If you’re like me and have been detangling your hair only to look at the comb that you’re detangling with and think to yourself, “Omg, that’s a lot of hair that’s coming out!” then this post is a must read for you! It’s sometimes hard to know the difference between healthy hair shedding and hair breakage. Sometimes, us women freak out over things that happen naturally. There are many things, both positive and negative that might affect how much or how little your hair is shedding each day. There are also, many simple changes we can make in order to reverse and prevent hair breakage and excessive hair shedding. Maintaining the optimal health of your hair can be a tricky thing, especially when it comes to natural hair.
Hair can naturally shed up to 50-100 strands per day. To determine if your hair is shedding or breaking off, take a strand of hair from your brush or comb. If the strand of hair has a visible white or opaque bulb, then this is hair shedding. If the hair strand is shorter than your regular hair length and does not contain a white or opaque bulb, then you have hair breakage.
The Process of Healthy Hair Shedding
Your hair goes through three major growth cycles the Anagen Phase, Catagen Phase, and the Telogen Phase.
Anagen Phase – Growth Cycle
Your hair grows on average about half an inch per month and longer during the warmer months. the anagen phase lasts roughly about three -five years.
Catagen Phase – Transition Cycle
At the end of the anagen phase your hair strands enters the catagen phase. This second phase is a transitional period for the hair which lasts on an average of 10 days or more. The roots of the hair shrinks 1/3 of its original size. The hair then detaches from the root and travels upwards in the scalp.
Telogen Phase – Shedding Cycle
The telogen cycle is the last phase that your hair enters into. This is a resting phase when your hair is released to shed out. The hair follicle then remains inactive for a three month period before growing again. Each hair follicle acts independently and goes through each cycle at different times.
Women with natural hair often feel as though their hair is shedding excessively since they tend not to comb or brush their hair daily and perform their occasional or frequent protective styles. The hair shedding that you do see seems to be at a higher rate, but this amount of hair shedding reflects the accumulative numbers of the 50 – 100 shedded hair strands per day. Also, one might feel as though their hair is shedding a lot because of the density and length of their hair. A woman with shorter thin hair strands might seem as if she has minimal hair shedding compared to a woman with longer thick hair strands. The woman with the longer hair appears to have shed more hair because of her thick hair strand and her longer hair length. Excessive hair shedding is common in people who have lost an excessive amount of weight, experienced stress, ceased in taking birth control medicine, the effect of being on or off certain medicines, recovering or suffering from an illness, and women who have given birth.
The causes of hair breakage are rough combing and brushing, dry brittle hair, damage from extensions, wearing protective styles for a long period of time, using damaging hair care products or harsh chemical processes.
In order to reverse the process of hair breakage, especially if your hair breakage is severe, going to a stylist to have your ends trimmed will get you off to a great start. Moisturizing with products that will penetrate your tresses and doing deep conditioning treatments on a weekly basis will assist in reversing your breakage. If your hair tends to tangle easily, in which tangles causes breakage, opt for stress-free styles where your hair doesn’t have to be manipulated on a daily basis.
Remember that having healthy hair starts internally. Consuming hair vitamins such as The Mane Choice, Hairfinity, or taking a biotin supplement will assist in the overall health of your hair. Staying healthy, hydrated, and consuming clean foods that are high in Vitamin E, Vitamin C, iron, and Omega fatty acids are all great in combatting the amount of hair shedding and hair that is being broken off.