By nature, the purpose of hair on our heads is to serve as a source of heat insulation and cooling, plus to protect our heads from the ultraviolet radiation of the sun. However, society has given new purpose to hair, and that purpose is a beauty standard. From the time of infancy, a critical emphasis is placed on hair – from a nurse admiring a newborn with a “head full of hair” to a mother regularly brushing their baby’s hair. 

Unfortunately, because so much importance has been placed on hair, if we lose it for any reason, it would tend to be hard on one’s self-esteem and self-worth. Therefore, it’s best to catch hair loss early to determine if it’s permanent or treatable to minimize the loss. If you’re one of the millions of men or women attempting to determine if you’re experiencing hair loss, below are five hair loss signs to look for.

Bald patches | Everyone experiences minimal hair loss daily. However, if you’re experiencing greater than the usual hair shedding, then you should look into it. Concentrated hair loss in one area, that makes thin or bald patches noticeable, is a sign of something treatable like scalp ringworm or more serious like scarring alopecia. Both need medical treatment. However, the hair loss from scarring alopecia is permanent.

Increased hair on pillow, brush, or shower | As stated above, it’s normal to lose anywhere from 50 to 125 strands of hairs per day. However, if you see an excessive amount of hair left on your pillow after sleeping, or in your comb or brush when you’re styling your hair, this is an early sign of hair loss. In addition to the excess shedding, another sign of hair loss is if the hair is coming out in clumps, rather than a few strands.

A receding hairline | A receding hairline is probably the biggest sign of beginning hair loss in men. Male-pattern baldness starts with receding hairline and begins on top of the head or temples, then pushes itself backward. The Norwood Scale was developed as a simple way to be a visual aid in identifying the hair loss stages and the different types of receding hairlines.

Genetics | The fourth sign of hair loss may not necessarily be a “sign” but more of an indicator. If you got a family history of hair loss and baldness, then the chances are that you’ll experience hair loss as well. Unfortunately, genetics is the most common reason for hair loss, and there’s no cure for that.

Visible scalp or crown area thinning | If you find yourself asking, “Does my ponytail look and feel thinner?” chances are it does. Women tend to have their hair loss in the middle on the top of their heads. If you can see your scalp through your hair, and you see a bald spot forming, then the chances are that your hair is thinning. Unlike men, women typically don’t experience full hair loss because of hormonal variances.

All of the above signs are just that – signs. If you’re experiencing any of the above, it’s best to consult with a physician or dermatologist for confirmation and treatment options if necessary. If you’re wondering does Biotin help? Check out Hairlossable for more information on that as well.