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Old 01-04-2011, 09:11 PM   #1
 
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Exclamation Should I be concerned?

My hair falls out like... crazy. And I don't know if that is just how my hair is naturally or if I should be concerned. First off, everytime I run my fingers through my hair, one or two strands come loose on my fingers. Is that normal? Secondly, when my hair is wet--mainly in the shower-- it comes out like crazy. I usually pull my fingers through my hair as I am conditioning it to help untangle it, and by the time I am done, I can easily pull a good sized ball of hair off my fingers. Is this normal? It happens all the time! Not to mention, if my hair is especially tangled, I will brush it while still wet and I will start with a clean brush and by the time I am done it is completely filled with hair! I don't know if I should be upset or just deal with it. I have really naturally thick hair so is it just supposed to shed like this? Any help... thanks!
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Old 01-05-2011, 04:23 PM   #2
 
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Originally Posted by ForeverBlonde View Post
My hair falls out like... crazy. And I don't know if that is just how my hair is naturally or if I should be concerned. First off, everytime I run my fingers through my hair, one or two strands come loose on my fingers. Is that normal? Secondly, when my hair is wet--mainly in the shower-- it comes out like crazy. I usually pull my fingers through my hair as I am conditioning it to help untangle it, and by the time I am done, I can easily pull a good sized ball of hair off my fingers. Is this normal? It happens all the time! Not to mention, if my hair is especially tangled, I will brush it while still wet and I will start with a clean brush and by the time I am done it is completely filled with hair! I don't know if I should be upset or just deal with it. I have really naturally thick hair so is it just supposed to shed like this? Any help... thanks!
Lots of questions here:

How long is your hair?
Is your hair naturally blonde or do you color it, and if so, how blonde is blonde and does the coloring correspond with your increase in shedding?
How often do you wash?
Has there been a sudden increase in the amount of shedding or has it always been this way?
What, if any, other chemical or thermal process(es) do you perform on your hair?
Are the shed hairs long or short, broken hairs?
How old (ballpark) are you?
Any known health issues?
Taking any new meds?
New hair products?
Is your hair dry and/or tangly?
What curl pattern(s) do you most closely resemble?

I went through this last year--back story: I had been relaxing my hair since age 11 and damaging it to the point where it would just break at the slightest tug. As I progressed into my early 40s, after my employer at the time made a rude crack about my new grey hairs, I began coloring my hair in addition to the excessively frequent relaxers. My hair began to break off at an alarming rate. There were little broken hairs all over everything--my bathroom floor, counter, bed, pillow. And my bf finally made a comment about how much shorter my hair was then, compared to how long it had been when we met--without ever having had a haircut! =( So, I began wearing my hair braided up under a hair weave, and did so for 3 years. When I took it down, I had my hair highlighted and began DIY BKT. My hair is super baby fine, but I figured highlights were the best way to deal with my greys, but it turned out that she highlighted much of my dark brown hair as well...problem is that I really liked it...problem with that is that lifting the brown to a lighter color is severely damaging to my baby fine, albeit now virgin hair. Because of my history of breakage and then having it braided up, I had no idea what normal shedding for my hair would look like. In the beginning after removing the hair weave, there wasn't much shedding--I really didn't pay attention. I had my hair highlighted once more 2 months after the first, then never again because I could feel the damage it was causing my hair, as much as I loved the colors. A few months later, during summer, I began to feel that the shedding had increased to an alarming level. My son and bf's eyes bugged when I showed them the ball of hair, not to mention what they didn't see that went down the drain. I felt panicked, but told myself it was because I only wash my hair every other day and because it is so long now (mid back). Also, curly hair doesn't fall out as readily as straight hair, so it all comes out in the wash. Still, something told me that it was a looooot of hair. I added an iron supplement, changed conditioners, and still the hair fell. I didn't feel that my hair was getting any thinner overall, but I have super baby fine hair (but very dense) anyway, so it can look thin anyway--but there were no bald spots or excessive scalp show-through. It eventually began to taper off after a couple of months of this, and for the last 6 weeks or so, I've hardly shed any. I'm shedding ~5x less than I did over the summer. It's a DRAMATIC difference. I don't know if it's a seasonal thing or a hormonal thing or a vitamin/mineral imbalance or stress or breakage from the coloring--this is my suspicion, though--or a combination of some or all of the above. It was tough for me because I didn't have a baseline to compare to.
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Old 01-08-2011, 05:05 PM   #3
 
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Lots of questions here:

How long is your hair?
Is your hair naturally blonde or do you color it, and if so, how blonde is blonde and does the coloring correspond with your increase in shedding?
How often do you wash?
Has there been a sudden increase in the amount of shedding or has it always been this way?
What, if any, other chemical or thermal process(es) do you perform on your hair?
Are the shed hairs long or short, broken hairs?
How old (ballpark) are you?
Any known health issues?
Taking any new meds?
New hair products?
Is your hair dry and/or tangly?
What curl pattern(s) do you most closely resemble?

