Shedding is of key interest because we are supposed to lose about 100 hairs a day as part of the hairs natural process. Together with kinky or curly natural hair, it can seem exacerbated. This may be because some people shed more than others.
Notably, I couldn't distinguish between breakage and shedding. I am positive that I’m not the only one. So here is a quick breakdown if you are struggling.
What does shedding look like?
- Shed hair should be the same length as your hair
- It has a white bulb at the base of the strand because it fell from your scalp
- The bulb colour is white because Melanie production ceases when the shed hair is about to fall.
- If you don't see or at least feel a white bulb then this is breakage instead
As an illustration, here is what my shedding looked like before vs now! I still have some ways to go. Generally, your shedding will appear more if you've been protective styling over a few weeks.
Why shedding is inevitable
It is important to understand that shedding is part of the bodies process. I can’t be manipulated by external factors like breakage. Where you can levitate it by adding protein or moisture. Your shed hair has a cycle to complete. The following factors can significantly increase shedding.
Factors that increase shedding
- Hormones/ Menopause
- Telogen Effluvium (hair loss that results in hair thinning)
Here are some tips anyway
Excessive hair manipulation can increase shedding.
I now keep my ends tucked away in a nice simple style that stops me from constantly touching my hair. I also avoid styles that require so much manipulation such as wash and go's and cornrow styles. Simply because I haven't perfected them yet and this places stress on my scalp.
I never understood how to finger detangle for the most part of my journey. Now I start at the ends and remove any tangles with top parts of my fingers. I personally never try to actually run my hands through my fingers because it is so coarse and often dry resulting in breakage.
I simply take a medium section of hair. I gently separate it into smaller sections whilst removing tangles. Once I have done this, I then use my wide-tooth comb. This process removes a lot of shed hair for me. I never use brushes on my hair anymore. As I feel like I end up ripping out at of hair.
Once you have tried the different and now understand the basics of shedding. Make sure you take comparison pictures within a similar timeline to gauge whether your shedding has reduced. Try to also note down other factors such as your diet and stress levels in that particular period.