Ques­tion from Jae:

I’ve noticed that a lot of hair has been com­ing out when I detan­gle my hair. I’m just not sure if I should be los­ing that much, may­be I’m a lit­tle para­noid. But if it is break­ing, I real­ly want to han­dle it before it goes hay­wire. Some­times even when I slight­ly manip­u­late it, I’ll see some falling out.Some hair back­ground: I wash my hair twice a week, deep con­di­tion­ing when I do. I use an all nat­u­ral sham­poo and only sham­poo once per ses­sion. I use bur­dock root but­ter from Qhemet for mois­ture and the balm for my scalp. Shea but­ter, too. I use a leave-in treat­ment. Oh, and also, I have no skills when it comes to styling, so I just rock a twist-out fro-ish thing. I think my tex­ture is 4c, though the back and sides are a bit soft­er. Mid­dle is waaay kinkier. I’m attach­ing a pic of the hair I shed when I detan­gle.

Jenteel’s respon­se:
It is said that it is nor­mal to lose 50–100 hairs a day. This num­ber can vary depend­ing on how often you comb your hair. Of course, this is not some­thing you can eas­i­ly tell just by look­ing, espe­cial­ly with the tex­ture and thick­ness of nat­u­ral hair. The eas­i­est thing to do is to keep track of your shed­ding for a few months at a time, espe­cial­ly if you are a recent nat­u­ral. You may need to get used to what your nat­u­ral-shed­ding looks like in con­trast to relax­er-shed­ding. Shed­ding can increase at cer­tain times of the year, can be linked to changes in a woman’s cycle and after child-birth (hor­mon­al), med­ica­tion, ill­ness, mal­nu­tri­tion, or stress.

Try reduc­ing the fre­quen­cy of hair wash­ing. Twice a week is not a lot, but it is more nec­es­sary if you have a lot of pro­duct buildup. Many nat­u­rals don’t real­ize it, but with curlier tex­tures wash­ing is actu­al­ly a lot of manip­u­la­tion, espe­cial­ly due to the tedious process of detan­gling. This doesn’t mat­ter as much with short­er hair. When my hair was short, I washed it almost every day with no prob­lems. But with longer hair, this type of manip­u­la­tion can lead to break­age, espe­cial­ly with the use of sham­poo. Cut the sham­poo­ing down to once a week or try co-wash­ing. My hair thrives bet­ter with co-wash­ing. It also retains more mois­ture and stays soft­er. I do an occa­sion­al sham­poo or co-wash with bak­ing soda only if I have a lot of pro­duct build-up. Does your sham­poo have sul­fates in it? Because that can also dry out the hair.

For your hair type, the less you comb the bet­ter. This does not mean you should neglect detan­gling; because this may result in knots and tan­gles lead­ing to break­age when you final­ly do detan­gle. It is up to you to decide which detan­gling rou­tine works best and to pick styles that dis­cour­age tan­gling. Con­tin­ue with the deep con­di­tion­ing for mois­ture with every wash. If you re-twist many times dur­ing the week in prepa­ra­tion for the twist out, this may add to manip­u­la­tion. You use great mois­tur­iz­ing prod­ucts so I don’t believe that could be behind any break­age. If your mois­tur­iz­ers are work­ing well for you, I wouldn’t change a thing! You may find it help­ful to mist your twists each night then seal with oil to keep your hair hydrat­ed.

If the shed­ding gets real­ly bad, try a light pro­tein treat­ment. And some­times a good trim helps with shed­ding. There is no need for con­cern unless the shed­ding increas­es or if your hair comes out in chunks just by pulling at it. In that case, I would sug­gest vis­it­ing a der­ma­tol­o­gist or tri­chol­o­gist.

Ladies, do you expe­ri­ence shed­ding when you detan­gle? How do you deal with it?

This post was orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished on Sep­tem­ber 29, 2009

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop cul­ture and black beau­ty enthu­si­ast. bell hooks’ hair twin…

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14 Comments on "How to Cut Down on Shedding"

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Gigi

My hair used to shed (not break) a lot until I start­ed using hen­na once a mon­th. Now I see a frac­tion of what I did before when I comb or brush my hair.

Ms. Amena

I too am a hen­na head and expe­ri­ence less shed than the even “nor­mal” 50–100 hairs per day. And min­i­mal break­age at all. I am also a proud hair care zealot! 

Cheers to your hair!

Marcia

Any par­tic­u­lar brand or type of Hen­na?

I nev­er thought of using Hen­na on my hair, but it’s some­thing to con­sid­er.

glittergirl

What pro­duct of hen­na did you use? Sham­poo or hair dye? what helps with hair shed­ding?!

EG

I am expe­ri­enc­ing a lot shed­ding right now, but I’m won­der­ing if it has to do with the win­ter sea­son. This is my first year with my reg­i­men, and I nev­er had this much shed­ding dur­ing the oth­er sea­sons.

caribbeancurl

I had the same prob­lem. I have not com­plete­ly got­ten over it but it has dra­mat­i­cal­ly, and I do mean dra­mat­i­cal­ly, improved after I read this arti­cle. http://voices.yahoo.com/the-fine-art-protein-moisture-balancing-for-393904.html?cat=69
I hope it helps you. It is not the be all adn end all of imfor­ma­tion but it sure will help.

Monica

I want­ed to share this pro­duct that worked for me!

Monica

Trou­ble post­ing!

Tristan

I was won­der­ing could shed­ding, (ALOT) have any­thing to do with how hard your water is??
Since I moved to the mid-west I have been notic­ing alot of shed­ding, and I ‘used be the a non-shed­der’ lol

Kate ward

Can some­one tell me why I shed so much I have long wavy type 2 hair and loads of it but its quite tan­g­ly when dry and when wash­ing loads come out and even when take hair down from a bum after all day or morn­ing after I lit­er­al­ly have to stand out­side and get rid of all the hair lol I put argan oil in hair when hair but could u be lack­ing pro­tein or need more mois­ture which one? Wat to do

Fatima

For the past two months I’ve been apply­ing hen­na once a week and my shed­ding has decreased immense­ly. It’s stronger and fuller, I’ve also been con­sum­ing occa­sion­al­ly when I remem­ber, black seed oil oral­ly. I’m gonna con­tin­ue with both to see if I can regrow the hair I lost

Cailin

I do expe­ri­ence shed­ding when I detan­gle. I have a spe­cial detan­gling brush that’s sup­posed to put less pres­sure on hair, but years ago I light­ened and heat processed way too much and my ends are pay­ing. I’m just too attached to the length to part with them.

sunshine

My hair is shed­ding. Real­ly bad.it’s gone from super thick super thin

Mandybruin

I do shed when I wash and was very con­cerned but I feel bet­ter after hav­ing read this arti­cle. 50–100 strands! Wow!

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