Hair Loss Versus Hair Breakage

Hair Loss Versus Hair Breakage

Posted by Sonia Bellini on

Does your pony tail feel like it's loosing volume? If your usually think curls or locks are more wispy than normal, it is easy to assume you may be losing hair. But it's important to remember that hair loss and hair breakage are two separate issues, and it's crucial to address each one differently.

Maybe you don't notice your hair thinning, but instead your have noticed an increased number of baby hairs lining your hairline - either in front or behind on the nape of your neck. Unlike baby hairs, broken hair will have uneven lengths, so be on the lookout for any inconsistencies if you notice this.

Confusion often arises when it comes to discerning between the two. Have you left the bleach on for too long recently? Did you just get a relaxer done? Have you been over-doing it with the flat iron? These are all questions to ask in your journey to combating pesky hair breakage.

Identifying Your Hair Condition

When it comes to hair loss and hair breakage, there is often confusion about the difference between hair loss and breakage. Though they can both appear to decrease hair density, they are in fact separate issues - although some many be dealing with both.

Hair growth is stimulated by hormones, blood flow, and essential nutrients. This can look like consuming more protein (think fish, nuts, whole grains, and legumes), reducing your stress, avoiding dye and certain treatments. Scalp massages may also prove effective as well.

Typically, hair breakage looks as if the ends of your hair were chewed away by mice. If you are regularly using hair care products with bond builders, the build up and residue can cause hair to become brittle and dry, resulting in breakage seemingly overnight.

In order to identify breakage, it's important to examine the hairs that you are shedding. Are the hairs broken and shorter than the length of your hair? You lose around 50 to 100 hairs a day, so this is completely normal. If, however, you find that the shed hairs are much shorter than the length of your hair, and your strands feel dry and brittle, it is likely a sign of breakage.

A general guide for keeping your hair in the nicest condition possible is to:

  • Avoid using high heat on your hair 
  • Don’t use hair products that contain harsh chemicals or bleach
  • Don’t over-brush
  • Avoid high tension hairstyles (like tight braids or ponytails)

Breakage is especially a concern for those with curlier, coarser hair textures due to the lack of ability for the oil produced by the scalp to extend the full length of the curly hair shaft. Plus, the tighter the curl or coil, the more susceptible it is to breakage.

Regardless of hair texture, anyone with naturally grey or white hair will tend to be coarser and resists moisture absorption. It has also lost elasticity, making it ripe for breakage. Hair turns to grey or white as we age due to the loss of pigment or melanin in the hair follicle. White and grey hair is also more brittle than when it had color because the cuticle has thinned, which provided a protective layer when your hair had pigment. This can cause grey hair to have an increase in hair breakage, as opposed to hair loss.

The Hair Cycle

Every hair on our body goes through a cycle of regeneration, which is why our hair naturally falls out in our daily lives. The process goes as follows:

  • Anagen phase: the growth phase where the hair follicle works to produce the hair fiber
  • Catagen phase: the hair follicle undergoes regression and loses some of its diameter
  • Telogen phase: the resting phase where hair follicle lays dormant. 

This process varies in time to complete, ranging from 3 weeks for eyelashes to one year for the scalp. Your personal genetics will influence the speed at which your hair will grow.

Hair Breakage

How Porous Is Your Hair?

Let us imagine that your hair strands are similar in structure to a tree trunk. The outermost bark is like the hair cuticle, and the inner tree rings are the hair cortex / medulla (the medulla is only present in coarse hair). 

Highly porous hair that is damaged is very fragile and weak. Weaker hair will break easier than healthy hair. You can have highly porous hair that is not damaged, as it is simply a term to describe the ability for your hair to retain moisture. Highly porous hair is more susceptible to damage, and therefore should be given a little extra love during treatments.

Research has found that human hair strand can stretch up to 20% when it’s dry and up to 50% when it’s wet. There is a simple test you can do at home to check the porosity of your hair today:
  1. Collect a few clean strands of hair (without product residue)
  2. Drop them into a glass of water and let them sit for a few minutes
  3. If your hair floats, you have low porosity hair. If it sinks, you have high porosity hair. If it stays in the middle, you have medium porosity.

Can I Make My Hair Less Porous?

Hair that is overly processed from bleach, heat, perms, or other hair styling treatments can become difficult to maintain. As a child, I had my hair professionally bleached and dyed for three years. I was specifically bleaching my hair to prep it for bright, colorful hair, so my hair needed to be as close to white as possible. In other words, all the pigment had to be extracted out of my hair - and that means the cuticles were lifted in order to allow this process.

I bring this up because I know first-hand how difficult it can be to live with broken, brittle hair. I used to not be able to brush my hair until it was completely dry, or else it would hurt my scalp. I would be angry if anyone tried to talk to me while I was brushing my hair. It also didn't help that my hair was down to my waist and would take two hours to dry. Honestly, I hated having to deal with my hair for years after this. 

The reason damaged, porous hair is difficult to work with is because the protein structure of your hair has been compromised. Hair loses elasticity, and thus lacks moisture. 

The Iles Formula Shampoo + Conditioner stops hair breakage with no harmful residue. For optimal results it is recommend to use the Iles Formula Scalp + Hair Rejuvenating Booster after the Iles Formula Shampoo + Conditioner.

Porous Hair Healthy Hair
 

Something you can easily do at home is to begin massaging your scalp. Massage stimulates blood circulation and brings oxygen and nutrients to your hair follicles. I have found that it is easiest to incorporate a massage while in the shower. Since you are already (probably) using shampoo, take this time to lean your head over while you scrub. Simply having your head lower than your heart will cause blood to flow towards your scalp, and the additional friction of a massage will compound this. This massage can encourage stronger hair growth and an increase in hair density, as well.

