Friday, September 19, 2014

This is why your hair is shedding (Part One )

If you're like most women persistent hair shedding can really do a number on your mood.  What plays with our minds more than anything is not knowing what's causing the shedding.  I've come across  many women who are freaking out due to hair shedding.  I hear questions like: "Is this normal?" Or statements like "I have tried everything", or  "hair comes out every time I touch it".    The first step to understanding  why your hair is shedding, is to understand YOUR hair.    What I have found is that most women don't understand the natural cycles and course of their hair.  In my line of work I've seen  all kinds of scenarios when it comes to hair shed.   I've detangled and manipulated hair that releases as little as 10 strands to a pile that is big enough to make a small wig! No joke.  In every situation there were specific factors related to that person resulting in how much hair was shed.  So you should never look at how much hair someone else is loosing during manipulation verses how much hair you are losing.

First understand that all of us have hair growth cycles and stages that our hair goes through,  and we can all be in different stages of the cycle.  As well as the seasons our cycles fall in.  Becoming familiar with you hair will help you know your shedding season.  Just in case you have never seen the chart of these different growth cycles here is the image below:

I'm not going to go into  detail about each phase.   As the chart indicates,  Anagen is the growth phase, Catagen is where the strand is resting, Telogen is resting and shedding.  There's also another phase not shown here called Exogen where the hair strand is dormant before it returns to Anagen.  

How long your hair strands stay in each phase is determined by your genetics.  For this post we will only talk about the Telogen phase as it pertains to our topic on shedding.   One thing you should remember:  It is natural for your hair to shed.  Some women believe  if they see any shed hair that something must be wrong.  This is not always the case.  Don't stress yourselves out, it is  normal to see some shedding. (Note: If you don't see the bulb of the hair strand, and the pieces are short its breakage not shedding) With Telogen  shedding its important to know when you hair is going through its season. On average it has been reported that most people are in this phase during the late summer and early fall months. So this phase can last as long as 4 months for some.  You most definitely can pinpoint which season you are in during  the Telogen phase if you are use to caring for your own hair on a regular basis.  Pay attention to the times your hair overall tends to  release more than the estimated 50-100 strands a day standard.   My Telogen phase is during the Fall.  I know this because before I starting locking my hair, I cared for my own hair 100% of the time.  My regimen was deliberate and consistent, and I pay attention to the characteristics of my hair year in and year out. This principal will help you pinpoint the reason behind most hair issues, and help you find a solution  before its too late.  If you have a stylist who you trust with your regular maintenance, ask him/her to help you keep track.   

Other factors that can contribute to your hair shedding: 

  • Hormones
  • Damage
  • Low protein diets
  • Stress
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Anemia 

In Part Two of  This is why your hair is my hair shedding I will elaborate on some of  the above factors that could be the result of your hair shed.  I will also point out what you can do to prevent or minimize abnormal shedding.   

Have you ever had a hard time figuring out why your hair was shedding, and finally figured it out? If so, please share the cause and if you were able to remedy it. We would love to hear from you! 

Well, Until Next time for Part Two of: This is Why your Hair is Shedding...Part two!