Breakage, white hair ... I think I got it figured?

I've been going white (not grey, but shiny shiny brilliant white) for about 10 to 15 years now. It has never bothered me and it doesn't really bother me now - but for the last 10 (or 15) years I've also been having crazy amounts of breakage. I mean handfuls of hair every single time I shower or comb my hair (with an afro pick and detangler). I shed worse than the cats. It's really been bothering me. The breakage - not the white hair.

At this point I have significant white hair and I noticed the other day that there is now enough of that brilliant shiny white hair that it is making my very dark brown hair look dead and dull. Maybe 25% of my long hair is now white.

So I started doing some looking around and have about decided to do a henna treatment with some amla to strengthen the hair, preserve the curl, and hopefully make the white blend in with the dark brown or at least be a bit less startlingly shiny. I got some almond oil, and 2 or 3 different leave-in detanglers in case there was some problem with the detangler (very diluted Infusium-23) I have been using for like 30 years that's been causing the breakage. I have a hypothyroid condition as well that undoubtedly adds to the breakage situation.

One treatment with the almond oil and my hair breakage has dropped off to a tiny fraction of what it has been all these years. My hair was softer and curls on its own even without the leave-in conditioner.

Then today I noticed that nearly all my broken hairs are very long, and almost none of them are white. I was about to give in to despair again - and then I realized - in 10 (or 15) years, I have only ever found a two-tone hair on my head ONCE. You know - going from white to my youthful color.

Every hair on my head is either dark brown - or it's white. From root to tip. Even my broken hairs are always all one color. I have no white roots. I either have white hair, or brown hair.

I think this explains the other weird thing I'd noticed just yesterday - I have whole clusters of very short white hairs (2 to 3 inches) all around my temples. Which worried me no end because I had visions of losing all my hair down to teensy little short bits. *saaaad*

My hair, btw, goes from 2 or 3" (pure white) to a maximum length of about 16" to 17" (dark brown from root to tip). And the vast, vast majority of the short hairs are pure white. The longest white hair I could find (in a headful, LOL!) was about 13" to 14" long.

So I think what has been happening is that as my hair goes white, the white hair is a different texture and consistency and the point at which the color change occurs is more prone to breakage than the new white hair that is growing in.

My youthful hair has always been very fine and prone to breakage anyway, if I tried to put it in a pony tail or braid it, it would just break up and down the braid or at the pony tail band. So a lot of the breakage is probably (sort of) normal for my hair anyway, and the almond treatment seems to be taking care of that - and most of what's left seems to be breakage at the point of color change.

The white hair that is coming in is also fine, but just a bit coarser. Thankfully it still seems to be curly. So far, it breaks off far less often than my youthful dark brown hair. I sure hope that keeps up as well ...

Has anyone else experienced this, the breaking off of your hair at the point where it changes color? Or am I imagining things ...
what i am pretty sure happens is that the color hair falls out and the newer ones are white or grey. i don't think a strand changes color mid growth. so you would not see a strand with both brown and white.

yes, white hair properties seem to be a lot different than when our hair had color. which is why we would love to have a gray hair forum. but....

i did not experience breakage either before or after. it sounds like the almond oil helped, maybe you need to 'seal' more often. i do, but my hair prefers butters, and it has made a huge difference!
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3a, some 2c & 3b, medium texture, porosity normal, low elasticity
washing/cowashing, conditioning, protein tx: curl junkie products
leave in:cj conditioners and treatments as leave in
styling: cj pattern pusha, cj honey butta leave in, cj cccc, cj ciab, lalsg. cj aloe fix gel is my high dews/summer HG!!
sealants - spiral solutions emollience butter, jane carter nourish & shine
Hmmm - except I see grey roots on other people - and there are never any roots on the shed hairs. If it were actually falling out instead of breaking off, wouldn't there be roots on the shed hairs? Also pre-almond oil an awful lot of the breakage and shedding were shorter hairs, but that's possibly "normal" breakage.

