How do you know if your hair is breaking or shedding?

Afro hair breakage shedding FroHub

Prior to experiencing both hair breakage and hair shedding, I used to think that these terms were pretty much interchangeable. However, I soon realised that understanding the difference between these are important in a healthy hair regimen.

Everyone loses, on average, about 50-100 hairs per day. The hair reaches the end of its growth cycle and naturally falls from the scalp. Shorter strands of lost hair, with both ends of the strand having a smooth end means that the hair has broken off, but if the strand has a slight bulb/bulge at one end and is longer (more like the length of the rest of your hair on your head) then it has been shed. The bulb is where it was connected to your scalp.

what is hair breakage shedding FroHub

I’ve also gone through a period of losing more hair than I would normally expect to lose. I saw increased amounts of hair trapped in the bath plug hole and I took a closer look to try to work out why this was happening. Usually this happens when I take down a protective style, when quite a bit of hair comes out. But this time I wasn’t in a protective style!  I think one cause might have been to do with my lockdown diet, which hasn’t been all that good. I haven’t been eating as healthily as I used to, and hence my hair is probably lacking the right nutrients. But, since improving my diet, and taking a multivitamin, I have definitely noticed less hair shedding. Yay!

But in the clump of plug hole hair there were also quite a few strands that had double-straight ends so I knew that I was also experiencing quite a lot of hair breakage.  I have to be honest here, pre-covid, I used to blow-dry and straighten my hair frequently, and it got to the point where I’d notice little bits of hair breaking off if I was a little too rough when I touched my hair. I was also very bad at drinking water, which I now know is important to keep your scalp healthy.  My hair health is definitely improving but more recently, wearing big cuddly jumpers and long wooly scarves (which I love and winter is my favourite season!) coupled with the cold biting air, I noticed my hair would snag on the wool and dry out, causing dreaded breakages.  I had a look online at what could be done and resolved to keep the wool away from my hair as much as possible, and also invested in a wooly hat with a silky lining, it’s amazing!  I have also made sure to spritz my tips with water more regularly and so far it’s working.

Hair clump shedding breakage FroHub

Every now and then, it’s definitely worth taking the time, energy and patience to have a close look and think about what’s going on with your hair; both the strands still adorning your beautiful heads and the ones that are sadly not.

Fro stay strong x

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