Breakage, Shedding & Thinning: How I Overcame All 3 to Achieve Waist-Length Hair

kara natural hair

by Kara of NaturalCurliesTV (pictured above)

Breakage, shedding and thinning I have experienced them all! I am almost 100% sure that most of you have experienced at least of one them. I am going to give you a rundown of times in my life when I have experienced breakage, thinning and shedding and how I managed to resolve them.

Breakage

Visiting the hair hairdresser was a regular trip for me before I decided to embark on my healthy hair journey. Each time I went it was the same story. The hairdresser would say, “your hair is breaking you know,” and look down at my kinky hair displeased like he was doing me a favour for having to deal with it. I would think to my myself yes my hair is breaking but are you going to help me resolve this and what is causing my hair to break. After he had massacred my hair by cutting inches and inches of hair each time I visited, I waved goodbye and set out on my journey to healthy natural hair.

I noticed there was a particular section of my hair, just below the crown, that was a lot shorter than the rest. But to be honest, I was suffering from what I call ‘global breakage’ or breakage all over that gives the impression your hair doesn’t grow past a certain length. I researched and used YouTube to find ways to resurrect my hair and soon learned my hair was breaking and not able to retain length due to the lack of moisture. Below are these are the tips I followed to stop the breakage in its tracks:

Deep conditioning: This was done on a weekly basis, using a product which was meant for deep conditioning. I always applied heat by sitting under a hooded dryer for up to an hour.

Water: I drank lots of water and I saturated my hair with water weekly. Water is the best moisture you can give your hair.

Seal: I learned very quickly that sealing in whatever moisture you apply is highly important, if you do not do this it is just defeating the purpose. Shea butter was my best friend and still is, as it acts as a terrific sealant.

If you are doing all these things and your hair is still breaking, then there may be lifestyle factors to consider. I know that if I have slight breakage, it is down to low iron levels in which case I start to eat more foods that are rich in iron, I will also take a B12 supplement.

Kara natural hair profile

kara natural hair beach puff

Shedding

We all shed hair in fact I believe it to be 100-150 per day which sounds like a lot right? I have only experienced post-natal shedding which was in excess, I lost hair from the temple area on both sides. Each time I began to finger detangle I noticed that my hair was ridiculously tangled to the point where it seemed matted. My initial thought was to get a pair of scissors and chop it off. However, I just had to take a deep breath and begin the tedious task of slowly releasing each shed hair, strand by strand! It took forever.

On three separate occasions, I washed my hair and shed so much that when I finally finished, I was more or less bald on both sides. Post-natal shedding didn’t worry me because I knew why it was happening. If you are unexplainably shedding large amounts of hair, I would seek help from a professional.

Some things I did to help with post-natal shedding were scalp massages to increase circulation and applying Jamaican black castor oil to my temple area

kara natural hair ponytail puff

Thinning

I experienced thinning when I was a teen back in high school, I thought I looked cute with my eyes looking like they had been pinned back to my ears due to such tight styling. I can laugh about it now, but if I hadn’t stopped pulling my hair into ridiculously tight styles, I could have caused damage to the follicles leading to my hair not being able to grow back. Thankfully, the thinning was slight so my hair grew back without any problems.

Thinning doesn’t only have to occur from tightstyling or a bad weave on the edges of our hair, it can also occur throughout the head. Typically, you will notice a change in thickness; again this can be related to stress, diet or medication. Let’s not forget that as we age our hair will begin to lose its thickness. It’s just part of the ageing process.

 

What have you done to deal with your breakage, shedding or thinning share your tips below?

Kara is a London-based health professional who teaches individuals with physical and mental health disabilities how to live independently. She is also an active natural hair vlogger. You can find her on YouTube at NaturalCurliesTV and Instagram @NaturalCurlies

Editorial

BGLH now sells raw and whipped shea butter, cocoa butter and mango butter. Purchase here: bglh-marketplace.com

DID YOU ENJOY THIS ARTICLE? SUBSCRIBE TO OUR MAILING LIST!

* indicates required

29 thoughts on “Breakage, Shedding & Thinning: How I Overcame All 3 to Achieve Waist-Length Hair

  1. This was really helpful. I think I’m experiencing global breakage as my length has been stagnant.

    I’m a big fan of deep conditioning with clay. So far my experience for my coarse hair is that rhassoul is good for strengthening and kaolin clay is very gentle. Clay paired with honey really can’t be beat in terms of conditioning. I’ll definitely try doing it weekly to improve the health of my hair. My favorite recipes are here http://bit.ly/WRMp0G. Thanks!

