Is It Breakage Or Just Natural Hair Shedding?

By Choya Randolph

Us naturals are not strangers to hair shedding. Maybe we see it when we detangle or style. Or we’ve seen it when taking down our protective hairstyles. We end up with a ball of black hair that could make our heart drop to our toes. Is this a normal amount of hair shedding or are you actually losing hair? Let’s get into it.

Everyone sheds hair. On average, everyone sheds 50-100 hairs a day. If you have thick hair, you can shed up to 200 hairs a day. That’s a lot of hair but when you look at your ball of kinky hair, it may look like a lot more than 100 hairs. As naturals, we don’t shed more because of our hair texture however, it may seem that way because of how we take care of our hair. 


We don’t brush our hair constantly. Detangling everyday would be excessive and not healthy for our hair growth. So we keep our hair stretched by putting it in twists, bantu knots, braids, or even protective hairstyles. Some of us will rock a twist out for weeks. Because we don’t want to ruin our twist outs, we leave our hair alone to maintain those curls. So by the time we bust out the denman brush, it’s been days since we’ve bothered our hair. 

Our kinky hair strands love being tangled in each other so when we finally detangle, we can be combing out days worth of shedded hair. That’s a lot of hair and it’s even more when taking out a month old protective style. So if those balls of hair are looking large, remember that it’s probably normal shedding finally making its way out of your hair.

But how do you know it’s just shedding and not breakage? At our roots are tiny balls called bulbs. These are dead cells that make up our hair shaft. Each individual hair strand has a bulb. When our hair sheds, you should be able to see the bulb. If not, those hairs could be from breakage. Though breakage is something we naturals work hard to combat, we all have our lazy moments that could lead to breakage. This could include avoiding your wash day, not detangling, or not stretching your hair regularly. 

But what about balding? If you’re noticing excessive hair shedding, you can easily make an appointment with your dermatologist. But for those who ain’t got time for alladat, run your fingers through your hair. Make sure your hair is detangled, You don’t want to deal with any snags that could lead to breakage. It’s normal to see maybe a hair strand or two but if you see more than that, there’s a small possibility that you could be losing more hair than normal. Balding is noticeable so examine your scalp and if you notice that your hair isn’t as thick as it used to be, it’s really time to see a dermatologist. 

Now if you notice you’re losing a lot of hair but you also know that you’re not taking good care of your hair, it’s time to make some changes. If your doctor tells you that your cholesterol is high, you’ll probably start eating Cheerios and exercising more. Just like we take care of our bodies, we have to take care of our hair. So if you notice your hair is thinning, stop skipping wash days, be patient when detangling, keep your hair stretched, try to keep your stress levels low, and take the steps to make sure your hair is healthy. You got this.