Daily Archives: April 27, 2012

The “B” Word

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by Sawah of Discovering Natural

I’m talking about “Breakage.” We’ve all experienced this at one time or the other.  But do you know the difference between Breakage and Shedding? I was totally clueless about this prior to transistioning.

When I was relaxed, I would have a lot of hair breakage and over the years, I thought that was normal. I just thought if you comb your hair, you should experience seeing hair left on the comb or brush. I didn’t realize that there was such a thing as shedding.

Let’s understand the differences between breakage and shedding.

What is Shedding?
Hair that has been shed is one that has come to the end of its life cycle. It usually contains a white bulb at the end. This is normal. Research as shown that we shed an average of 50-100 hair strands per day.  Sounds scary, huh? Well, new hair is suppose to grow where the shedded hair was.

What is Breakage?
This is the process of the hair breaking, not at the root, but somewhere in the strand of the hair.  It is not normal because in all cases the hair has not gone through the normal hair life cycle.  Breakage can occur from mishandling of hair, lack of proper nutrients, or excessive styling.

When hair is deprived of proper moisture, breakage can occur. It is very important to keep your hair properly moisturized. Daily moisturizing and weekly deep conditioning will help you with breakage. Try to use water-based products, because these products provide the best moisturizing agents. Don’t forget to seal your hair with some oils or cream.

In addition to moisture, you will need to strengthen your hair strands. This can be done by adding protein products to your hair routine. Protein is known to help rebuild weak hair strands. There are several protein treatments products that you can use. It is important to properly follow the product application instructions.

Mishandling of hair can also cause breakage. I notice less breakage when I do not use a comb on my dry hair.  If I want to comb my hair post wash day, I spritz some water mixed with a little leave-in conditioner and carefully either finger comb it or use a wide-tooth comb. On wash days, I always finger detangle my hair with some oil or conditioning product.

When styling your hair, try not to pull too much at your edges. The edge and nape of your head are more prone to breakage. Keeping hair in a pony tail all the time can cause breakage at the point where the hair is gathered together.

When you understand the difference between hair breakage and shedding, it will help you address the problem and keep your mind at rest in determining what steps to talk to minimize breakage.

How are you handling breakage?

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