My hair is long-ish. It goes down to about my armpit.
My hair is naturally blonde, I have never colored it in my entire life.
I usually wash my hair every couple of days.
My hair falls out like this all the time, it's not like it is an all-of-a-sudden thing.
I don't put ANY chemicals in my hair. I am all natural, nothing but shampoo and conditioner!
When I shed it is long hairs, and they are not broken.
I am a teenager.
I am perfectly healthy, not even so much as a cold.
I am not taking any medications.
As far as products goes, I stick to the nice n' cheap drugstore brands.
My hair is VERY tangly, but I don't know how to tell if it is dry or not.
I have Type3 curls, if my hair is being good.

I am realizing that if I am more careful when combing through my hair in the shower, not AS MUCH falls out.
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Old 01-09-2011, 03:33 PM   #4
 
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The most important points that stand out to me are:

~You have never colored and don't use other chemicals
~You shed like this all the time
~You are young and healthy

Everything else just falls into place behind those elements for me in coming to the conclusion that it's probably totally normal for you to shed as much as you are, especially since you don't wash every day.

I cowash, and I noticed that when I stopped scrubbing my scalp so vigorously, the shedding decreased. I made all my changes at once, so I don't know what is responsible and what isn't for my dramatic decrease in shedding. But treating your hair more gently is always a good thing. I forgot to ask if your hair is fine or coarse or something inbetween. Fine being thin, fragile strands like a baby's hair, and coarse being thick, strong strands like a horse's tail. Coarse has nothing to do with rough.

Also, how often do you use thermal tools like blow dryers and curling or flat irons? And, last question, do you consider yourself a 3a, b, or c? My natural curl pattern is a 3c/4a, and it didn't really tangle unless it was damaged. The more damaged hair is, often the easier it tangles. Your hair will sound dry and crunchy when you smash a lock of it between your fingers.

I hope this helps. I truly think you're fine. You may notice that the amount you shed increases and decreases with the seasons/hormone shifts.
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Old 01-10-2011, 03:39 PM   #5
 
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FB, I forgot to add that if you haven't already, you should get your parent/guardian involved and together determine if you should talk to your doctor about this.
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Cowash-V05 Extra Body
L'oreal EP Moisture-Rinse-out
JFLVM
BRHG mix w/
KCCC/KCKT (winter)
Clean-smelling-hair freak washes EOD; dry w/bowl diffuser
Cassia+henna+grays=Gold-red hilites
~That you don't share my experiences/opinions doesn't invalidate them
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Old 01-11-2011, 02:36 AM   #6
 
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With your answers to Ghost Poster, your shedding sounds normal to me.

If you're really concerned, count how many hairs you're losing and keep a journal.


This helps to explain shedding

Curly Hair Q&A: A Good Process For Deep Treatments | NaturallyCurly.com
Q: How do I know if my shedding is normal or if Iím shedding too much?

A: This is a very common question for women and men. Itís normal to shed between 35-40 hairs per day.

With naturally curly hair of any texture, the hair has a specific growth pattern in coils or curls. In some cases, because the curls are so tight, the hair that has naturally shed will stay within the hair trapped by its texture or curl. Meaning, if you wait a couple of days to shampoo, condition, style, comb, etc. you will find a much larger amount of hair shedding than if you shampooed, conditioned, styled, and combed on a daily basis.

If you find that the hair is shedding in larger amounts specific to an area, or following a specific action like styling, using a thermal styling tool, or unnecessary tension like tight ponytails, then you might want to consult a professional hair stylist for a consultation.

More info
Seasonal Shedding and Garlic Treatments | NaturallyCurly.com
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Old 01-11-2011, 05:00 PM   #7
 
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I have this exact same problem. The only difference is I'm in my twenties and I have black hair. But I have been shedding like this for a long time--I think I first noticed it in my early teenage years.

I know it's common for people to be concerned by the amount that they shed, but the reasons why it concerns me so much are:

1. I have gotten looks of horror from hair stylists when they pull huge clumps of hair off my head when cutting my hair.


2. My hair was super super thick when I was younger. People told me not to worry about it because they said my hair probably grows back fast enough to replace it. Actually, my hair grows at glacial speeds, and it has become so ridiculously thin all over that I don't know what to do with it. This worries me out because I'm still losing hair at the same rate and I'm so young.