  2. My ends have been a little dry but it hasn’t really started breaking yet. How do i keep it from a full out breaking???. I clipped my ends but like i said it wasn’t really breaking off yet.

    • I’d recommend spritzing them daily and then using a butter and oil whip to seal in the moisture. I like to use glycerin + aloe vera juice + water and I make a shea whip with shea + coconut oil + castor oil. My proportions are here http://bit.ly/UGEcL4 but it’s good to experiment and find what works best with your type of hair. My hair is coarse and thick so heavy stuff works well but if you have finer hair you may want to use oils like apricot or avocado and use butters like mango or cocoa.

    • You should try misting your ends/hair with water. I mist my hair with water twice a day and cover with a plastic bag while dressing for work or in the evening. My hair isn’t saturated just lightly misted.

  3. She said she will start taking a vitamin B12 supplement but a regular multivitamin contains all the B vitamins, including 100% dv of b12. The multivitamin I take contains vitamin D3, vitamin A, all of the vitamin B’s, biotin, and minerals like selenium, silica etc.. It even has copper and boron like most multivitamins. A B12 supplement alone isn’t going to work as good as a regular multivitamin or prenatal vitamins. I love prenantals because they contain collagen.

  4. Ok my story is a bit unorthodox but I started growing my hair in 2010 but it just did not grow, I swear I tried EVERYTHING but I just reached a point where I was so frustrated and disheartened that I just prayed..that was early this year, I was just like “God I have tried everything, my hair is not growing, I need your help-be my hairdresser”, ok so after that, my hair has been growing, I haven’t changed my regimen…sometimes you never know, but it is nice to know that He cares about my hair.

    • True Talk R!!!
      I’ve been exactly in that spot you stood. I did E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G I knew to do, and waited long periods to see if it worked… And on and on.
      2,3 years no real growth – I just got to a place where I said ‘Jesus take the wheels’… I even found a few scriptures that showed ‘God GIVES hair’ – to women (1Cor11:15), to Absalom etc.
      I’m finally seeing some new growth now, and I think my edges too are beginning at last, to fill in. My roomamte also noticed.
      Strange but true.
      I feel you, R!!!

    • This is the truth. I told someone the same thing once and they were like “what I don’t think it’s right to pray for something like that…”

      You receive not because you ask not

  5. I’m currently struggling with TE Alopecia it is very frustrating my hair is thinning on the sides and looks like the first picture shown here very thin….which isn’t cute at all…I went to see a dermatologist but the medicine isn’t helping. I too have thoughts of chopping it all off because I put in so much work and have tried everything but to see so much fall out is very disappointing so I understand your struggle completely.

  6. Ok so natural hair is my passion. It really is. It’s my favorite hobby and I devote a LOT of time to thinking about it and doing experiments on my head and poor Shanghaied family members. On shedding. My mom has thin hair and was shedding an excessive amount. It was thin around the temples and right in the front-no hiding that. So she went on a regimen of scalp massages, inversion method, and greenhouse method. She used Aloe Vera Jelly (Lily of the desert brand which is important don’t go cheap) because the JELLY penetrates 3 layers of skin more than the gel. Also when her hair started to stink she WASHED IT. WITH SHAMPOO. This was about HEALING her SCALP!! But get to shedding?? Yes I’m getting there. There is a Scientifically proven thing called the Autumnal Moult where the amount of Normal Shed hair DOUBLES. So every Autumn the Amount of Hair that will come OUT OF YOUR SCALP DOUBLES. So your hair will be thinner. But people who do the Greenhouse & or Baggy Method are ALWAYS saying there hair is Longer & THICKER! That got me to think about tropical regions say Hawaii. Or some Rainforest. Have you ever seen a person from there with THIN HAIR??? I mean Sure I haven’t been to every spot but I have NEVER seen 1 photo of a Scraggly Haired Hawaiian!! ANDDDD it’s LONG and EVERYBODY Hair is Long! Now what DON’T they have??? Autumn. Because it’s the change in the WEATHER that TRIGGERS the Body to Release the Hair. And yeah sureeeeee Everyday in Hawaii isn’t perfect but 6 inches of snow??? Yeah didn’t think so!! Also their climate is really Humid like your head, all night under a plastic bag… so I’m wondering if the reason why people who do it month after month have such great results IS in part Not just the moisturizing properties of whatever oil or potion is put on BUT if you could be tricking your Body Into SKIPPING the Autumnal Moult!! Because we don’t know WHAT EXACTLY IN the body TRIGGERS the Moult. Sooo I’m wondering if by Keeping the scalp in humid like conditions (& it would seem to me it have to be where you did your hair & Scalp because the scalp IS what is TRIGGERED NOT the HAIR. The hair is the Causality) your preventing that signal from being sent because even though it’s winter, every night your scalp is in Hawaii!! (it thinks :) Anyway that’s my “theory” and as I said I have a uhmm Participant in my experiment (what are families for >:) so far her shedding is 1/2 what it was and her hair is GROWING!! Now where in August soooooo I can’t wait to see what happens in the next couple of months!!!

