The Difference Between Breakage and Shedding

February 09, 2018 2 min read

MIELLE- The Difference Between Breakage & Shedding and How to Deal with Both


Next to dryness, breakage is a common complaint among women who wear their hair in its natural state. But often, what some may think is breakage is actually something else: it's shedding. As with many other terms in the hair care world, “breakage” and “shedding” are often used interchangeably. Jatina Nixon, Licensed Hairstylist, talks about the difference between hair breakage, shedding and thinning, and the ingredient benefits of our Sea Moss Anti-Shedding Collection to help combat these issues.  

What Is Shedding?

Everyone loses, on average, about a hundred hairs per day. So, shedding is a completely normal part of the hair cycle. Strands of hair fall out of the follicle at the end of their cycle, making room for a new strand of hair to come in. You’ll know the hair has shed and not broken off if it matches the overall length of your hair and has a white bulb at the root.

When your hair has been in a style for a few days or longer, such as when you wear a protective style, you may notice that quite a bit of hair comes out. This is natural, since your hair is shedding every day. What you see when you take your style down is just an accumulation of the hair that has shed over time.

When Shedding Is Excessive

Yes, shedding is natural, but things like stress and a poor diet can cause excessive shedding. Drinking lots of water to keep your scalp healthy and filling in the gaps with Mielle Organics' Sea Moss Anti-Shedding Collection and adult gummy vitamins to help supplement those nutrients your hair needs. Regular scalp massages with our Mint Almond Oil can also help to encourage healthy hair while helping to reduce excessive shedding.

If you find that you’ve done all you can on your own, but you still don’t see a difference, be sure to seek professional help to find out the cause and the treatment that’s right for you.

What Is Breakage?

Much different from shedding, breakage happens when the hair is damaged. Over-manipulation, dryness, and excessive or improper heat styling can all cause strands of hair to break off from any point along the hair shaft. Strands of broken, damaged hair will have varying lengths, but they will be much shorter than your overall length.

What You Can Do About Breakage

Issues with hair breakage can often be solved with moisture — both by drinking lots of water and by properly moisturizing the hair. Mielle’s White Peony Leave-In Conditioner, followed by one of our hair oils to seal in moisture, is a place to good start. Taking it easy with heat styling and always preparing your hair with a heat protectant can also help prevent the damage that leads to breakage. In our post “7 Reasons Why Your Hair Isn’t Healthy,” you’ll find even more tips on how to prevent breakage and retain length.

Now that you know the difference between breakage and shedding, do you think you’ve been experiencing either of the two? Hopefully, these tips will help you get back on track!

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