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hair loss when in the shower

At some point or another, most people worry about hair loss. It’s natural – as you get older, you might look a little closer at your hairline, wondering whether it’s slightly further back than before. The unfortunate truth is that most people experience hair loss at some point in their lives, with around 85% of men [1] going through male pattern hair loss compared to roughly half of women.

There are some undeniable signs of hair loss to watch out for. As well as looking at the strands on your head, it’s also a good idea to check how much hair you physically lose – especially when you’re in the shower.

how much hair loss is normal

Is Your Hair Falling Out in the Shower?

Seeing a large amount of tangled hair in the shower drain can be enough to make anyone fearful. How much is too much? It’s important to note that most people lose at least some hair in the shower – after all, you’re washing your hair and rubbing your scalp while you’re in there. However, there comes a point when it’s probably too much and could be a sign of hair loss.

How Much is Normal Hair Loss in the Shower?

So, how much hair loss is normal in the shower? The average person loses around 50-100 hair strands every day, but that amount can go up to 200 strands for those with very thick and long hair. If you find a clump of hair in your shower after washing, don’t worry too much, as it’s likely just a regular part of your hair’s cycle. Some people even lose more than 200 strands in the shower if they don’t wash their hair as frequently – it just means they lose much fewer hairs in between wash days.

What is Too Much Hair Loss?

There are some signs that there’s too much hair loss. One sign is that you’ve also noticed your hair thinning. Hair thinning typically occurs at your temples or crown and becomes quite apparent over time. Another sign is if the hair falling out in the shower is starting to become a problem for your drains – most of the time, drains can handle an average amount of hair loss (sometimes with the help of some drain cleaner). It can also help to look at pictures of normal hair loss in the shower to help determine whether your fallout is ordinary or otherwise.

The Hair Growth Cycle

Understanding hair loss becomes much easier when you get to grips with the four phases of the hair growth cycle.

The Anagen Phase

The longest phase by far is the anagen phase. Hair strands in this phase last up to five years, allowing for lots of growth. The average person grows around six inches a year, so some people with good hair growth can grow up to 30 inches within that time.

The Catagen Phase

After the anagen phase comes the catagen phase, which is when your hair is at the end of its growth and preparing to come out. At this stage, your strands receive no blood supply and stop producing new hairs, which lasts up to ten days.

The Telogen Phase

Next up is the telogen phase, sometimes known as the resting phase. During this time, the hair follicles take a break from growing new hairs but do not yet release the hairs from the head. How long your hair stays in the telogen phase can differ but is generally between three and four months.

The Exogen Phase

Finally, you have the exogen phase. At this point, the hair follicles finally release the strands and start regrowing new hairs. After that happens, the process begins once more, starting again at the anagen phase. Not many of your hairs are in the exogen phase at one time, which is why you typically only lose up to 100 strands a day (when the average person has around 90,000-150,000 hairs) [3]. All the hairs you lose in the shower are in the exogen phase (unless you accidentally pull some hairs out!).

Why Do I Lose So Much Hair in the Shower?

There are a few reasons you’re experiencing significant hair loss when washing your hair; some are a little more problematic than others.

  • You Don’t Wash Your Hair Often

Not everyone needs to shampoo and condition their hair every day. Some people with thick hair can get away with washing their hair only once a week. This habit is absolutely fine for some people, but you may discover more hairs in the drain when you wash more infrequently in this way. Don’t worry, as it’s completely normal.

  • You’re Rough with Your Strands

Wet hair is more susceptible to breakage. If you brush your hair or handle it roughly while in the shower, that could cause excessive fallout.

  • Hair Loss

If your hair’s growth cycle gets disrupted, that might lead to hair loss. There are many causes of this, from alopecia areata to male pattern baldness, and there are different types of treatments depending on the cause.

If you’re still worried about losing a lot of hair in the shower, you can always speak to your doctor, who can help you get to the rootcause.

Shower hair loss

Common Causes of Hair Loss


If you’re currently under a lot of stress, that could trigger hair fallout. This type of hair loss is telogen effluvium and causes the hairs to enter the resting state sooner than they should. Making a doctor’s appointment is a good idea if you suspect you have telogen effluvium, as it’s important to manage your stress levels if they’ve reached such a peak – not just for the growth of your hair but also for your mental and physical health.

Poor Nutrition

Another common cause of hair loss in both men and women is poor nutrition. Specifically, if you have deficiencies in biotin, zinc, vitamin D, vitamin B, or iron, you may experience thinning hair.

Post-partum Hair Loss

Many women experience hair loss immediately following birth. This type of hair loss often reverses, and you should see normal hair growth after about a year.

women hair loss


Weight Loss

Weight loss can cause telogen effluvium, similar to stress. It’s important to manage your weight so that you don’t experience rapid weight loss, as that can cause many physical problems.

Male Pattern Hair Loss/Female Pattern Hair Loss

The most common causes of hair loss by far are male pattern hair loss and female pattern hair loss (androgenetic alopecia). It naturally happens with age, and there are certain medications like minoxidil you can take to regrow your hair.

How to Stop Your Hair Falling Out in the Shower

Are you sick of losing hair when washing? If too much hair is coming out in the shower, there are some simple steps to take.

Use a Gentle Shampoo and Conditioner

Harsh products will only cause excessive shedding while you’re in the shower, so opt for gentler products.

Avoid Heat

Using too much heat can cause breakage. After your shower, let your hair dry naturally before brushing it. You should also limit how often you use styling tools like hair straighteners and curlers.

Don’t Wear Tight Hairstyles

Tight hairstyles – like a high ponytail – will tug at your scalp and cause more hairs to fall out when you’re in the shower. Choose gentler hairstyles instead – a softer bun can look just as good without causing hair breakage.

Don’t Brush Wet Hair

As mentioned, wet hair is very fragile, so avoid brushing it when wet. Instead, wait for your hair to dry before combing through it.

Treat Hair Loss

In some cases, excessive hair shedding is caused by hair loss, and you should get to the root cause of it so you know how to treat it. Some treatment options include minoxidil and finasteride, typically used for male hair loss. Hair transplants are also a good option for those who want a permanent solution.

Hair Transplants: A Solution for Hair Loss

Is your hair loss getting to you? That’s understandable – not everyone wants to rock the bald look or spend their lives parting their hair just the right way to cover a thinning spot. Hair transplants can provide a fantastic solution. This minimally invasive procedure takes the healthy hair follicles of another section of your hair and then places them into the thinning area, allowing hair to grow there once more. They’re not just for celebs or rich people; many regular folks enjoy the benefits of hair transplants. Contact the Harley Street Hair Clinic if you’re interested in this procedure.

The Bottom Line

Losing some hair in the shower is normal, and you don’t need to worry. If you’re noticing that it’s building up in the drain more than usual, though, and your hair is thinning in certain sections, that might be worth checking out. Hair loss is common, but that doesn’t mean you have to put up with it – there are solutions to suit you.


  1. Male Pattern Baldness
  2. The Hair Growth Cycle

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