Email question from a subscriber with a hair dilemma. The subject line read “Help ! My Hair Is Falling Off “:
“I always notice lots of breakage especially when I wash (my hair). Also when I apply product to do a twist out I always have to keep taking the hair off my fingers because so much of it always breaks off. I have already cut off 2 to 3 inches. It stopped breakage for a while.
Everyone keeps telling me it looks so healthy, but then why is it breaking off. I have even had a few strands come out straight from my scalp. I don’t use gel anymore.
Also I was shampooing with shampoo and conditioner that was supposedly going to reduce the breakage. It hasn’t done a thing. Anyways, I don’t wanna be bald. My hair looks thick, its so big and curly so it fools people. But if it keeps up I think its gonna be a hot mess or worse… bald. Do you think maybe it needs protein? “
In this case what she notices as “breakage” is actually normal. Extremely curly or tightly coiled hair textures typically have a lower elasticity and break easier. And tightly coiled hair has a tendency to knot especially on the ends. To understand hair elasticity, think of how much or how far you can stretch a rubber band before it snaps. Also think of the difference between a new rubber band and one that has been stretched repeatedly over time.
When you shampoo or wet the hair, it experiences a physical change because of the water. When hair is wet, is becomes easy to stretch but the amount of elasticity the hair has, will determine how much you can stretch the hair and it come back into place without popping, snapping or breaking.
So when you are shampooing, detangling, parting , twisting and otherwise manipulating the hair while it is wet, there will be a certain amount of hair that will not stretch and go back into place. Instead they will pop, or break. This will happen only when the hair is wet. You do not need protein since it will not remedy this situation.
The 3 things to minimize the “breakage” when you shampoo:
- Shampoo hair more gently and try to keep hair flowing in one direction.
- Using the proper conditioning shampoo designed for extremely curly textures.
- Follow with detangling conditioner that will help reduce the hair friction and release tangles.
The good news is this that there’s nothing abnormal going on here. You are not going bald. You can believe what people have been telling you. You do have a full head of thick, healthy hair!