Question of the Day: Shedding and/or Breakage?

Q: Elle, how can I reduce the amount of hair that I lose when detangling and styling. I do wash and gos every2-4 days, and I only detangle with a comb once a week. However, I lose hair when I finger/comb detangle, then I lose hair when I apply leavin, then I lose more hair when I apply gel. Does this happen to you? I’m being gentle, it’s not like I’m roughly raking these products through my hair. But I lose hair with every step of the styling process, and I hate it! What’s going on? Mostly I’m seeing full strands, but there are a handful of broken hairs and ends on my hands and in the sink as well. Thanks. Sigh.


A: Well, how much hair are you approximately losing when you do your hair? Remember that it’s normal to lose up to 100 hairs a day, and often times with kinky curly hair, our shed hairs get caught in our hair unless we are manipulating it in some way. I never really see strands of hair on my clothes, so if I don’t touch my hair for a few days, I expect to see more hair come out when I finger detangle or comb in the shower, and also when I style because I know I haven’t gotten all the shed hairs out in the shower. Also, as your hair gets longer, the same number of strands will look like more if you ball the hair up because there is more of it. Sometimes I’m like, “Ohhhh my goodness, I’m totally going bald!” but then I realize that the actual amount of hair is probably the same. Something gross I like to do is put the hair on my shower wall “spread out” so I can get a better idea of how much hair it is (then clean it).

Regarding the broken hairs, are you sure it’s really a HANDFUL? I ask because that is quite a lot. I usually am fine if I see like…five or less broken strands when I do my hair. If it’s more then that, I try to think about what products I have been using for the week and what’s in them (moisture or protein), as well as the last time I washed my hair. If I think I’ve been using a lot of moisture and no protein (and if my hair feels kind of stretchy), I’ll use more protein that day in my products and assess how my hair feels the next time I condition, then may also do a quick PT in the shower. If I’ve been loving all over protein (which I sometimes do when I’m playing with my Blue Eco) and my hair feels a bit dry, I’ll give that a rest and switch to more moisturizing products.

Ultimately, if you are still concerned with your shedding, garlic pills are supposed to help – I took these for a loooong time (like, before I even BC’ed) and recently stopped due to my Viviscal Growth Challenge (as Viviscal is supposed to decrease shedding), and I’ve never had what I would call excessive shedding. The pills are fairly cheap as well, so you won’t be breaking the bank if you decide to try them. I got mine from Trader Joe’s mainly, but I haven’t seen them in the past few months. I’ve also gotten them from Whole Foods.

Anyway, hope that helps answer your question. Good luck!


5 thoughts on “Question of the Day: Shedding and/or Breakage?

  1. says:

    What do you mean by mushy hair…. I don’t think I’ve ever felt mushy hair before?

    • HB says:

      Mushy like limp and/or too soft, very stretchy hair – kind of like an old rubber band that you can stretch but it won’t really snap back.

  2. Glitter Girl says:

    Thanks for the response. Okay, I’d say I’m losing about 30-50 when I detangle, Then another 3 – 5 per section when I apply leave in. I usually do about 6-8 sections/twists when applying leave in, so that’s another 30 hairs, plus or minus. Yikes. A few more strands might come out when I apply gel, maybe 10-20. Okay, so if you add that up, it’s still under 100, but gosh, it seems like sooo much to lose in one styling session. I’ve always had secret doubts about that “you lose up to 100 hairs per day” business. heh heh. I mean, really? REALLY? But maybe I’ll just choose to believe it, so that way I won’t feel so bad. And it’s not like I don’t still have plenty of hair on my head, except for my hairline, which I’m desperately trying to regrow. Maybe I’ll hook up the garlic pills to see if that helps along with my moisture and oil regimen for that area.

    No, I didn’t literally mean a “handful” of broken hairs, I just mean several per styling session – like 5-8.

    I’ve recently started to do cherry lolas because my hair was so stretchy and mushy, and even though the pink eco has protein in it, I was concerned that my hair needed something more. (I’m desperate to try that blue eco, but can’t find it! I saw you mentioned somewhere you got it at a place on Pico. I’ll have to check that out.)

    Thanks for the reminder to pay attention, daily, to what my hair needs THAT day. Is it dry? Maybe moisture for a day or two. Mushy and overly stretchy? Hook up some protein.


    • HB says:

      Just be careful with cherry lola treatments – the baking soda in them lifts your cuticle and can be drying to hair. And with the number of hairs on our heads, trust me…100 strands is NOT a lot at all. On average, there are over 100,000 strands of hair on your head, and as your hairs are shedding, others are in the anagen phase and growing. I have short hairs on my head that I used to think were breakage, but now it seems that they are just in a different stage than other hairs and they are more noticeable on my part because they are laying on the top. If I part my hair in another section, I can find some shorter hairs there too. As long as I seem to be retaining overall length and am not seeing a ton of broken hairs in the sink/bathtub, I’m not going to worry about it. Stress also hinders hair growth, so I try to be chill with it, lol.

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