Natural hair shedding on wash day is something that freaks out a lot of women. They see hair in the sink and immediately think of damage and impending doom for healthy hair.
However, this isn’t always the case. It is perfectly normal for hair to shed every day. We lose around 100 – 150 strands of hair every single day. This doesn’t mean you’re going bald.
If your hair is in a protective style for a week (twists) or longer (braids, weaves, and wigs), the shed hair can be a bit voluminous on wash day. Don’t panic yet. Remember curly hair has a tendency to wrap around itself when it’s not kept separated.
Let’s examine how to identify normal shedding hair and hair breakage from serious damage.
Differences Between Natural Hair Shedding and Breakage
Take a strand of hair out of the shed hair and lay it out flat. If it has a transparent bulb at the end, then this is shedding. It should be the length of your hair but if the majority of the shed hair is all broken pieces much shorter than your hair, then this is hair damage. Note, a few broken pieces is fine.
You will need to take some steps to rectify this ASAP to prevent further damage. Usually, a strong protein treatment is necessary in this case. Read When To Use Protein Deep Conditioners & 10 Best Protein Deep Conditioners for Natural Hair.
By the way, too much protein can cause damage as well so if you’ve been overdoing protein previously, then you need a deep moisturizing treatment, not more protein. Read Daily Conditioners vs Deep Conditioners: What Are the Differences?
How Much Shedding is Normal for Natural Hair?
So how much is normal? This depends on your hair length, density and the last time you had a wash day. When you take all these factors into consideration and multiply by the average shed strands per day, you should be able to identify how much is too much for your hair.
For instance, below is a picture of my shed hair on wash day after three weeks of wearing my hair in cornrows under a wig. This is pretty standard for me. When I start seeing more hair than this, I know I’m overdoing something or manipulating my hair roughly.
You should also consider additional factors such as your diet, stress levels if you’re pregnant when trying to keep track of your natural hair shedding levels. These things also affect how much hair is shed on wash day.
Take Comparison Pictures
Take pictures of your shedding hair between wash days and compare after a few wash days. Is the hair shedding increasing? Is it maintained? This will help you to identify and rectify ASAP.
Keep in mind, it is not 100% possible to eliminate breakage as you are manipulating your hair after all. In this case, there are several things you can do while manipulating hair to minimize breakage as much as possible. An upcoming article will detail these things.
If you believe your hair shedding is abnormal and the usual treatments aren’t making any difference, then consider speaking to a dermatologist.
The Ultimate Hair Growth Guide
If you want to learn more about how to avoid, eliminate and prevent hair loss issues on natural hair, then you may be interested in The Ultimate Hair Growth Guide: Stop Hair Loss. Regrow Bald Spots. Fill in Thin Areas.
This guide features over 15 proven and tested methods for hair regrowth and is rated 4.5 out of 5 on Amazon and Goodreads. It is an all in one package for addressing hair loss and thinning. It’s a lot more than just applying a few products to your hair.