Let’s get straight into it. Hair Breakage. That’s most women’s nightmare…*chuckles* and some men too.

Hair breakage is most notable on your comb

So you say your hair is breaking. The Back to Health Challenge will deal with that, but let’s look at the meaning behind hair breakage.

Hair breakage isn’t necessarily breakage in the true sense of the word. There’s shedding and then there’s actual breakage. I’ve talked about this in different forums, so let me give you a concise meaning so that we can get into the – what-do-I-do-with-this-information- mode.

Shedding: I couldn’t have put this better myself –‘In its truest sense, shed hair is hair that has reached the end of its growing cycle and naturally falls from the scalp along with its tiny, white “root” attached. This is not the actual hair root that is secured deeply within your scalp, but it is the base of the hair strand found on the scalp-end. It appears white because the hair stops producing melanin (color) at the point in its growth cycle right before it gets ready to fall. If your actual hair root came out along with the hair, you would no longer be able to produce hair from that same place on the scalp ever again! If a hair does not possess this white root bulb, then it is not a naturally shed hair, rather, a broken one. Shed hair tends to be longer in length than broken hairs which are generally short pieces of varying lengths.’ Audrey Sivastothy

Hair follicles work in cycles to produce hair as part of their normal process. In healthy / normal scalps, 90% of the hair is in growth phase 9% is in slow growth phase and 1% is in the rest phase. The rest phase is when hair starts to shed. When a hair is shed, it is replaced by a new hair from the same follicle located just beneath the skin surface.  Shedding 50 to 100 hairs a day is considered normal due to your natural growth process.

In general, shedding  is a sign that you are going through your normal follicle hair growth process. If you notice a considerable amount of hair loss, with patches missing, immediately consult a medical professional.

Breakage: Hair that is forcibly removed / torn off through combing, pony-tying, catching onto your clothes, excessively dry hair, lace front wigs … the list is endless. In other words, hair breakage is not a natural process. If your hair is breaking, you will notice short strands of hair on your comb.  Usual concern is when a lot of it is breaking (it’s normal to see 50-100 strands after each comb, and that’s only of shedding hair). So hair breakage is a real problem. A real problem that can be stopped! *Madiba Dance*

How you ask? If you haven’t already, try out Phro’s Castor Oil Challenge which seeks to  replace what you currently use, with products that work for ‘our delicate kinky hair’ (relaxed, texlaxed, permed, natural). It’s a scalp to tip treatment that will address problems from flaky dry scalp to damaged hair. If you’re already on the challenge, perhaps it’s time to man-up and enhance that with Phro’s Back to Health Challenge.  This addresses everything you do to your hair from shampoo to moisturizing.

Hope this answered a few questions. Always happy to answer more…

Posted by:Aphro

I'm a hair consultant and blogger ... I exist to give my beautiful sisters strategies on attaining and maintaining the health of their hair.

7 replies on “Is it breaking or shedding?

  1. Hello ladies 🙂

    I read the post about the effect of overlapping on over-processing and hair weakening. I also believe in that. My problem is that in the previous relaxers my hair has been under-processed (4-5 times in a row) and as a result I have EXTREMELY under-processed ends and uneven textures throughout my hair despite having trimmed off uneven ends in December 2011. This makes it impossible to wear my hair down as it frizzes, recoils and looks messy and uneven. I have read on YouTube about “corrective relaxers” which will hopefully relax the under-processed parts of the hair but I’m scared..

    Also I was thinking the under-processing might be because of incorrect relaxer strength? I usually use the organic root simulator (normal) so maybe I should switch to the “super”? But now if I get a corrective relaxer won’t the “super” really damage my previously relaxed hair?

    I will be relaxing next in July which will be after a 16-week stretch. Do you know of any alternatives to this method? If not, is there a stylist that you recommend to perform the corrective relaxer on my hair?

    1. You ask very important questions …

      Before anything, I’d like you to assess your hair type. Once you know your hair type, you’ll be able to understand what relaxer type you should use (for coarse, normal or thin hair). https://phrophro.com/castor-oil-challenge/hairtype/. I hadn’t’ heard of ‘corrective relaxers’ myself, but reading up on it, it’s really a mechanism to straighten out under-processed hair. This was the very basic post I read recently: http://6footlonghair.blogspot.com.au/2010/08/what-is-corrective-relaxer.html.

      I just worry that your hair has already been affected by a relaxer before, and you don’t know exactly how long you need to put the chemical on it for it to be straightened without passing that stage where the hair is damaged to the point of ‘no return’. Please do stay in touch, and let us all know how you go.

  2. Hi

    I have a challenge which i dont know how to adress,i have natural hair and i have been trying to follow a lot of routines you have suggested,while the hair has grown volume,i am failing to retain length,my hair naturally coils and its so bad that it rolls into little balls that keep shedding at the top,would it be advisable to texlax to avoid these little knots? I literally can collect a handful per week,i try to keep it in protective styling but im still not winning

    1. Hi Kcee,
      Thanks for getting in touch. One of the things that a few people with your curl pattern have been doing is to ramp up their trimming. I would suggest you start incorporating a trim every few months so that the ends don’t 1. knot into each other through your coil pattern. 2. break off due to their coil nature while styling. Others still have stopped combing their hair daily and only detangle when during their wash day and leave their hair to rest all other days.

      Let me know which option you’d like to take.

      Texlaxing will loosen your curl pattern, but there are maintenance things that you’ll need to learn as you get new growth.

      1. Hi Phro ,im back again

        I had to come back and share that I tried a new way of washing my hair , which i see has made a difference the few times i have done it,i am seeing less hair falling in the shower especially the fairy knots and hopefully il be retaining length going forward.

        So how im doing it is i have started washing my hair in sections and then I twist the sections so that my hair doesn’t clump or coil,im also keeping my manipulation at bay in between washes…will see how my hair looks in a few months time!

  3. Thanks for getting back to me,not sure what to follow,thing is once i plait my hair in cotton it straightens and the coils disappear, the minute the hair shrinks,they are back again. Let me try trimming when i remove the protective style i have on and see what happens.

    But i should also add i have followed your hairline challenge as religiously as possible and it has worked wonders for me,my hairline is looking healthier than it has in a very long time so thank you!

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