Split Ends, Breakage, or Shedding?: The Symptoms
This entry was posted on June 24, 2011.
Noticing more hair in your brush or comb lately? Wondering what could be going on? Most women battle with split ends, breakage, or hair shedding at some point in their lives, but few know it. That's because many people confuse one hair problem with the other - a big mistake, since each of these hair conditions has a different cause, set of symptoms, and course of treatement. Know the difference; check this list of symptoms for better idea of what you're dealing with.
Frequent frizzing? Whether you live in a humid, wet climate or not, a constant case of the frizzies means you might have split ends. Untended split ends will unravel up the hair shaft, peeling the strand open through the cuticle and even down to the cortex, or innermost part of the hair. The effect? The same as unravelling a piece of yarn or rope: it frays into bits, each of which goes its own ways, creating a frizzy look.
Patchy toughness? If you find you have large patches of hair that are shorter, rougher, or drier than the rest of your locks, this is a textbook case of breakage. The key here is that the affected area is markedly different from the rest of your mane; even if you don't have spots obviously much shorter, yet, you may be on your way to it if their strands are a different texture or very dry. Most women have breakage around the hairline, crown, and nape areas, though breakage spots can occur anywhere.
Tangled territory? Locks that snarl and tangle all the time, no matter how gently you brush or how wide your comb, are a surefire sign of split ends. As stated above, split strands burst open in all directions and have a much rougher texture. These wild and drier hairs create more friction and cling to each other more. The result is tangled ends.
Hair in your hands? Losing long sections of hair when you run your fingers through your mane is another clue you're dealing with breakage. Gentle handling should not cause hair to come out, especially not from the middle of the hair strand.
Strands in your comb or brush? On the other hand, normal combing, brushing, and even washing often leaves a few strands or short sections of hair behind. This is because of the hair's natural process of shedding. Each hair on your head has its own natural life span, and only grows so long before it falls out and is replaced by a new strand. Normal shedding leaves up to 100 hairs a week on your pillow, in your hair tools, or on the floor - so don't sweat it. It's actually no problem!
Of course, you should see a dermatologist if you notice continued breakage, split ends that withstand even the gentlest handling, or whole hairs with bulbs attached falling out; this last is likely balding, a much more serious problem. Then take corrective efforts to restore your hair's natural health (hint: we'll post them here, if we haven't already)!
Take care of yourselves,