      • GreenBeautyChannel on You Tube is where I learned about the autumnal moult. In her 4 part Growth and Behavior of Hair series. On the Greenhouse method my mom watched so many she can’t remember which video she followed and her computer got taken out by a virus so (watch out for Stream TV!! 3 Nasty viruses! 2 got caught by her security) …if it can be fixed I’ll put which You Tube channel she choose to follow. Happy Researching! :D

  7. If you are having problems with thinning,breakage and shedding,and you have tried everything, then it maybe due to other factors like low iron levels medication, hormones and other chronic health conditions like sickle and diabetes etc.

  8. This was a great read. Thank you for the tips. I too experienced post-natal shedding in the temple areas and it took a few months to start growing back.
    [img]http://blackgirllonghair.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/indiegogo.png[/img]

  9. Ive experienced alot of shedding and breakage. Ive added a multivitamin and a high quality iron vitamin to my regimen. Also I realized that my hair was breaking from being over moisturized. So Ive started to incorporate a protein treatment (aphogee) every 4-6weeks. Its helped tremendously with the breakage and Ive noticed that the shedding goes back to normal almost immediately after the treatment. The iron vitamin has helped significantly with my shedding as well. btw-I did go to the doctor before starting to randomly take vitamins and my tests showed that I was extremely low in iron-despite drinking fresh green juice on a daily basis. I highly recommend seeing a doctor before buying anything. It will save you time and eliminate possible causes. Also research into invest in high quality vitamins. Most of these popular vitamins have a poor quality to them-vitamins that your body cant use and absorb. If you do need vitamins do your research to learn the difference in which type is more absorbent and invest. Great article-thanks for bringing this issue up.

  10. My hair when I wear it out rather it be wash in go, twist out, or blown out it looks very like see through. There isn’t any heat damage. I started growing my hair hair out for two and a half years now from a little bit above shoulder length and it is now at bra strap length. While I was growing it out I used wigs to grow my hair underneath. I’m not sure why my hair looks the way that it does I take care of it with healthy ingredients. Also there isn’t any line of demarcation where my hair is thick and see through.
    [img]http://blackgirllonghair.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/image-12.jpg[/img]

    • It might be your detangling method (tools can thin your hair out sometimes), but it might also be that you have naturally low density hair.

      Is it stretched in this photo? I have a patch that looks a bit like that when it’s stretched. The hair in the area is perfectly healthy, and it grows just fine…but you can see through it if I bun a braidout and then take it down. And I don’t use tools, so…

      • Yes my hair at that point was stretched and that is a great point at one point I was using a poor comb. If the poor comb is the reason why wouldn’t I see a new growth of thicker hair in my scalp growing out. And yes I would say my hair is a bit more on the low density side but I can’t remember my hair ever looking like this I’ve had long hair in the past. Also I notice it only starts to look like this when I stretch out my hair. For example when I wash it and just let it air dry it looks perfectly fine no see through ends only when I stretch it out in a hairstyle. Are there any nice hairstyle for low density hair?

        • In wash n gos the hair is shrunken so it is more dense with stretched styles which may be why you cant see through you wash n gos

  11. I have thinning and breakage hair due to antidepressant use and a medicine called zantac. Is there any way that I could still get my hair healthy and back to normal regardless of what i’m taking? I’m aware of the side effects of these medicines but I have to take them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *