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Today, afro shedding vs. breakage is a popular issue associated with newbies that are growing their afro hair. In turn, just like you, loads of people are interested in understanding and finding solutions to both hair issues. After all, who doesn’t like great and full hair, especially when it’s an afro?!
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What is afro shedding vs. afro breakage?
Afro shedding vs afro breakage is a term used to explain the difference between the two hair issues in men. Hair shedding occurs where you lose your hair after it completes its growing cycle. It usually falls off from the scalp and conveys that your scalp is healthy. Hair breakage is where the problem occurs as it conveys an imbalance in your hair, one that begins with hair discoloration and cuticle loss.
Still, while knowing the difference brings clarity, you are only better off if you can address the issues. Well, I’ve got you covered. In this article, we will dive into techniques that can help you reduce afro shedding vs. breakage.
Here’s an article you may also be interested in 6 DIY Natural Heat Protectants for Hair [Stylist Verified].
Afro Shedding vs. Breakage: What Is the Difference?
Although both concepts are often confused, the reality is that hair shedding is different from hair breakage. In fact, understanding this difference is quite important as it can be the difference between successful hair care and a failed one. So, afro shedding vs. breakage: what differentiates the two hair dilemmas?
Understanding Afro Hair Shedding
Hair shedding involves a process where you lose hair after such hair has exhausted its growing cycle. In this case, the hair falls naturally off the scalp with its white root. However, keep in mind that this isn’t the real hair root as the real root remains secured deep within the scalp.
Also, keep in mind that the shed hair is usually discolored. This is because the hair fails to produce melanin after it reaches a particular stage of its cycle. However, it is no source of concern.
This is because shedding is a natural process that allows you to regrow new and healthy hair. In fact, with shedding, you can be sure that you have got a functional scalp that’s performing outstandingly. According to Curls and Cocoa, the average head loses about 150 hair strands each day to shedding.
Regardless, there are some cases where shedding might be a major issue, usually when it’s rapid or accompanied by other problems. Also, when a medical condition causes excessive shedding, it becomes a serious cause for concern. In such cases, you will need to consult with your doctor.
List of medical conditions that can cause excessive afro hair shedding
- thyroid disease.
- high blood pressure.
- heart problems.
Understanding Afro Hair Breakage
Afro hair breakage occurs where you lose your hair because of damages, usually when those hairs are still in their growing cycle. In this instance, the loss of hair isn’t natural. Instead, it is proof that your hair strand is experiencing an imbalance.
Also, hair breakage usually involves a step-by-step process that begins with the discoloration of the hair. Following this, there is cuticle loss, which causes the hair fibers to split and consequently cause hair breakage.
So, hair breakage differs from shedding in that while shedding is natural, breakage is an imbalance that you need to avoid. Even more, breakage is an unhealthy situation that causes long term damage to your hair. On the other hand, shedding allows you to grow new and healthy hair in place of the old ones.
Also, you can easily identify the different afro hair issues by looking at your hair strands. With hair breakage, the hair you lose is usually short, while with shedding, it is full-length and with a bulb. This hair bulb further proves that the hair comes from your scalp.
What Causes Afro Hair Breakage?
Now that you understand afro shedding vs. breakage, you’re aware that shedding is hardly something you should worry about. However, you should be concerned if you are experiencing excessive hair breakage. In turn, one thing you need to understand is what causes hair breakage.
A wide range of factors may cause your hair to break. Usually, these things are often overlooked. However, the culmination of hair abuse from various poor maintenance methods may weaken the hair. In such cases, the results often lead to damages, and susceptible to hair breakage.
For instance, rough grooming techniques can weaken your hair and make afro breakage more likely. Also, exposure to straightening and coloring chemicals can cause serious hair damaged, making breakage more prominent.
Beyond this, over stimulating your hair strands, especially with various protein treatment, might do more harm than good. In turn, you may find yourself dealing with hair breakage instead of hair growth. Similarly, the absence of adequate hair moisture might result in afro hair breakage.
Finally, wear and tear of the hair is another reason for hair breakage. As people get older, their hair gets weaker and farther away from their years of strength. In turn, this makes it more likely for such hair to go through breakage. Check out 5 tip guide that improves the appearance of thinning crown for more information about thinning hair.
