Friday, June 6, 2014

Shedding VS Breakage

Shedding VS Breakage



Each day, you are losing hair. As your hair goes through its cycle of growth, you will lose 50-100 strands of hair a day. With thick tightly coiled hair, it may be tricky to tell if the hair in the sink is normal shedding, or a sign of something more serious. There are a few things you can do to help you determine if your hair is shedding or breaking.

Detangle
When relying on low manipulation styles, you can go weeks before taking the time to detangle your kinks. Removing shed hairs will help you to fight tangles, and knots, while allowing you the time to examine each hair that is removed.  I can keep a coiled puff for 3-4 days before taking the time to detangle. On lazy days, I moisturize my hair without taking the time to detangle. Because of this I will go days without a visible shed hair. The shed hairs that would normally make its way down, are held up in my mass of curls, and eventually cause tangles. The first step to analyzing shed hairs is to detangle, your kinky 4c curls. If the hair in the comb or sink fit the following description, your hair is shedding normally. Healthy and normal shed hairs are the same length of your hair, have shine, luster, and does not easily break when stretched.
If your shed hairs are weak, have single strand knots, feel rough, or are much shorter than the length of your hair, you may need to take steps to slow down breakage.  Keep reading to determine if your hair is shedding or breaking.


Analyze
Once Your curly hair is detangled, and all the shed hairs are removed, take a look at what was removed. Check out the length of the hair you removed. Are the hairs shorter, or the same length as the rest of your hair? Check out the condition of the hair removed, look closely. Determine if the strands have split ends. Is there a small clear or black bulb at the end of the strand? Run your fingers along the length of the strand, then sharply tug on each end of the shed hair. Did the  hair break?  Is the hair smooth or rough? Is there single strand knots on the strand?? When pulled straight does the shed hair have shine and luster?

Now that you have answered these questions you can determine the following:

Shed hair is shorter: If your shed hairs are generally shorter than the hair on your head, you may be dealing with breakage. Normal Shed hairs are full length hairs separated from your head from the scalp. If you shed hair is considerable shorter than the hair on your head, you may be looking at breakage
Shed hair is longer/normal length: If your shed hairs are the same length as the hair, you may be looking at regular shedding. Normal shed hairs sometimes have a small black or clear bulb of keratin at the base of the strand.
Rough short shed hairs: Have to detangled and you notice the hair you removed  is all short and rough? You may be dealing with breakage from lack of moisture. Dry hair is weaker than moisturized hair. Maintaining a hair care routine that incorporates moisture, and strengthen conditioners will limit additional breakage cause by dryness. Try a tea rinse to boost moisture, and limit shedding.
Breakage from knots: If you removed shed hairs and notice there are little knots on the length of the strand, you may be dealing with breakage from manipulation damage, and single strand knots. 4c Curly hair has a tendency to curl around itself, causing tiny knots.  These super small knots along the length of a stand can cause larger tangles, and breakage at the point of the knot. To prevent knots keep your hair stretched and well lubricated with nourishing oils. If you notice a large number of Single strand knots, you may want to target some of them with a small scissor, to limit further damage.
Breakage from weak hair:  Even if you used a conditioner, and oils, you may still be experiencing breakage. When out stretched, or tugged on, does the shed hair does it break easily? Does the shed hair return to its curl after being stretched? Does the shed hair just snap when being stretched? You may be dealing with a breakage due to a lack of protein. The best way to fight breakage is to maintain a healthy balance between moisturizing conditioners, and protein based conditioners. Deep condition often, to keep your hair strong. Mayo, eggs, animal placenta are great protein based conditioners for hair.


Each day, you are losing hair. With tightly coiled hair, it may be tricky to tell if the hair in the sink is normal shedding, or a sign of something more serious. Use the above  tips to help you determine if you are dealing with normal 4c shedding or something more serious.