Combing and brushing your beard is absolutely essential to the health and quality of your beard. But maybe you've noticed after grooming that your comb or brush has some hairs stuck in it that were pulled from your beard? Should you be worried, or should you continue on about your day?
The average person loses between 50-100 head hairs a day. Now if we relate that number to the beard, it's probably a bit less, though no definitive studies have been done yet. Let's talk a little about the life cycle of a hair so we can break down what's really happening here.
The Life Cycle of a Hair
The science behind hair growth and terminal length is actually fairly simple. Basically, there are 3 phases to hair growth. These are the Anagen, Catagen, and Telogen stages. These phases are responsible for the growth and shedding of your hair.
The Anagen Phase accounts for more than 95% of the hair’s lifecycle. This means that most of the hair on your body is currently in this cycle at any one time. In the Anagen Phase, your hair follicles anchor into the skin and begin to grow. This phase can last anywhere from 2 to 8 years.
The Catagen Phase accounts for less than 1% of your hair’s life cycle. It lasts about 2-3 weeks and is basically the period when your hair completely stops growing and the follicle begins to shrink.
The Telogen Phase is the completion of your hair’s life cycle. In this phase, your hair is released. It falls out and the follicle becomes dormant for about 3 months before repeating the cycle and beginning new growth.
So is My Hair Loss Normal?
There's no true way to tell how many hairs you should be losing per day, since it will vary from person to person. Plus, it would be a nightmare to try and count how many have fallen out over a day. There is a quick test you can do to see if your hair loss is normal or caused by something more severe.
Simply grab about 50-60 hairs between your thumb and forefinger and gently pull at the grouping as your run down the length of your beard. Anything up to 5-8 hairs should be expected to release. Anything more than 15 or so, and it might be indicative of something other than the normal life cycle of a hair.
In conclusion, chances are your hair loss is normal, natural and healthy. They can fall out during your grooming routine, while you're sitting at your desk or even just walking around. Just make sure you're avoiding any unhealthy habits that might make them fall out a bit quicker. I find that these types of concerns typically fade when I try to forget about them, as focusing on them seem to make the problems more prominent. Focus on finding a healthy balance of awareness and keep pushing forward until you really think there's a problem.