4 main factor that contributes to 4c hair breakage
Note, heat is a great source to open the cuticles which allow your hair to dry much faster than air drying. However, too much heat from tools such as blow-drying or hot combs could cause damage to your afro.
I should also point out, 4c hair that has prolonged exposure to direct sun, UVA, and UVB rays can cause damage. Harsh heat conditions affect the outside cover of the hair strand called the cuticle. The cuticle of the hair is a protective layer that helps keep the hair healthy and reduce damage. Dr. Wilma Bergfeld from Dermatologist US says “Sun damage can come in the forms of discoloration, dry and brittle strands, broken or split ends, thinning hair and frizziness,”. Yikes!
Safe heat for hair
A good rule of thumb when using heated hair tools is to keep them at a low setting. The heat that is below 300 degrees is fine and will reduce the risk of hair damaged by heat. Note, the average person’s hair can be safely heated at 300-380 degrees, while thick, coarse, or extra curly hair at 350-400 degrees. However, it may be a good idea to use a heat protection solution to your afro before you use any heating tool.
Another tip in avoiding heat damage in your afro is to reduce exposure to extreme sun, UVB, and UVA rays. This can be achieved by wearing hats, rags, or carrying an umbrella for shading.
There are plenty of hair products on the market that advertises what they can do for your hair. Some of the product that suggests they can fix whatever issues you’re having, put your hair in danger with their ingredients. The damaging ingredients used in a certain hair product is extremely harmful and may even cause 4c hair breakage.
Avoid hair shampoo and conditioners that contain:
- Sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate
The ingredients listed above are detrimental and cause breakage in natural afro hair. Ingredients like alcohol, Sodium lauryl sulfate, and sodium laureth sulfate strip the hair curls of their natural oils. This results in the hair becoming brittle, weak, and discoloring.
When purchasing 4c hair products that reduce afro breakage it is important to find products without harsh chemicals. Consider products that offer natural and organic ingredients that don’t pose a threat to the health of the 4c afro hair.
One of the questions I often get asked is whether split ends occur in natural African hair texture. The short answer is yes! Let’s explore a little further about afro hair split ends.
Does Afro hair get split ends?
Afro-textured hair can get split ends. In fact, 4c texture hair is prone to damage that causes split ends. African hair texture has a higher risk of breaking and splitting at the end due to the rough hair combing method. Note that the 4c type hair coils are vulnerable to knotting and at higher risk for damage.
Remember, split ends usually occur from preventable acts such as hair chemicals, rough hair grooming practices, and excessive heat. When your hair becomes brittle and dry, the detangling method may cause difficulties and damage to your afro. In such a case of split ends in the afro, it is wise to trim your hair to rid of the damaged ends.
Can hair breakage grow back?
As we know, during afro hair shedding the hair goes through a cycle. The hair falls and is replaced with new healthy hair. With that knowledge, is this the same cycle that occurs with kinky afro hair break? The quick answer is no… Hair breakage doesn’t go through the same cycle as hair shedding.
Often, this is where the confusion about afro shedding vs. breakage occurs. Remember, 4c hair breaks don’t happen naturally like 4c hair shedding in men. Allow me to explain further “Does damaged hair grow back healthy?”! Let’s talk about it.
I should first inform you, hair that breaks due to split ends or harsh grooming does grow back. However, the question that now arises is whether the afro hair can regrow healthily. Here is some ways your afro hair breakage can grow back healthy.
- Reducing chemicals in damaged hair
- Limiting exposure to extreme heat
- Eliminate harsh grooming practice
The bullets listed above are the top 3 ways to repair the breakage and for your hair to grow back healthy. Eliminating some of the daily practices that are harmful to your afro will allow your hair to grow without further damage.
Best Tips to Reduce Afro Hair Breakage and Hair Shedding
So far, it is clear that hair breakage isn’t something you want to keep managing. Instead, you need to take active steps to reduce it and combat it. So, how and what should you do to beat hair breakage while minimizing unhealthy hair shedding?
