Typically, hair loss is noticed is by accident.
Maybe you take a picture of yourself in bad lighting and you notice you can see your scalp now, or you’re combing your hair and it seems like there’s a lot more falling out into your sink than before, or you notice there is a bunch of hair laying on your pillow when you wake up in the morning.
Regardless of how it happens, eventually you’re going to start noticing your hair loss, and the unfortunate reality is that unless you are proactively monitoring it, you will more than likely already have lost 25% of your hair (or significantly more) by the time you can actually see a visible difference in the mirror.
You have 100,000 hair follicles.
That’s what you have to work with, and once your body hits puberty and your system is flooded with high concentrations of androgens, your hair follicles start miniaturizing relative to your genetic affinity to miniaturization from DHT, and Testosterone to a lesser extent (it’s less androgenic than DHT and doesn’t have nearly as much of an affinity to binding).
What most guys do is they don’t even look into hair loss prevention until they’ve visually noticed loss, and at that point they’re playing catch up.
DO NOT make this mistake.
Prevention is FAR easier than reversal, so if you can prevent yourself from getting to that point in the first place, you will greatly increase your odds of maintaining a strong head of hair.
So, how do you gauge if you’re losing hair and strictly monitor if your hair loss prevention regimen is working vs not working?
You need an accurate way of measuring hair loss, and that way is with a hair catcher.
This is the one I’ve been using for almost a decade now:
The reason why you need to get a hair catcher is that it is the only way you can accurately monitor if changes in your regimen are making a difference, and in general if your hair loss is improving or getting worse.
The first thing you want to do after you get a hair catcher is get a firm baseline reading.
Before you even start your hair loss prevention regimen, count how many hairs are in your hair catcher on average per shower.
Ensure that if you don’t shower the same number of times per week, that you account for whatever inconsistently spaced out days you have.
E.G. if you wash your hair once every two days, but then will occasionally wash your hair once every 3 days, you need to keep track and ensure you remember that.
You naturally lose 100 hairs each day due to the life cycle of the hair follicles on your head, totally unrelated to androgenic alopecia (male pattern baldness/permanent hair loss), so you will naturally have more hair in your hair catcher if you have showers less frequently.
I would advise that you start a consistent schedule so you can measure more accurately, as sporadically showering every day, followed by once every three days, or any kind of inconsistent schedule will make it impossible to create an accurate average baseline for you to use as your reference moving forward.
Monitor your hair catcher hair counts closely for a week or two, and get a consistent average so you know with a high level of accuracy how many hairs you lose in the shower with no protection.
Afterwards, you can then start implementing a hair loss prevention protocol, and tell EXACTLY how much it is helping your progress as you will have a baseline reference to compare to.
E.G. if you have a baseline of 100 hairs lost per shower (pretty high – depending on how often you shower), and then you added a Ketoconazole shampoo into your regimen and your average hair loss count dropped to 50 hairs per shower, it’s safe to say that the Ketoconazole shampoo is solely responsible for improving your hair loss by 50%
Then, after you have established a firm average for that particular treatment over the course of several weeks of measurement, you can then choose to add in another variable and repeat the process.
Let’s say the next step is you add in Finasteride to systemically lower your DHT.
You would then start taking measurement averages of your hair loss counts in the hair catcher while on both Finasteride and the Ketoconazole shampoo.
And let’s say your hair loss drops down to 10 hair lost per shower on average.
You can then conclude that Finasteride coupled with Ketoconazole shampoo has essentially completely halted your hair loss, or at least pretty close to it.
Remember, it’s still natural to lose 100 hairs per day just due to the natural life cycle of your hair follicles.
Anything above and beyond that is a cause for concern though.
That DOES NOT mean 100 hairs in your hair catcher.
You will lose hair in your sleep, walking around, combing your hair, etc.
So do not make a mistake and think if you’re losing 100 hairs in your shower that you are just losing natural hair that is supposed to fall out.
It’s very unlikely that all the hair you’ve lost naturally throughout the day is just sitting perfectly on your hair and hasn’t fallen out at some other point during the day.
The best regrowth I’ve experienced was when I got my hair loss down to about 1-5 hairs lost per shower.
Once you get your hormones handled and really line everything up (depending how extreme you’re willing to go with this stuff), you will actually have a hard time losing hair even if you try.
At the peak of my hair loss, I’d run my hands through my hair and pull out 10-20 hairs at a time with ease.
At the peak of my hair loss prevention, I only lose hair if I forcefully comb it or forcefully run my fingers through it.
The reason this is far more accurate is because:
- You won’t know if you’re progressing or regressing unless you have a baseline and constantly monitor shedding counts
- You can fairly accurately predict if your hair will improve in the future or get far worse based on your current averages of loss in the hair catcher
- If you’re losing hundreds of hairs per shower, it’s safe to say you’re losing hair at a faster rate than you are growing it, therefore if you continued and left it at that rate, you would eventually start either diffuse thinning and/or progressing hairline recession.
- If you’re losing only a couple hairs per shower, it’s safe to say you’re losing hair at a slower rate than you are growing it, therefore if you continued and left it at that rate, you would eventually start improving your hair density and/or possibly regrow hair in areas that had receded but hadn’t permanently closed off/calcified yet
A hair catcher is cheap, and it only takes an extra 60 seconds of your day to pick it up after each shower and do a quick tally of how much hair is in it.
Regardless of how prone to hair loss you think you are or aren’t, you will not be able to make a definitive assessment if you’re preventing hair loss or not without an accurate means of measurement.
I highly recommend you get a hair catcher right away; it’s the first step in our fight against hair loss.