Why am I shedding and how to prevent it
Is your vacuum constantly full of hair?
Do you feel like your hair brush has a mouse living in it?
It is normal to loose strands of hair?
You've asked yourself:
Why is my hair shedding?
Is the amount of hair coming out normal?
Let's get to the facts.
Why are you shedding?
What is your hair really trying to tell you when it sheds? Just for clarity, there is a difference between hair loss and hair shedding. Hair shedding isn’t always something to worry about. An average a person loses 37-100 hairs per day, which is totally normal. And since we have 150,000-ish hairs total on average, this means normal hair loss is less than 1% of the strands on our heads. The life cycle of your hair has phases where it grows, rests, and sheds.
If it’s wash day (and you wash once a week like i do) expect to lose way more than 37-100 hairs! Total that daily by the days you haven't washed and/or brushed. It makes sensed that not all those hairs that regularly come out daily can be free to shed out. If you brush and wash more regularly there won’t be as much accumulation of hair shedding.
Coloring our hair too often can come at a cost. Especially if you decide to lighten from dark to light.
On a scientific level, the chemicals in hair color products such as ammonia and hydrogen peroxide damage the protein in your hair, which causes it to become weak, dry, and brittle. This harsh dying process leads to loss of elasticity in your hair, hair breakage and ultimately hair shedding from the breakage.
Another negative effect of the harsh chemicals, they can also burn and damage the scalp which leads to the follicle not holding onto your hair strands as strongly and as a result causing hair shedding. Not only unique to dying your hair, using other chemical processes for straightening your hair or even perming your hair are also damaging and can lead to hair shedding.
Just like our fur babies shed seasonally, we do too. Have you noticed more hair shedding in the Fall? Research shows that humans tend to experience the most hair shedding in the Fall - beginning of spring. This is because the colder temperatures leave hair dry and scalp conditions like dandruff and dry scalp can act up leading to hair shedding. In the summer your follicle holds onto the hair a little more in order to protect your scalp from the heat and sunburn. You think we should be able to keep more hair in winter to keep us warmer, right? sheesh!
NOT actually shedding from the root but breaking off.
Too much styling with heat from hairdryers and hot irons. This can cause your hair to be dry and damaged to the point of breaking.
Super tight rubber elastics cause breakage. This doesn’t seem harmful, but hair elastics pull on your hair and stretch it out. Pulling your hair up in an elastic in the same spot every day can cause breakage in the areas that the elastic ties onto your hair. specially when the hair is pulled up tight when wet. The hair stretches more while wet causing more tension and making the hair more fragile. Those tight high ponytails can also cause breakage at your fragile hair near your hairline and at the base of your neck.
Don't Stress, carry on.
Stress has shown to be the number one reason for hair loss. It’s easy to get stressed about hair shedding and start shedding more or wondering if you’re going bald, or other more serious underlying reasons are causing it. Getting stressed will just make hair shedding happen even more. If you are getting frustrated by your hair shedding, try to find some calming activities.
Turn on some Netflix & chill, run a hot bath, and try to reduce any sources of stress in your life. Sit for one minute and just focus on a slow relaxing breath. Stress has been shown to kick your hair follicle into the cycle phase that makes it shed. There is a delay between when your hair stops growing and when it actually sheds and falls out because of the growth cycles. Usually you can trace the stressful event back to about three months before the hair shedding started happening. Experience a job loss, a fight with a friend, a bad breakup? Even your health like, surgery, a new diet, getting a fever, or having a child puts stress on your body and your hair. These might all be reasons why you experiencing hair shedding 3-4ish months later. These life changes can exhaust you and your hair, causing the hair follicle to be undernourished and weak. Increased stress can also trigger scalp problems which cause the follicle to not hold onto hair strands.
How to deal with hair shedding
The first step in dealing with hair shedding is ensuring that the amount of hair that you’re losing is the normal amount. A dermatologist can tell you whether you have hair loss or hair shedding. Trying to count the amount of hair strands you lose in a day, is a waste of time. A test you can do at home to see if the amount of shedding is normal is by grabbing about an inch section of hair in your hand. Hold about an inch away from your scalp. Then, with your fingers, pull the hair hard enough to pull up your scalp and slide your fingers along the hair to the end. Once you do this, count the number of hairs that fall out. If more than six hairs fall out, there could be something wrong and it’s good to get a second opinion from your doctor. If it’s less than six, but you still feel that your hair is shedding more keep reading.
How to stop hair shedding
You can't. But you can nourish your hair, scalp, and body to prevent unnecessary shedding. Taking hair vitamins to strengthen your hair. Biotin can be bought at any drug store and is effective in helping to strengthen your hair and help it grow. Another vitamin that can help with hair shedding is Vitamin A. This vitamin has retinoids which increases hair growth and even assists with sebum production which coats your hair its natural oils from the scalp, keeping your scalp and hair moisturized. A multivitamin is also important to provide all of the nutrients you will need to help your hair grow long and strong.
Keep your scalp healthy by using conditioner to keep it moisturized and gentle scalp scrubs with a brush or comb to exfoliate it. When your scalp is healthy, your follicles will hold onto strands of hair and this will lead to less hair shedding. If you have dandruff or other scalp conditions this may also cause hair shedding, a quick fix is using a medicated dandruff shampoo. Keeping your hair moisturized during the wintertime especially is important because of the seasonal changes in hair shedding. Try using a deep conditioning hair mask like our loma deep treatment or even hair oils like our loma nourishing oil to give your hair some extra love during the cooler temperatures.
Gentle coloring and gert a haircut
You should avoid chemical processes to straighten, bleach or color hair if your hair and scalp are not healthy. If you do decide to color your hair, don’t dye it more than one or two shades lighter than it’s natural color. This will reduce the strength of the chemicals used and reduce damage. Bleaching and other chemical processes strip the hair of natural oils and can create thin, brittle, frizzy hair. Also, opt to get your hair colored with us versus using low-quality high chemical box dyes. Another option is trying hair extensions to get the hair color you want without the damage. When you get a split end haircut with a split end treatment you'll reduce that amount of breakage shedding.
Be gentle with styling
Reduce the use of hot irons. If you must use these tools then make sure you’re using a heat protectant like loma calming cream and nourishing oil. You must protect your hair shaft from the harsh damage caused by the heat. Lower the temperatures on your tools! Try not to go any higher than 350 degrees. 425 is only for crunchy pizzas!
When you wear your hair in tight updos these can also cause hair shedding. Wear your hair in loose styles like cute loose braid hairstyles. Doing this will give your hair some much needed recovery time. When you tie your hair up using less damaging hairties like scrunchies (thank got the 90"s are back). Don't pull your hair tight in braids or ponys while wet. (damp is ok). Swap your hairstyles when you do use hair ties, do a low pony some days and a top knot others.
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