It never feels good to look down at the shower drain and see a large ball of hair.
It's normal to lose about 50-100 hairs per day (which is a lot of hair), but if you're noticing a significant increase in the amount of strands you're shedding, then it's probably a sign that something is wrong.
It might be an underlying health problem, OR it could be something you are doing in your regular, everyday routine. Here are five things that experts say cause hair loss in women:
1. Dry shampoo
Women use dry shampoo in between washes to keep their hair looking fresh and clean. However, overusing dry shampoo can clog up your pores, resulting in scalp irritation, sores and bald patches.
Dr. Marnie Nussbaum, a board certified dermatologist told Glamour, "The more you build up the product with repeat or heavy-handed applications, the more it weighs on hair follicles, weakens them and even interrupts the typical growth cycle of the hair follicle."
Basically, if you use too much dry shampoo, you're going to have issues. Use it in moderation and make sure to wash your hair on a regular basis.
2. Oral birth control
Birth control pills are designed to suppress ovulation using a combination of progestin and estrogen. The American Hair Loss Association warns that, "Women who are predisposed to hormonal related hair loss or who are hypersensitive to the hormonal changes taking place in their bodies can experience hair loss to varying degrees while on the pill."
If your birth control pills are making you lose your hair, consider using non-hormonal birth control methods like condoms or an intrauterine device (IUD).
Maybe your diet helps you lose weight, but it's also thinning your hair.
Hair loss is often the result of a nutritional deficiency. Lack of protein, vitamin A, vitamin B, biotin, vitamin C, iron and calcium are all cited as vitamins and minerals that are essential for healthy hair.
If you need to change the way you eat, remember to diet in moderation. Fad or extreme dieting is unhealthy and ineffective. Regular exercise and a balanced diet - full of the essential vitamins and minerals - is the best route to take.
4. High-heat appliances
Don't turn your hairdryer, curling iron or straightener on high heat.
Intense heat can severely damage your hair by breaking down the hair fiber's hydrogen bonds. According to Dr. Paradi Mirmirani, "Improper hair care is a common cause of hair loss and excessive or improper use of devices, such as flat irons ... cause lasting damage if left untreated."
The American Academy of Dermatology suggest setting your hair styling tools to 347 degrees Fahrenheit (or less) and avoid using them more than 2 or 3 times a week.
5. No sun
Dr. Qamar J. Khan found that individuals who lack normal levels of vitamin D experience hair loss. According to WebMD, "most vitamin D - 80% to 90% of what the body gets - is obtained through exposure to sunlight."
So if you don't make it a regular habit to get outside, you might want to change that. Not only will it help your hair, but vitamin D is also vital for your bone and skin health.
If you want to know if you have a vitamin deficiency, talk with your doctor. There are over-the-counter vitamins you can take, in addition to simple lifestyle and diet changes.
This list isn't comprehensive — there are plenty of other things that'll make you lose your hair, including: thyroid problems, genetics, your boss (just kidding), etc. Luckily, there are plenty of options to help you strengthen your hair follicles and restore your hair.