I will never stop pointing out how black women and art live simultaneously. Our physical, spiritual, and mental movements paint stories that will survive the ends of time. It is no wonder why many discuss and question every aspect of our being. Our hair falls under no exception. Can I touch it? Is it yours? Does it grow? Yet even though I can understand the canvassing of a priceless canvas, I don’t understand why others don’t take the time to research the answers to their questions for themselves. I’ve decided to take my own advice. For some time I’ve been in an environment where I witnessed other races hair shed on a consistent basis. Instead of walking up to a few and asking WHY DOES YOUR HAIR SHED MUCH, I decided to take the time to do the research myself!
Hair Shedding WWWH?
One day I began walking behind an associate of mine and her hair began falling out. She stopped to talk and as she brushed her hair out of her face another long hair pulled right out! I did my best to hide my expression but I definitely felt intrigued. She said, “Don’t worry I always shed a lot.” I already knew that research showed that 50 to 100 hair follicles fall out of a person’s head, on average daily. But this person seemed already at 20 at the beginning of the day and who knows how many when I wasn’t around! I can’t only speak on her, it seemed to be all the white women around me. My curiosity began to be heightened. Research needed to be done! It just didn’t seem normal to me.
Come to find out, I was very wrong!
Doctors say that hair shedding is very normal. Once your hair follicle reaches the end of its growing cycle it then will fall from the scalp. Generally, your hair follicle life span is four to six years. I was amazed to find that because this is a natural part of life it would be nearly impossible to stop the inevitable.
Hair Breakage VS Hair Shedding
Does black women’s hair shed? Before we answer that question, I want to make sure we don’t mix hair shedding with hair breakage. When you see your hair follicle and on the root, you see a white bulb you will know that this hair follicle did not break but reached the end of its cycle. If your hair follicle did not display a white bulb this follicle did not go through a shedding process, but a breakage. Still not too sure about the difference? You can determine the difference by the length of the hair follicle in question. Generally, the hair breakage length looks much shorter than hair shedding. Hair shedding, found as a normal part of your hair life, can not be said about hair breakage. After damaged and unhealthy hair follicles come breakage. You can’t stop the inevitable hair shedding but hair breakage you can definitely stop!
In all my reading findings I have to admit I was shocked to find that black women’s hair shed! We should not get this mixed up with alopecia or any other hair loss issues we encounter in our community. When your hair sheds it snatches the bulb of the hair follicle and not the hair root itself. When the root of the hair is snatched out you are no longer shedding, but reached the beginning of balding where hair will no longer be able to produce in the area the actual hair root came out of. Hormones, as in balding, plays a big role in hair shedding. So off-balance hormones can increase the amount and length of time your hair sheds.
Illness, diet, and hairstyles can quicken the hair follicles shedding span as well. So, now that I know more, I’m less intrigued. No need to wonder, no need to stare. No matter how much I think is too much, I’ve found it’s just another hair day for others. I even read an article where researchers found the amount of shedding could depend on the season. Even with all the research, it would be funny to hear, Oh no worries my hair is just falling out because Autumn has begun. It is still annoying to find so much hair in the public bathrooms but, all in all, hair shedding is just another part of life with your hair.