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Home » What does hair breakage look like?
Hair breakage can be easily mistaken for hair loss because they are both essentially hairs falling out. However, hair breakage isn’t full long hairs shedding like hair loss is, hair breakage is a sign that the hair shaft itself is damaged.
Hair breakage can occur anywhere along the hair shaft - but typically where the strand is at its weakest. Therefore, when you are experiencing hair breakage you will see hairs of varying lengths falling out.
Hair loss by itself is to some extent completely normal, but when the hairs fall out you should analyse them. There are some big differences between hairs that have naturally reached the shedding stage and hairs that have fallen due to breakage.
Hair loss from new hair growth: When hairs have reached the shedding stage they will be long strands that usually have the hair root still attached. With this, you can determine that those hairs fell out naturally when they reached the end of their growth cycle.
Hair breakage from damaged hair: The hair strands are short and vary in length. They usually look dry and brittle. Damaged hair tends to be quite dull in appearance and looks “frizzy”.
The average person loses between 50 and 100 healthy hairs per day – up to 150 in some cases. There is a simple test you can try on yourself. Run about 60 hairs between your fingers and pull a little on the strands when you get to the ends. You’ll usually see between 2 – 5 strands fall out – this is normal. Whereas more than 15 hairs are worrying.
If you have damage-prone hair or you know that you’re hair is brittle from bleaching or dye, then you know that you need to take caution. You take good care of your hair during the day, and this should be continued during the night.
When you’re asleep you could be unaware of all the damage being caused to your hair strands. Tossing and turning unintentionally creates friction and pulls on your hair.
If you wake up and find strands of hair on your pillow you should try these things to protect your hair type while you sleep:
Sleeping with your hair down can contribute to hair breakage because your loose strands undergo a lot of friction. Therefore, you should sleep with your hair tied up to reduce this.
Braiding your hair or twisting your hair into a high bun are excellent ways to protect your hair. Better yet – you’ll also wake up with heat-free beachy waves. However, don’t pull your hair tight, these hairstyles should be loose.
When creating these hairstyles, use spiral hair ties as they are gentle on the hair and prevent breakage. They also don’t leave kinks in the hair as elastic hairbands do.
Brushing your hair at night, specifically with a boar bristle hairbrush is one of the simplest ways to protect your hair at night. By doing this, you distribute your natural oils from the roots and scalp down through the lengths to prevent haor breakage. Using this every night will nourish the hair and work to repair damaged hair shafts.
If you have mid to long length hair you’re probably familiar with finding clumps of hair strands in the drain after washing your hair in the shower. Finding clumps of hair might make you freak-out, especially if you don’t know how much hair is normal to lose in the shower.
If you only wash your hair 1-2 times per week then you’ll probably always see your drain full of hair every time you do so. This is normal hair shedding, washing your hair just encourages some hairs in the telogen phase to fall out while you’re cleansing your scalp. So as you’re rinsing shampoo and conditioner out of your hair you may also see strands washing away into the drain too.
It’s normal to lose 50-100 strands of hair each day, so seeing this much hair fall isn’t something to be concerned about. You should only worry if you noticed that your hair feels substantially thinner (for example when you tie it into a ponytail), or if you start to see your scalp through your hair more easily than normal.
You should never brush or comb your hair in the shower because wet hair is significantly weaker than dry hair and breaks more easily. When you’re hair is wet it’s more elasticated, therefore if you comb your hair in the shower you will end up stretching the strands. Stretched hair strands lead to breakage.
Instead of combing your hair in the shower, you should brush your hair before your jump in the shower. This is more gentle on your hair type and will remove any knots ready for your hair wash. Furthermore, this will prevent hair damage.
At home, you can stop hair breakage by changing the things that are known to cause hair damage as well as increasing the nourishment of the strands. Hair breakage is a serious single that you need to take better care of your hair. Here are the best ways to repair damaged hair:
Coconut oil helps to repair hair breakage by penetrating deep into the hair shaft to protect the hair from protein loss. Coconut oil helps your hair cuticles to retain moisture by acting as a sealant. Therefore, the hair is effectively hydrated and protected from frizz and further damage.
How often should you apply coconut oil to your hair? Read our guide on coconut oil and what its benefits are for your hair.
Hair breakage is a sign that your hair is screaming for some TLC. It’s been significantly damaged and needs nourishment and a boost of moisture. You know when you’re hair is brittle because you’ll see short hairs breaking off. These hairs tend to look frizzy, have split-ends and look incredibly dry.
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