The 60 second hair count

What is normal shedding? How do we assess normal daily shedding?

It's often said that we lose between 50 and 100 hairs per day. But is this accurate? There has been very few clinical studies that examined precisely the rates of normal shedding. For some it's 15, for others is 53. For others it's 76.


The '60 second hair count'

This assessment too was introduced by US researchers  in 2008. They asked men age 20 through 60 to comb their hair for 60 seconds for 3 consecutive days before shampooing (starting at the top and combing forward).  The comb used in the study was the Cleopatra 400 comb from Krest combs and is shown in the photo below. The hair was combed over a towel or pillowcase to collect the hairs.

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What were the results?

Participants shed an average of 10 hairs, and findings were similar in men 20-40 compared to men 40-60. 





1.  Before you plan to shampoo your hair, put down a white pillow case or sheet of white paper on the counter

2. Using the same comb, brush your hair starting at the crown (top of the scalp) and move forward to the forehead. Use one stroke for the top, one for the right side and one for the left side. Each stroke should be 1 second part for a total of 60 strokes

3. Collect the hairs on the pillowcase of sheet of paper. Count the number. If you have been asked to bring them into the office. Put them in a zip lock freezer bag, write the data on the bag,  and bring them into the office 

4. Repeat the procedure before you shampoo your scalp again - for a total of three consecutive shampooings


Wasko et al. Standardizing the 60 second hair count. Arch Dermatol 2008; 144: 759-62

Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887

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