Moisturize Your Hair
You are more likely to experience hair breakage when the hair loses its elasticity. Now, guess what a great source of elasticity to your hair is? Well, you guessed right, it’s moisture.
In turn, all you need to do is provide water either directly or through water-based products to your hair. Apply it to your hair and allow it to nourish your hair strand. With this, you can be sure to maintain the elasticity of your hair and prevent breakage.
However, remember that you will want to avoid moisturizers with filler ingredients like mineral oil, lanolin, propylene glycol, and petrolatum. These ingredients are sealants and keep out the moisture needed for your hair. So, be sure to check for moisturizers without these ingredients.
Also, you do not want your hair exposed to too much heat to reduce the available moisture. So, you want to be sure that you use a heat protectant. Check out 5 step routine guide to soften coarse African American male hair for additional information and maintenance techniques.
Handle Your Hair with Care
One of the causes of afro hair breakage is poor handling of the hair, as we have discussed earlier. For instance, people are fond of detangling their hair with force. Unfortunately, this all contributes to afro hair breakage.
In turn, to reduce the possibility of hair breakage, all you need to do is treat your hair with care. You need to be gentle and patient when combing or brushing your hair. This way, your hair remains in good condition.
Even more, you need to pay special attention to your hair when detangling it. According to Markeita S Pruitt of Natural Hair Rules, you want to do this while your hair is damp, underwater, or oiled. This will ensure you loosen those tangles without jeopardizing the integrity of your hair.
Trim or cut damaged hair
An effective way to reduce natural hair breakage in a male afro is by trimming or cutting off the damaged hair ends. The trimming procedure is an effective and low upkeeping method to repair damaged hair in the afro. Note, the afro hair will no longer tangle at the tips which would essentially reduce the risk of breakage. I should also point out that cutting the damaged ends of the hair will eliminate split ends in the afro as well.
The best technique to see how far you should trim the hair is to do the curl test. You will need a spray bottle and a comb to do the hair evaluation. Take a small section of the afro hair, wet it with water by using a spray bottle. This will allow the hair to take its natural form… be sure to do a two-strand twist and check your hair ends for split ends or knotting.
Note, if the ends are splintered or tangled, trim the damaged tips of the hair until your ends create a perfect curl. As I mentioned earlier, healthy hair ends aren’t split nor tangled; instead, the hair is tight, smooth, and coiled.
Shampoo and Conditioner to reduce excessive afro shedding and breakage
Sometimes all your damaged afro hair needs is a little reboot. Using a gentle clarifying shampoo like Redken All Soft Shampoo, cleanse your hair from root to tip. The filtering cleanse shampoo helps free your scalp from bacteria and fungus. The specially formulated shampoo reduces hair breakage and helps maintain moisture for healthy hair growth. Using ACV shampoo balance your pH level which prevents bacteria and allows your hair to retain its natural oils. This will in turn reduce breakage and excessive shedding.
One of the ways to keep your afro hair from breaking is to condition it routinely. Guy’s, I emphasize, deep conditioning is not just for hair emergencies, but it is also beneficial in the health of your hair. Redken All Soft Mega Conditioner is a deep conditioning treatment product that will keep your afro hair game at its best!
As we tackle the topic of hair emergencies, such as afro hair breakage, split ends, and excessive shedding, this product can greatly improve your cause. To maximize the benefit of the conditioner, let the product marinate in your afro hair for at least 5 minutes. Make sure this is done with constant massage stimulation so the hair strands can absorb the product. Routinely treating your afro hair with conditioner will eliminate hair breakage that causes split ends, as well as help, reduce excessive afro shedding.
Conclusion of Afro Shedding vs. Breakage
Afro shedding vs. hair breakage isn’t something that should trouble you anymore. It is important to remember that they are different, and hair breakage poses more risk than hair shedding. It would be beneficial to you to also remember that hair breakage could easily be avoided by moisturizing your hair and handling your hair with care.
Once you do this, you can be sure that your hair will be in better condition. You will no longer have to worry about hair breakage and excessive shedding. If you are looking for more tips on afro hair care, you can read more articles on AfroCurlsAndCuts.com. Also, make sure you subscribe to the website and share the articles to help others in need just like you!