3. What bothers me most is that literally every time I run my hands through my hair, out come a few strands. I read before that, like said, loose hairs get trapped in curly hair and so they have to be physically removed, so I thought maybe it was because I don't wash every day. So I ran my hands through my hair a whole bunch of times after losing a sickening amount in the shower, and every time I kept pulling out strands. I thought eventually I would get rid of all the loose hairs, but they just kept coming and coming, and eventually I just stopped because it was really freaking me out. Even if I run my hands through dry hair, almost always a strand or two will come out. I don't know if it's just that my hair is extremely weak and I should stop combing my hair altogether or what.
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Old 01-11-2011, 09:09 PM   #8
 
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Originally Posted by Amemus View Post
I have this exact same problem. The only difference is I'm in my twenties and I have black hair. But I have been shedding like this for a long time--I think I first noticed it in my early teenage years.

I know it's common for people to be concerned by the amount that they shed, but the reasons why it concerns me so much are:

1. I have gotten looks of horror from hair stylists when they pull huge clumps of hair off my head when cutting my hair.


2. My hair was super super thick when I was younger. People told me not to worry about it because they said my hair probably grows back fast enough to replace it. Actually, my hair grows at glacial speeds, and it has become so ridiculously thin all over that I don't know what to do with it. This worries me out because I'm still losing hair at the same rate and I'm so young.

3. What bothers me most is that literally every time I run my hands through my hair, out come a few strands. I read before that, like said, loose hairs get trapped in curly hair and so they have to be physically removed, so I thought maybe it was because I don't wash every day. So I ran my hands through my hair a whole bunch of times after losing a sickening amount in the shower, and every time I kept pulling out strands. I thought eventually I would get rid of all the loose hairs, but they just kept coming and coming, and eventually I just stopped because it was really freaking me out. Even if I run my hands through dry hair, almost always a strand or two will come out. I don't know if it's just that my hair is extremely weak and I should stop combing my hair altogether or what.
These 3 things happen to me, as well! It is good to know I am not completely alone. I have pretty thick hair, and the last time I went to a salon to get my hair cut the lady asked me "does your hair always fall out like this?" To put it simply, she started with an empty brush and by the time she was done the brush was overflowing with hair. Plus, it was wrapped around her fingers and she had to keep cleaning off her hands. I don't brush my all-it do not want gigantic 80's hair thank you very much- but I DO use heat products. The occasional curling iron (some hairs just don't believe in curling..) and I have a brand new diffuser I just got. My best guess is my hair is just drying out from the heat (not to mention it is the dead of winter) and so I am working on moisturizing it. I actually have olive oil in my hair as I am writing this so...
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Old 01-11-2011, 09:15 PM   #9
 
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Oh, I wanted to add one more thing. I tried the CG method... absolute disaster. I think it was right after this that I noticed my hair coming out like this. If before it wasn't too bad, it certianly is now. The CG method completely devastated my hair, at first making it so frizzy and coarse (my hair was lost in tangles for days, just one big matted mess) and then after that epidemic was over, my hair got so greasy it didn't even curl any more. It just laid there, limp and suffocating from all the conditioner. I am in this post-CG mode, trying to heal my hair--still cowashing some but not more than one or two washes before I break out the shampoo again. I read a few places where people said there was some transition period. Uhm, I never actually got past that stage. :/
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Old 01-11-2011, 11:06 PM   #10
 
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Originally Posted by ForeverBlonde View Post
It just laid there, limp and suffocating from all the conditioner. I am in this post-CG mode, trying to heal my hair--still cowashing some but not more than one or two washes before I break out the shampoo again. I read a few places where people said there was some transition period. Uhm, I never actually got past that stage. :/
Interesting. If your hair is really falling out by the handful, you need to see a dermatologist. Hair loss can be a symptom of health problems.

Do you diet? Lack of protein and iron can cause hair loss.

Are you seeing the little bulb at the root of your hair? Or are you seeing breakage?


Your hair was suffocating? Thankfully, that's impossible since hair is dead.

What conditioner did you use for a co-wash? it may have been to heavy which is why your hair became limp. CG isn't for everyone obviously.
Just curious.
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Old 01-13-2011, 11:13 AM   #11
 
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Hi Foreverblonde, from another blonde.
I have fine hair, but I started losing less hair when I started using gentler shampoos (or just washing my hair with water). I have allergies and sensitivities to ingredients, so I have to be careful.

Has somebody had a look at your scalp? They should look for red patches or actually, anything that doesn't look like healthy, smooth skin. Scalp irritations can cause hair loss. Contact dermatitis can, so can seborrheic dermatitis, as can other skin problems.
Health problems like thyroid disease can cause hair loss too, so if this is a change for you, like you said, then it is something to mention to parents, have a parent or friend or sibling look at your scalp, and perhaps get it checked by a doctor.

Hair loss is a pretty common cause for doctor visits and because it can indicate any number of problems, it is better to get it checked by a real, live person than to ask those of us who cannot see you!

