How to Know if Your Hair is Dead – a Danger Sign?

How to Know if Your Hair is Dead - a Danger Sign?
How to Know if Your Hair is Dead - a Danger Sign?
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There may be chances that your hair is thinning sooner than expected. So often, you should question yourself as to how to know if your hair is dead. First, it’s worth noting that hair is made of the protein keratin. Each of the hair grows out of its hair follicle that is located right into the skin. Whenever the follicle stops growing completely, you can check it out whether it’s dead or alive. Initially, do that by taking a look at the scalp. If you see that the hairs on the scalp, no matter how thin short, or fuzzy, then the hair follicles are alive and allow the growth of new hair.

How to Know if Your Hair is Dead - a Danger Sign?
How to Know if Your Hair is Dead – a Danger Sign?

People usually put effort into making the hair grow faster, and they also try layering on the products claimed for stimulating growth. But to be honest, most of this product never works. But sometimes, it doesn’t mean that your entire shaft is dead.

In this article, you will get a better understanding of how to tell if your hair is dead.

How to know if hair follicles are dead- the comprehensive range of tests  

Whenever you look at the scalp and see that an area is there with no hair, you start panicking. But this doesn’t mean that your hair is completely dead. Due to some reasons, the area isn’t allowing the hair to grow.

Method 1

Scalp biopsy

Sometimes the doctor suggests that the scalp biopsy can be the procedure for removing the small section of the hair and giving a close examination. Removal of the small section of the dermis of the scalp for examination gives the advanced idea. Hair follicles located in the dermis undergo an examination under a microscope. That said, the evaluation determines whether or not your hair follicles are alive.

Method 2

Hair pull test

When you’re questioning how to know if your hair is dead, remembersometimes the doctor can formulate the second option: the hair pull test. The second test is a bit less invasive, but it is also less accurate in its results. The hair pull test comes with the involvement of several pulling strands of the hair from the scalp.

People are usually curious to know whether there’s a way for testing the hair follicles to see their active or dead.

How do you know if your hair is dead: initial non-effective tests at home

In the initial stages, you can consider checking for certain signs. But, all such tests can never give you the reason behind the condition or whether your hair is dead or not.

  • Initially, you can inspect your scalp in a mirror. A better look at the scalp will show the answer. Even if you spot hair on your scalp, regardless of how short, thin or small in quantity, you can rest assured that the hair follicles are still alive. Excessively damaged hair can be a good warning sign. Buckle up and take proper care of hair. Besides, adequate nourishment to hair is a must. Put efforts in keeping away the brittle, rough, and dull-looking hair. 
  • How do I know if my hair follicles are dead? The simple answer is that though you cannot get the right tests for checking the dead hair, yet you can analyze the cause of your hair loss. Hair loss concentrated at the top of your head or hairline shows androgenetic alopecia or male-pattern baldness. At the same time, remember that female-pattern baldness also is permanent if not treated.
  • You can examine the hair loss. If you can’t spot the small bulb at the end of the shafts, your hair is probably vulnerable to the damage to the shaft, not the follicle.
  • How to tell if you have dead ends? Well, for that, examine the areas with some fine, soft hair growth. Here, the fine hair is vellus hair. Again, the hair that had growth once where the vellus hair was is terminal. This hair is quite thicker and grows much longer. Growing vellus hair means that the follicles aren’t dead.

Inference from the above data

So, if you’re questioning how do you know if your hair follicles are dead, remember that there is no ultimate home test. The simple answer is that the temporary hair loss comes back. Sometimes even genetic issues can make the hair loss permanent.

There is no absolute home test to know whether the hair follicles are active or not. If you are noticing that there is no growth of the hair for around 6 for 12 months, then it may be the chance of the dead follicle, the hair loss due to the stress starts diffusion.

Again the hair loss due to the DHT from the genetic male pattern baldness also comes with the pattern baldness. So, it becomes mandatory to consider the comprehensive tests with the hair growth specialist who will be conducting the lab test to determine the underlying cause of the dead hair.

When you’re questioning how to tell if your hair follicles are dead, remember that without the lab’s involvement, you cannot get to know the reason behind the same. And also, you won’t get the right test for knowing whether your hair is dead or not. With the lab’s involvement, you can rest assured that you will get an idea regarding the reason behind your bad hair.

As you’re curious to know about how to know if your hair is dead, remember that when the follicle starts dying for any reason, definitely there is no going back from it. However, the hair follicles sometimes become dormant in part of the natural growth cycle. In addition, outside stresses sometimes can be responsible for the dead hair. That said, it becomes vital to check the hair follicles while they are dormant and are before the stage of dying.

When the follicles are still dormant, there is hope that you can give them growing again. However, once the hair becomes completely dead, even the extreme self-care wouldn’t be working out. Maybe the hair transplant will work under such circumstances.

Highlight on the dormant versus dead hair follicles

The hardest part of dealing with the hair follicle is telling the difference between the dominant follicle and the dead hair. Neither one of them will be having the signs of the hair growing out of them. This is something that shows that the light fuzz of the hair. The hair cells are not dead but may be susceptible to death if left unchecked.

The hair follicle cells grow dormant. Still, they can be alive. That said, check the hair for a few months to the years. However, dependent on the cause as to why the cells become dormant, always make sure about giving your hair enough time and encouragement for the new hair growth.

It’s worth getting rid of the factors that will be enough for making your hair die. If nothing good is happening within a few months, and you are still very concerned, it’s worth considering an appointment. The doctor will be available to find out the reasons behind the hair loss. Based on that, they can formulate the treatment plan. It’s worth noting that hair loss can also be a symptom of the underlying disease. So you shouldn’t ever hesitate from setting up an appointment and getting a few tests.

The hair growth patterns

Hair growth starts from the follicles on every part of the body. The exception is, however, of the places like lips, palms of the hands, and the bottom of the feet.

Some areas like the scalp can allow the hair to grow up to several inches. Again in some other areas, the hair turns out to be softer and lighter. Besides, they are also short. But it’s worth noting that all these hairs in the body share something in common; that is, all of them are dead. It may sound overwhelming, but that’s the truth.

Under the microscope, each of the individual hair gives the representation of a thick tube. The structure is like a filament or a hair shaft. The strong protein keratin that makes up most of the hair is the main component of the skin and nails. In the hair follicles, there is a hair bulb. This is the bulb where the live hair takes its formation.

Blood vessels deliver the needed nutrients to the cells inside. This way, the hair cells grow out of the hair follicle again. The new cells find their creation in place of the old cells. The process thus leads to the strand-like appearance of the hair.

When the hair follicle continuously pushes cells out while creating new ones, the hair roots stay in the scalp and skin. That said, this is a major reason why the over-the-counter treatment for hair growth is focused on the scalp and hair follicles.

The reasons that cause the hair to become dead

It is very important to consider the things that will be enough for killing the hair follicles. That said, it will give you an idea regarding the remedies to the problem.


The hair is made of hair follicles that need nourishment. Nutrients are needed for the cells to thrive over an extended period. Lack of nutrients is enough for taking away some of the building blocks of the hair. Lack of nourishment can be responsible for thinner and thinner when the hair is dead, that the individual strands of it become thinner. The thinning starts with the pace that your follicle eventually gives up.

At this point, there may be a chance that your hair follicle will fall out. Dormant hair cells do not require too many nutrients. However, they do require some amount. If you allow your hair follicles to continue to undergo the damage, they will eventually die. Several factors can be the major cause for the hair follicles to become vulnerable to malnutrition. You can also consider taking all the nutrients that will be needed to keep away the malnourishment. 

Hormones and diseases

The hormone referred to as DHT is the one that is responsible for hair follicle death. A man suffering from hair loss along certain hairline parts is susceptible to pattern baldness due to DHT. Again women can also experience the pattern of baldness. DHT usually does a lot of damage to the hair cells. It’s the hormone, and you cannot control it. The hormones that make up the body are susceptible to stress and also damage hairstyles.

The DHT can sometimes be responsible for checking out the blood supply to the follicles in such cases. The stress hormones are responsible for triggering the follicles to become dormant and prevent the absorption of much-needed nutrients. These are the hormones that will be resulting in the hair follicle cells dying very soon.

Besides, there are also chances of fungal infections and skin diseases that can make your hair dead.

Internal diseases like thyroid disease can be enough to affect your hair. However, you shouldn’t allow those cells to continue damaging your body. Rather look for medical help as you see the hair follicles start dying. The indirect cell death has a close relation to other underlying conditions/ the ingredients of certain medicines also have the potential side impact. Hair loss comes with many possibilities, so you should consider treatment in the needed time.


The hair follicles may be susceptible to death due to the damage. There are major reasons why your hair cells are experiencing damage. The everyday damage may be due to the accidental pull of the strand. Pulling the strand once or twice will never be likely to cause noticeable damage. But if left for a long time, then there may be the increased chances of damage.

So anything that you are doing makes sure that the hairstyling formula you are using isn’t causing a lot of follicle tugging. Sometimes it happens so that the follicle simply doesn’t start growing back at all. Some chemicals are responsible for damaging the hair to a huge extent. Again some people find that the hair product with the chemicals loaded in them can damage the hair. Some of them are also vulnerable to hair damage due to the chemicals in the swimming pool. It’s best to always avoid the chemicals entirely.


When you aren’t sure why you are losing your hair, it’s worth considering an appointment with the doctor immediately. 

Ways to keep follicles alive

Several tips can work the best to keep the follicles alive. They are as follows:

  • Avoid problems causing them to die. That said, you can opt for multivitamins, exercise, and a good diet. However, hair masks and topical hair growth products can often be much better at getting nutrients directly to your hair cells.
  • Pay attention that your body experiences increased blood flow that is vital for your hair cells.
  • Hair masks, abrasive scrubs and pills, topical foams, creams, and liquid formulas sometimes cause too much trouble. Sometimes these ingredients spoil the hair more than curing them. Just discard them and increase your general circulation.
  • Be careful which hair growth treatment you undergo. Ensure that the process doesn’t damage your hair cells in the long run.
  • Hair treatments to deal with your specific hair problem are a must. But, sometimes, it’s worth noting that the DHT blocker will not help hair if your hair issues aren’t genetic-based.

Final thoughts

So, you’ve got the ideas about how to tell if your hair is dead. When hair isn’t growing as we think, we tend to become very worried. But it’s worth noting that even really thin hair growing out means that your follicles are still alive. So, catch your hair loss as early as possible to know whether you have a problem or not. Besides, make sure of booking an appointment with a reputed doctor only to get access to the comprehensive hair growth treatment.

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