Many women use the terms shedding and breakage interchangeably to describe hair that leaves the head, but believe it or not they are not the same thing. It’s vital that the difference between the two are known and understood because this determines whether or not you are experiencing damage or simply plain ‘ole’ fashion shedding. In this article, I will shed some light on the differences, and list some things that you can do to combat each problem.
What is Shedding?
The term shedding is affiliated with hair that has reached the end of it’s growth cycle. There are 3 commonly known phases of the growth cycle: Anagaen phase (growth phase), catagen phase (transitional phase), and telogen phase (resting/shedding phase). During the shedding phase, the hair strand has reached the end of it’s “life” and will fall from the scalp along with its bulb (the tiny white particle at the root of the strand).
If the strand that leaves the head does not have the white bulb at the root or does not match the length of the rest of your hair then you are experiencing breakage. Shedding is a normal part of growth and healthy hair, and on average people shed about 50-100 strands per day. If you notice that you are shedding more than usual over a period of time then that might indicate an internal condition.
Common conditions that are associated with excessive shedding include anemia, stress, vitamin D deficiency, dermatitis, hormonal imbalances, and a variety of other issues. So ladies please visit your doctor if you notice rapid unexplained hair loss. On the other hand, you should not be afraid of shedding as this is a normal part of hair growth.
What is Breakage?
Breakage is not a normal every day part of hair growth, and it’s an implication of damaging hair care practices or imbalances in the body. Breakage is characterized by short, broken hairs that do not match the length of your hair, and it can be caused by rough manipulation of the hair, lack of moisture, protein overload, chemical damage, and environmental damage.
Over time, hair becomes weakened by manipulation thus resulting in split ends and breakage. It is very important that you take proper precautions when styling your hair to prolong the longevity of the strands.
So what can you do about excessive shedding and breakage?
- Keep your hair moisturized at all times. Moisture equals elasticity, and elasticity ensures that your hair doesn’t snap off as son as you touch it. This doesn’t mean that you have to moisturize your hair every single day because everyone’s hair is different. Every head of hair has its own moisture retention level which means that it’s ability to hold unto moisture is unique. Learn your hair and know how often you need to reapply moisture and use that to stay on top of your moisture game.
- Comb your hair less.
- Combing your hair every day is a lot of manipulation on your strands. Excessive combing cause micro tears in the strands which slowly wear the hair away and lead to breakage. With combs less is more, so opt for finger detangling and low manipulation styles instead.
- Be gentle!
- Be as gentle as possible when dealing with your hair. Some breakage is inevitable when manipulating your hair, so the goal is to minimize as much damage as possible. So the more gentle you are with your hair the less breakage you will have. Treat your hair like fine silk all the time, and it will thank you by rewarding you with healthy and long hair.
- Moisture-Protein Balance. Read about it here!
So guys this one right here is tricky! Like we’ve established before shedding is a normal part of the hair growth cycle, so there is no one specific way that you can prevent shedding.On the other hand, excessive shedding is usually caused by an internal condition which is usually a sign of some sort of imbalance in the body. You may not be able to solve this issue with an oil or cream, so it would be best to check with your doctor to find the exact cause.
Some cases may include vitamin deficiencies, illnesses, or hormonal imbalances which may be rectified with the consistent consumption of OTC remedies such as dietary supplements. But guys my best advice to you is to make sure that you are healthy. Eat healthy nutrient dense foods (whole foods) as much as possible, exercise, and use natural ingredients on your hair and body.
So guys what’s your experience with breakage and/or shedding?
Thanks for coming by for another one. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for future posts. Until next time HHJ!