mhn news & blog

December 06, 2013

The Difference between Hair Loss and Hair Breakage

Is It Hair Loss?

People lose about 50 to 70 hairs a day naturally. This is normal and an expected amount of hair shedding. You'll notice it in the shower, on your brush, or just falling out on a regular basis. You shouldn't be too worried if you are noticing this type of hair shedding. It is a part of the natural hair growth cycle. However, if you are shedding substantially more, that could indicate a more significant problem and one that you should learn more about.

Hair loss occurs when the hair naturally falls out from the root. If you have this occurring, then you have hair loss rather than hair breakage. Whether or not you lose hair in this manner depends on many factors, including hereditary factors and hormonal changes in your body. It is very difficult to prevent this type of loss. You may be able to stop the excessive hair loss or shedding with hair therapy. Taking steps to keep your hair healthy, your diet balanced, and your stress under control can help in each of these areas.

Is It Hair Breakage?

The second most common type of hair shedding is called breakage. There are many causes to this condition, but it nearly always happens as a result of improper hair treatment. Generally, breakage happens at the middle or any other portion of the hair rather than at the root. It can happen for reasons such as:

  • Over processing of your hair
  • Tension put on the hair, such as from wearing a tight braid, weave, or hair band
  • The use of the wrong chemical treatments
  • Improper use of chemical treatments, especially doing so too often

People who have breakage can often find a solution to stopping the problem. Simply reversing the cause can provide the relief you need. For example, if you allow your hair to "heal" or recover in between chemical treatments, you'll notice a difference in how often it breaks. If you take care of it, you'll likely see significant improvement in the way your hair looks.

What Is Happening with Your Hair?

The easiest way to know what types of changes are happening with your hair is to look closely at the hair you've lost. If you notice a root, or a white portion at the top of the hair strand, this is likely hair loss due to natural causes. Most often, this is nothing to worry about unless you've experienced a significant amount of hair shedding or have balding areas.

If you notice there are no roots on the hair strand, but you notice the ends are sharp or broken seemingly in the middle of the strand, this is typically hair breakage. Remember you can do something about hair breakage, including:

  • Eat a healthy diet with plenty of fluid to help reduce breakage risk
  • Use supplements that strengthen the quality of the hair
  • Work with your stylist to ensure you are not over-processing your hair
  • Use a deep conditioning treatment, especially if your stylist recommends it
  • Discuss excessive breakage with your stylist to determine the underlying cause

In nearly all cases, individuals can improve the look and feel of their hair by improving their diet and taking better care of it. If you do have significant hair loss or shedding and not breakage, talk to your doctor about your condition. There may be hormone imbalances that are causing you to experience hair shedding you are facing. It's always a good idea to work closely with a professional to find hair loss solutions to reducing any hair loss or shedding you may be having.