Shedding versus Breakage: Everything You Need to Know

I'm so attached to my hair that I wouldn't want to lose even one strand of hair. However, hair loss is inevitable and we can only do so much to reduce it.

Hair loss is of two types; Shedding and Breakage.

What is Shedding?

Shedding is a normal part of healthy hair growth. The hair growth cycle has three phases; Anagen phase (growth phase), Catagen phase (transitional phase) and the telogen phase (resting/shedding phase).

The shedding phase is the end of the hair's  growth cycle. Once a hair strand reaches this stage, it falls out with a white bulb (the hair's root).

We shed an average of 50-100 hairs per day. Don't panic when you shed more hair after you've had on a protective style for a month or two. The shed hair is an accumulation of hair you shed everyday waiting to fall out when you take down the protective style or detangle. 

Though shedding is normal, it becomes a problem when we shed too much hair. Excessive shedding may be as result of hormonal imbalance, anaemia, tight hairstyles, vitamin D deficiency, dermatitis etc.


Breakage occurs when the hair snap along its length. Breakage may result from mechanical stress, application of chemicals and heat or when the hair is lacking an important element.

Differences between Shedding and Breakage

A lot of people confuse shedding with breakage but they are completely different. When you shed hair, there's a white bulb that comes out with it and it should be the same length as the rest of your hair.
When hair is breaking there's no white bulb and the hair that comes out is usually shorter than your normal hair's length.

How to Curb Shedding

The best way to solve excessive shedding is to eliminate the cause. If you perceive it is as a result of hormonal imbalance, see a doctor to advice you on how best to solve it.
Post-partum shedding is as a result of change in the level of progesterone and oestrogen hormones in a woman after childbirth. It can best be handled by;

  • Taking multivitamins and mineral supplements 
  • Doing exercises 
  • Eating healthy and 
  • Reducing stress
  • Incorporating scalp massages into hair care routine preferably with peppermint oil.
  • Consuming food high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids etc. 

If you notice more shedding when stressed, try to eliminate your stressors. Stop installing hairstyles that put too much tension on the hair.

How to Curb Breakage

To reduce breakage, you have to reduce manipulation on your hair. You shouldn't comb your hair at every chance you get. Learn to incorporate protective styles into your regimen. A protective style should not pull too much on the edges. It should require minimal manipulation. It should hide the ends of your hair and should not be too heavy so it won't snap your hair. Don't comb or detangle your hair dry. Don't rush detangling, be patient. Reduce the usage of heat to the barest minimum. Try as much as possible to avoid anything that could cause physical damage to the hair.

If you're doing everything possible yet your hair still breaks, it may be as a result of protein/moisture imbalance. You need protein and moisture to be balanced in the hair for it to thrive.

If the hair is weak, dull and limp, that is a clear sign of protein deficiency and too much moisture. If left like that the hair would break easily no matter the amount of care given to it. What you need is a protein treatment to help strengthen and give life back to those lovely strands.

On the other hand, if hair feels dry, too hard, brittle and snap easily, it shows that your hair is experiencing protein overload or lacking moisture. To solve this, you need a moisturising deep conditioning treatment to balance out the protein.

To keep the balance of moisture and protein in your hair, do a protein treatment at least once in every 4 weeks. Always follow up with a moisturizing deep conditioning treatment. Deep condition on every wash day.

I hope this is helpful. Thanks for visiting my blog. Do subscribe to get all our spicy contents delivered straight to your emails. And oh, leave a comment <3

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