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Seeing more hair in your brush than usual while getting ready for your vendor appointments? Don't panic - you'll still have lush locks for your wedding day. Most of us lose between 50 to 75 strands a day, says dermatologist Richard Mizuguchi, but if you're seeing your scalp through your hair more than you used to, or if your scalp's itching, flaking or tender, something else could be causing the issue. The good news? It's possible to fix it before you walk down the aisle. Here Dr. Mizuguchi breaks down what's going on, and how to get the thickest, fullest hair of your life for your wedding day.
What's causing it: If you've recently had surgery, lost more than 15 pounds, been majorly stressed (ahem, wedding planning!), or had a baby, you might notice large amounts of hair falling out every day. Iron deficiency anemia can also cause this type of hair loss. The reason? Your hair accelerates through its life cycle much more quickly than normal, moving quickly past the "growing" and "resting" phases to the "shedding" phase before new hair can grow in.
How to spot it: Your dermatologist can do a "pull test" to see how many strands are coming out at one time. If each piece of hair has a club-shaped knob on it, that could indicate it's completed its cycle too quickly.
How to treat it before the big day: If you have a new baby, wait it out, Dr. Mizurguchi says. If you're iron deficient, ask your doctor to recommend a supplement. If it's due to stress, put away the seating chart and try chilling out with meditation.
See More: Wedding Hairstyles for Curly Hair
Hereditary Hair Loss
What's causing it: Genetics. The same amount of women are affected by hereditary hair loss as men, but most of the time women don't start noticing it until after menopause. It's not uncommon to see it before 40, though.
How to spot it: Hereditary hair loss usually occurs evenly around your head, sometimes starting at the hairline behind your bangs. "If you notice that you can see your scalp more often, it's important to see your doctor," Dr. Mizuguchi says.
How to treat it before the big day: Try Rogaine! It's FDA approved, and it works for both men and women. If you're using the extra-strength men's formula, stick to once a day to avoid side effects.
What's causing it: Pulling your hair in a too-tight ponytail all the time, wearing cornrows or braids, or getting weaves and extensions can be very tough on your hair (and, to a lesser extent, so can yanking it with a round brush when you're blow-drying it!).
How to spot it: Look for thinning hair at your temples, where yanking tugs your hair the hardest.
How to treat it before the big day: Take it easy on your hair for six months before your wedding - skip the extensions, weaves, braids, and be gentler while blow drying. As for ponytails, the looser the better.