If you’ve been diligently measuring and monitoring your hair growth since going natural, you may be discouraged by each strand you see collect on your comb when you detangle. Many women are distressed by the amount of hair they shed in the shower daily. But, are you losing your hair or are you experiencing hair breakage?
What’s the difference between hair loss and hair breakage? Understanding this difference can be the key to solving the problem.
What is hair loss?
When your hair naturally falls from the root, you are experiencing hair loss. Some amount of hair loss normal and to be expected.
In fact, while you may not be aware of it, you’re likely losing up to 100 strands each day. The “100 strands” theory is based on the assumption that we have approximately 100, 000 hairs on our scalp and lose around 1% of them daily.
Additionally, the rate at which you’re losing hair can vary based on gender, diet and genetics.
What is hair breakage?
Curly hair is especially prone to breakage. You may experience breakage when combing, detangling, or styling your curls. Breakage is most noticeable when brushing or combing your hair, removing a hair band, or in the shower.
Which do you have?
If you look closely at a strand of your hair, hair that has been lost through the natural process of shedding will still have the root attached. Hairs that have suffered from breakage will be in shorter sections, and will not include the root.
How to prevent both
One way to decrease both hair loss and breakage is to take extra care in the detangling process. Be gentle with your curls, use a wide toothed comb, and determine the method which works best for you. For some this will involve coating your strands with a high slippage conditioner and combing in the shower, for others this may be finger detangling after your shower.
Alternatively, focusing on the overall health of your hair can prevent excessive breakage. Give your hair weekly deep conditioning treatments to help strengthen your strands.
3 ways to treat them
1. If you missed the boat on prevention, there are several techniques that can help remedy the situation.You can start by using a conditioning shampoo that works to moisturize the scalp as well as cleanse. We recommend Kinky Curly’s Come Clean, which gets amazing reviews from curlies of all hair types. You’d use this in addition to your regular conditioning routine.
2. Also be sure to trim your split ends at least monthly. Split ends travel right up your hair shaft and if you don’t tackle them at the ends of your hair, they’ll cause your hair to split and break several inches from the tips.
3. Finally, make sure you’re giving your hair a deep condition at least once a month. Your hair will soak up this soothing treatment and will thank you by staying in place!
This article was originally published in April 2013.