And the whole cowashing, adding more conditioner and leave-in and all that -- certainly not for everybody! For some of us, less conditioner is plenty.
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:29 PM   #12
 
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...Forgive me, I love playing with the different fonts...

Anyway, does VO5 count as harsh? Because I use that and Suave. I think I mentioned earlier that I tend to stick to the nice, cheap drugstore brands as far as hair products goes.
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Old 01-15-2011, 11:25 AM   #13
 
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ForeverBlonde, I'm sorry to hear about your hair problems! VO5 and Suave shampoos contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, which is a harsh cleanser. Here's a link to a list of sulfates to avoid and gentler surfactants to use instead: Live Curly Live Free - Product Ingredients

I made a mistake once and used mineral oil on my hair, so I washed it out with Burt's Bees Very Volumizing Pomegranate & Soy Shampoo. A lot of curlies on this site use Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Shampoo, which is also available in most drugstores (I would have tried it but it wasn't at my local CVS). The Burt's Bees was about $8 for 12 oz. at CVS. It didn't dry my hair out and it gave me smooth waves after conditioning (I'm normally 2c/3a). But I've been very impressed with the CG method after using it for about a month, so I don't think I'll need to use this much.

On the subject of shedding hair, have you ever been in the awkward situation of finding your hair fallen on a shared table or other public space? I hate it when it happens in front of someone else and I have to get rid of it hoping they didn't notice it, when it's painfully obvious that the long, curly black hair was mine! Or have you ever run your hands through your hair and didn't notice until much later that a strand broke off and got caught in the middle of your hair, so it looked like you had one extra long strand of hair? These things happen to me occasionally.. it's funny but embarrassing!
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Old 01-27-2011, 01:03 PM   #14
 
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Default same problem - but only recently began...

Hi everyone! I've had a similar experience, but only began very recently. I never shed very much. Of course the average clump in the shower, but nothing crazy. I did get sick last year with Dengue fever and couldn't eat for about 10 days. I'm not sure, but am guessing that was a cause...for what started right after. Every time I put my hand through my hair, it seemed like so many strands were coming out. Over the last 8 months, my hair went from very thick, strong strands of spirally 3b curls, to thin, weak, looser curls. Fortunately, I don't have any bald patches or anything, so I'm glad it didn't all go. But, I'm afraid I'll never get back the hair I loved!! I have spoken to two stylists, one doctor who seemed to dismiss my concern, and my tropical disease doctor who is overseas and so I am still awaiting his response. Meanwhile, I'd be really happy to hear tips from any of you who can recommend ways to improve hair growth so that I can hopefully regain my hair! Also, would you suggest a general practitioner or a dermatologist...or other medical professional?? Thanks so much for any and all advice you can offer!!
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Old 01-30-2011, 12:35 PM   #15
 
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wow, you guys describe so many of my problems. i get crazy amounts of hair in the shower, and then during styling. they are all from the roots, and it is like what one of you said, that as long as i am running my hands thru my hair, it keeps coming. I think for a while i was hoping it was normal but after looking at pictures of myself 5 years ago i was a little upset cuz my hair was much fuller. i think thinner hair runs in my family, but i am active and was taking vitamins and in my early twenties when it started. a trip to the doctor revealed normal thyroid levels, so i think my doctor chalked it up to stress (or maybe the result of getting sick a lot with high fevers that winter?). now that i've been exercising (cardio) even more i have noticed many short hairs growing in all over-which i guess is good, but they are a reminder that i must have lost a lot, and i still lose a good amount
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Old 01-30-2011, 02:29 PM   #16
 
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Those who say it just keeps shedding and shedding...that's problematic. That's one of the "tests" I used when my hair was shedding heavily. When I got out of the shower and was combing it out, the shedding would eventually taper off and stop, and it was always essentially the same amount of hair and was never patchy shedding. It was evenly-distributed shedding.

Again, the two red flags to me would be:

1)A new, sudden increase in shedding
2)No cessation in the shedding after hair washing--just keeps coming and coming as long as you're combing, brushing, or raking with your fingers.

Also any scalp pain, increased itching or flaking, patchy balding/thinning.

Concerned? See a dermatologist.
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Baby fine, honey & caramel hilites, 4a/3c now 2b w/DIY BKT & LOVIN' it.
Cowash-V05 Extra Body
L'oreal EP Moisture-Rinse-out
JFLVM
BRHG mix w/
KCCC/KCKT (winter)
Clean-smelling-hair freak washes EOD; dry w/bowl diffuser
Cassia+henna+grays=Gold-red hilites
~That you don't share my experiences/opinions doesn't invalidate them
I wondered if it tasted like a hot dog. ~Phoenix
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