The Difference Between Shedding and Breakage

difference between shedding and breakageAfter a detangling session, it can be alarming to see hair strands in your brush or comb.

It is important to understand the difference between shedding and breakage. While both may look the same to an untrained eye, they will impact your lengthy hair goals differently.

Let’s discuss.

Hair Shedding

Have you discovered long pesky hairs clinging to your sweater or dispersed randomly around your house? Did you questioned what caused this? Well, as humans, we naturally shed between 50 to 100 strands of hair each day. This process is called the telogen phase and  should not affect your lengthy hair goals.

So, if you see long strands of hair in your brush or comb, you don’t necessarily need to panic. It is normal. However, if your body has gone through trauma, you may experience the telogen phase at a higher rate. Look for a white bulb on your loose strands. If the white bulb is present, then you hair has merely shedded and you should not be alarmed.

difference between shedding and breakage
A shed hair with a white bulb on the end.

***If you’re experiencing a high rate of shedding, don’t hesitate to visit a dermatologist.

Hair Breakage

Hair breakage, on the other hand, is very different than shedding. For one, hair breakage is not natural and will not have a white bulb. If your hair is thinning or breaking into short pieces of hair, then you should be concern.

Hair breakage can be caused by several factors – both internal and external. Some of those factors include rough handling of hair, a poor diet, tight hairstyles, and hypothyroidism.

If you are experiencing breakage, you must find the cause quickly so you can continue to retain your hair growth.

Our Thoughts

When it comes to hair shedding, for the most part, you cannot control this process as it is natural. However, you can reduce stress if you don’t want your hair to shed more often. When it comes to hair breakage, on the other hand, you can definitely do something about it. You can handle your hair more gently, wear looser hairstyles, and deep condition your hair regularly to avoid dryness. You can also avoid heat styling (at least without protectant). And work with your physician to combat internal issues.


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