If you are like me, losing hair can be frustrating. I have very thin hair so the thought of losing, even one strand, puts me on edge. So daily, when I have to clean out the shower drain and I find curly hair tumbleweeds on my bathroom floor, I start to feel stress about losing my tress. On my mission to embrace my natural curls, I thought I’d be doing my hair some good! Why then, am I noticing an increase in the amount I shed? I decided I needed to do some research.
People with curly hair lose the most strands of hair per day. Reasons for this include: product use and abuse by heat and hair ties. Curly hair is also naturally fragile, dry, brittle and thin. I have been taking Biotin and prenatal vitamins. I also drink plenty of water and take great care of my body with good nutrition (protein, fruits, veggies) and exercise. I shampoo every other day and treat my hair with moisturizing conditioners and natural oils. For the last few months I haven’t been drying my hair straight and I have been careful to use only a comb when my hair is wet. In other words, I feel I am doing all the right things.
It is considered normal to lose 30 – 50 strands of hair per day but for curly hair, that count goes up to 100 – 150 strands per day! When you already have such thin hair, that number seems unfair! Lets take a closer look. Where the hair is falling out can give you some insight. Is it at the root so the entire strand is falling out? Or is your hair breaking so a portion of the strand is falling out? Breakage can be caused by over processed, over styled, over heated hair. Unhealthy follicles (an entire strand of hair without a club-shape at the end) can be a result of poor diet, stress, an unhealthy scalp, a thyroid issue, substance additions…. If you do notice a (club-shaped) follicle at the end of your fallen strand, this is an indication that the hair lived a normal life cycle. I have not examined my hair but I do know that I am losing full strands. My theories for my hair shedding are as follows:
Stress – Hair recognizes stress up to 6 months after the incident has taken place. For me this is making sense. 6 months ago I went through a stressful life event. Could this be the reason my hair is coming out in droves now?
Hormonal – “Testosterone converts to DHT with the aid of the enzyme Type II 5-alpha reductase, which is held in a hair follicle’s oil glands. Scientists now believe that it’s not the amount of circulating testosterone (found in trace amounts in females) that’s the problem but the level of DHT binding to receptors in scalp follicles. DHT shrinks hair follicles, making it impossible for healthy hair to survive.” @American Hair Loss Association. Could I have a imbalance of hormone levels? I certainly don’t feel like I do.
Bun – Since I started wearing my hair curly, it is easiest for me to let it air dry and then place it on top of my head in a bun. Could the elastic or the tightness be causing this to happen?
My other theory is that I am mislead. My hair is growing longer so the mass of hair coming out is simply bigger. In addition, cleansing and brushing the hair on a daily basis (this used to be my routine) normally extracts the hair and masks the fact that it is falling out. Giving up daily shampoos and cashing in my brush for my fingers / wide tooth comb has made it seem like my hair is falling out more when I do shampoo and comb my hair. In reality, could my normal shedding just be catching up with what used to take place everyday?
I am sure there are several reasons why this could be happening. And if I felt very concerned, I’d visit a doctor but If you have any insight, I’d love to hear from you.