Thursday, August 4, 2011

Shed Hair vs. Broken Hair - How Can I tell the Difference?

I mentioned shed hair in my last post.  Many women on their natural hair journey get very concerned about the presence of hair coming out during their wash routine.  The assume their hair is breaking.  Just a few shedding facts:  On average we shed between 50 - 100 hairs per day.  During the resting period of the cycle, the hair folicle is reaching the end of the cycle and the hair bulb moves closer to the scalp.  During the normal process of shampooing or manipulation of the hair, it will detach.  As these hairs detach, a new hair begins to grow creating a cycle of continuous growth and detachment of hair.  This is normal. source

Here are some ways you can tell you have yourself a shed hair: 
1.  The hair is long in length.  If you constantly see short hairs lying around (unless your hair itself is short), examine your regimen and see if you are being too rough with your hair or if something you're using in your regimen is causing it to break (i.e. brushes, heat, protein sensitivity, medication)

2.  The hair has a white bulb attached.  Examine the picture above.  If you click it, it will enlarge.  This is some hair loss during a recent detangling session.  If you look closely you can clearly see about 3 white dots in the picture.  These are shed hairs.  If the hairs that you are loosing do not have a white bulb attached, those are probably broken hairs.

Examine the hairs you loose during your next wash session.   Are your hairs broken or shed?


  1. I'm so glad I came across this post, because I was starting to worry. I moisturize my hair every morning before I pick it out, and I see the hair in the pick and it worries me. After reading your post and examining the picture you have I feel much better.

  2. I'm so glad this post helped you out! Thanks for commenting!


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