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

• Aug 1, 2014

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.
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
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
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

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

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We dont have to accept thinning hair as we age. I know i will not accept it!


I’m 57 so what can I do for thinning in crown and back. I’m very self costars about my hair.

Barbara knight

69 years old very very thick hair, but now losing lots of hair every time I shampoo once a month hair is, or was shoulder length but the breakage has done a job on my hair


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 Thanks!


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 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.


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.

Justhadtoleave a comment addressing this one
Justhadtoleave a comment addressing this one

This is a lie from experience. It’s not always about quantity but quality. Just because a multivitamin says it contains a certain vitamin does not mean it’s as good as taking that vitamin separately. Believe there’s a difference

Lauren Beasley

What deep conditioner do you recommend? I’m still looking for one that is really moisturizing & helps with my damaged hair.


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


Ask, Believe, Receive, That’s my motto!


Sure, so many tragedies in the world but God should be concerned about your hair.

smh–some Black women and their hair issues


He is concerned about us as a whole and not in parts. He is a BIG GOD!!!!!…beyond our imagination.


Some black women??? Who are you? It’s ok to pray about our hair!!!


Amen,prayer works.l’m also praying that my hair stops shedding.Matthew 10:30 states ‚the very hairs of your head are all numbered.God answers prayers r


Nice tips!


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.

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… Read more »

You have me wanting to some research on the greenhouse method & this autumnal moult!


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! 😀


I agree. I lived in Floridaand complained about humidity but i think it aided in keeping your hair naturally moisturized. I currently live in Rhode island and my hair is so thin.


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.


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.

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… Read more »

You can overmoisturize your hair? I didn’t know that. I probably sound stupid. 🙂

Latia forest
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… Read more »

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…

Latia forest
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… Read more »

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

Niki Poo

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.


apply castor oil to your hair daily and for your temple areas mix castor oil and rosemary oil

Maxine frere

While my hair continues to grow in length , whenever ( every day ) I comb my natural hair ( even wit a detangler,I lose a ball of hair and when I moisturize, the ends of hair just slides off onto my hand.


Me too! I’m starting to get worried.

Tenesha Lewis

thanks for this post. im on my own hair journey and have lots of single strand knots and shedding.


Hi! I’ll be going natural soon and I’ve been trying to figure out what hairtype I had. It looked a lot like yours, is it 4C? Also, these are such useful tips, I’ve had all of these problems at least twice in my life lol

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