Hair loss can be frustrating but it’s a normal part of our hair growth cycle. There are two types of hair loss—breakage and shedding. Many will experience both types of hair loss at some point, although, one is healthy and one is not. Here’s a brief explanation of how you can tell them apart:
Hair breakage occurs when you lose hair anywhere along the hair shaft, other than the root, because the hair has become weak in that spot. This type of breakage affects length and can be caused by numerous things including, dryness, hair styling, hair tools, excessive handling, etc.
Hair shedding occurs when hair is lost at the root. Hair grows in cycles and strands are always replenishing themselves after shedding. We naturally lose old strands of hair and grow new ones daily. It’s normal to lose between 50 to 100 strands of hair each day.
Breakage vs. Shedding Test
Between hair breakage and hair shedding, breakage is the unhealthy of the too and it is the type of hair loss that you want to minimize. How do you know if you have breakage verses shedding? Do the Bulb Test. Hold the loose strand of your hair up to the light and see if there’s a tiny white bulb, which is the root, attached at the end. If you don’t see a white bulb, it’s breakage. Losing a few hair strands to breakage is okay. However, seek professional advice if you notice multiple strands breaking daily.
Avoid Excessive Shedding
Shedding though a normal part of the hair cycle can be problematic if it becomes excessive. If you are losing more than 100 strands a day, try to eliminate some steps and/or tools in your hair routine that may be harmful. Avoid excessive heat styling, stay hydrated, avoid styles that are too tight and styles that tug at your hair strands or edges.
Since our curls are usually intertwined due to the tightly coiled nature of our hair, and many of us wear protective styles. What that means is, all of the hairs we should lose daily are typically intertwined with our other hairs until wash day. Don’t be alarmed. This just means for us it is imperative that we be gentle and patient with our curls come wash day. We need to put extra focus into separating shed hairs from our attached hairs in order to minimize breakage.
Have you ever noticed excessive shedding or breakage? What did you do to combat the problem? What advice would you give to someone dealing with one or both of these issues?