But I'm just guessing. I have honestly never paid a lot of attention to my hair, once I figured out it was wash 'n wear and actually pretty curly if I would just leave it alone.
roots is the new growth on hair that has been colored. so, if the root is gray, the whole strand is gray but has been dyed.
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3a, some 2c & 3b, medium texture, porosity normal, low elasticity
washing/cowashing, conditioning, protein tx: curl junkie products
leave in:cj conditioners and treatments as leave in
styling: cj pattern pusha, cj honey butta leave in, cj cccc, cj ciab, lalsg. cj aloe fix gel is my high dews/summer HG!!
sealants - spiral solutions emollience butter, jane carter nourish & shine
Well I meant people who don't color their hair. I have friends who's hair is growing in grey quite differently from mine - they seem to be going grey all at once, more or less. So they have parti-colored hair where the new hair is coming in grey. They have SOME visible strands of grey (so they're not lying about coloring) but mostly they're going grey all at once. THEIR hair isn't breaking off the way mine has been. Also theirs is going grey - mine is sparkling-I'm-not-kidding white.

But now I may have a new culprit in the breakage saga - I read on another thread that extremely low ferritin levels can also cause excess breakage. Mine were down to 5 or less for at least 6 or 7 years, starting I'm-not-sure-when but possibly along about the time I started noticing the excess breakage. So maybe that's where this all started ...

Again, I'm just guessing and grasping at straws, and trying to figure out what to do next. I haven't paid this much attention to my hair in decades, and then only when I was crying over whatever the latest "stylist" had done to it, LOL!
I have definitely found a lot of two-tone strands. They're the ones that really bother me because it gave into the grey side! Haha. Some are mostly grey and some are only grey near the roots. This leads me to believe that at some point it starts going grey since I haven't colored my hair in over 2 years and the amount of grey in the two-tone strands varies.
CG since July 2013

CW - Suave Naturals Tropical Coconut
RO - SM Restorative Conditioner
LI - SM Curl & Style Milk
Styler - HE Set Me Up Gel
Breakage on the lengths or shedding from the roots? If you think this is related to your health issues yet is new/ worsening then you need to see your doctor and perhaps a registered dietician.
2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

CO-wash: Inecto coconut/ Elvive Volume Collagen
Treatments: Komaza Care Matani, coconut/ sweet almond/ fractionated coconut oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Au Naturale styling gelee
Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
Experimenting with: benign neglect
Breakage on the lengths. I don't believe there is any (or not much anyway) shedding from the roots. I've never seen a broken hair with root attached - and I have checked.

However the breakage seems to be mostly under control since the almond oil treatment. I get mostly longer hair strands which seem to be breaking off at the point where they are coming in white - lots of 2" to 3" white strands easily seen around my temples. I assume they are scattered all through my hair like that, they're just easier to see right up front like that.
what i am pretty sure happens is that the color hair falls out and the newer ones are white or grey. i don't think a strand changes color mid growth. so you would not see a strand with both brown and white.
Originally Posted by rbb
Actually i highly disagree. Only bc i have a strand of hair in the middle top of my head that is long and it is actually half gray and half brown.



Sent from my LG-LG730 using CurlTalk App
2yrs 7 months post relaxer/2 years and 11 months natural

Cleanse: SM Moisture Retention or Suave Naturals shampoos
Co-Wash: Suave Naturals, L'Oreal EverCreme or EverCurl
RO/Detangler: Tresseme Naturals, GVPCB
Leave-In: SM Curl Enhancing Smoothie, TN, GVPCB
Styler: EcoStyler, GF Pure Clean gel, KCCC

Just discovering my hair likes protein!

I was told when I was a teen the reason I had a few multicoloured greys was due to a chemical reaction or a nutrient deficiency.

I've had them on and off since though I don't actually have enough grey hair yet to check.

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