leading to hair loss. If you’re worried about hair health, then maybe avoid tight hairstyles.

Using Rubber Hair Elastics

Rubber hair elastics, or bobbles, can also be another hair loss symptom. Putting your hair in an elastic or bobble can cause follicles to get caught in your hair, predictably, leading to hair loss. If you’re suffering with hair shedding, then you may notice extra hair shedding on your bobble.

If you think you may be beginning notice hair shedding through any of these extraneous factors, be sure to make a few small adjustments to your hair care routine. Healthy hair is easy to attain and whilst hair loss is totally normal, there are several things we can do to minimise hair loss, whether it be in the shower or through other factors.

How to Treat Hair Shedding in the Shower

Whilst hair loss is normal in the shower, if you’re beginning to see more hair around the plug hole then there are several things you can do to prevent excessive hair shedding.

Altering your Shower Routine

The most obvious way to prevent hairs from falling out during showering is to alter your shower routine. Here are a couple of easy changes you can make to prevent further hair loss from occurring.

Use a Milder Shower Temperature

One of the worst things we can do for our hair is expose it to excessive heat for extended periods. To lower the chances of losing hair in the shower, take a shower at a lower/milder temperature.

Use a Gentler Shampoo

Many of the chemicals found in cheaper hair care products are bad for hair health. Using an organic shampoo and conditioner can help to reduce hair coming out of the head.

Be Gentle When Washing Hair

To reduce hairs falling out during a shower, one of the easiest things we can do is to be gentler! Next time you wash your hair in the shower, only touch your scalp lightly, using the tips of your fingers. This should help to reduce excessive shedding and only cause normal shedding that would be occurring anyway.

Medical Treatments

If you have noticed that you are shedding hair in the shower at a quicker rate than usual, then you may want to consider medical hair loss treatments. Medical treatments are suitable for hair loss cases from mild to severe.

Hair loss is normal, but we want to be doing everything possible to prevent it. Medical treatments such as minoxidil and DHT-blockers are freely available. If you think you’re suffering with medium to severe hair loss, and the hair loss in the shower is the tip of the iceberg, then you may want to consider something more drastic such as a hair transplant.

Book a Free Consultation Today

If you just don’t know where to start with your hair loss in the shower, then one of the easiest thing you can do is book yourself in for a free consultation with Harley Street Hair Transplant Clinics today!

By speaking to one of our expert consultants, we’ll help you get to the bottom of your hair loss condition, as well as point you in the right direction to help aid hair regrowth growth!

Concluding Remarks

Hair loss in the shower can feel like a concerning problem when the average person begins to notice. However, it is not always bad! Normal hair shedding does often present itself to people when showering as this can be one of the points in a day when the hair’s life cycle is interrupted.

However, if you begin to notice more hair loss than usual in the shower, then this may be a sign of a genuine hair loss condition that could put you at risk of further hair thinning or shedding in the future.

If you’re worried about hair falling out in the shower, then be sure to book yourself in for a free consultation with us at Harley Street Hair Transplant Clinics. Consultations are free and we’re always happy to help!

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