If your hair is severely dehydrated, consider adding a weekly hair mask to your shower routine. After shampooing and before conditioning, apply one of these hair masks for ten to fifteen minutes. You will use the mask in place of the conditioner, otherwise you could weigh down your hair. An exception to this is with the ILES Hair Mask, which suggests sealing the hair mask goodness in with another round of conditioner before finishing your shower.

Rahua Omega 9 Mask
Iles Hair Mask
  • Strengthens to ensure hair and scalp health
  • Rejuvenates damaged, dull hair
  • Creates shine
  • All hair types
  • Strengthen hair and scalp
  • Works on hair extensions
  • Safe for use after keratin treatments and chemical procedures
  • All hair types

Hair Loss

How Does Hair Loss Occur?

Hair loss becomes problematic when there are disruptions to our normal hair growth cycles. Typically, you’ll be able to identify problematic hair loss because you’ll start to see more hair being shed than you’re used to (such as more hair in the shower drain), or you might notice particular spots on your scalp are thinning or losing volume and density. Some common spots include along the sides of the temples, in beards, and around the crown of your head.

The reason this occurs is because your hair follicles are becoming smaller, which makes the hair strands finer. Some hair follicles stop producing hair altogether as a result of this process.

Some reasons one may be experiencing hair loss include:

  • DHT: Men starting to recede due to DHT (a chemical known as dihydrotestosterone which breaks apart testosterone and causes individual hair follicles to shrink. Over time, the hair follicles lose their ability to regenerate new hair)
  • Hormonal changes (including post pregnancy + pre/post/during menopause)
  • COVID: hair loss often related to the after-effect of Covid 19 cases
  • Age: As we grow older the hair follicles and hair structure weakens
  • Stress: The nervous system can also provoke hair loss
  • Medication: some forms of continued medication can provoke hair loss
  • Fungal: infections of the scalp (can be connected to hair loss, including skin conditions such as psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis, and autoimmune conditions like lupus)

In contrast to hair loss, hair breakage is not something that naturally resolves itself - generally. There is a type of hair loss that results from temporary stress, and usually resolves within 3 to 5 months; however, many of the people who come into our shop have a hair loss widely considered as alopecia. Some ways to rescue hair loss of this type include:

  • Add more moisture: increase your Omega 3 and fatty acid intake, as well as drinking plenty of water to keep your scalp hydrated.
  • Stimulate the follicle: via either massage, or with a follicle stimulant like ILES Scalp + Rejuvenation Booster.
  • Switch shampoos: making sure your shampoo is sulfate-free is the first step. Finding an anti-thinning shampoo is an added bonus.
  • At-home laser therapy: it's an option, but is often very expensive. Try a cost-effective hair treatment before investing into a laser machine.

The Iles Formula Scalp + Rejuvenating Booster specifically targets hair loss and promotes new hair growth. This is achieved through ILES' proprietary blend of Procapil™️ with other known hair stimulants; wasabi, tomato, apple extracts, biotin, and 3 amino acid residues help reduce the signs of hair loss, while also boosting the growth of thicker, stronger hair for women, men, and teenagers. Pairing the Scalp + Rejuvenation Booster with ILES shampoo will help encourage necessary hair growth without hair breakage impeding the process.

Women and men suffering from hair loss related to these conditions will all benefit from this formula. Note that so long as there is some form of activity in the root area the Booster tonic will ignite growth. Someone who lost their hair several years prior will not benefit the same result. 

This booster is a botanically derived, drug free formula the key ingredient is Procapil™️ consisting of a blend derived from citrus fruits + olive trees alongside wasabi + apple + tomato extracts. It is a fast absorbing and entirely residue free. It has the consistency of water and leaves no greasy or flaky residue, so is safe for use by those with darker hair too. 
a woman with long hair

Fixing broken hair can be a matter of avoiding certain hairstyling practices, such as tight pony tails, color-treated hair, relaxers, and using heat tools. Hair breakage will appear broken at uneven intervals, and is also identifiable as split ends. Hair loss, on the other hand, can appear as gradual thinning on top of head, circular or patchy bald spots, and an increased rate of fall out.

Regrowing hair can be achieved through hair growth boosters and lifestyle changes. It is a commitment, usually a 3 month one with a daily dose of booster applied once or twice a day. Once new growth is obtained, one can opt for alternative days to apply the booster to maintain the new growth. 

The key to preventing and correcting hair loss is to start as soon as you detect hair loss. Once the follicles stop working, the only option to restore your locks is hair transplant surgery.

Is It Possible to Grow Hair Follicles?

No, it’s not possible to grow hair follicles. We are born with a certain number of hair follicles. A healthy diet, proper hydration, and good scalp care can all help promote hair growth of stronger hair within each follicle. We don't reproduce new follicles. Today there are very good drug-free botanical based hair growth tonics: ILES Formula Scalp and Hair rejuvenating Booster is a prime example. 

What Is the Latest Technology in Hair Growth?

Botanical drug-free based formulas are the latest and safest technology for regrowing and re-boosting the growth of stronger and fuller hair.

What New Molecule Was Discovered That Strongly Stimulates Hair Growth?

A team of researchers at the University of California, Irvine recently discovered a signaling molecule, called SCUBE3. It was found to stimulate hair growth in mice. While more research is needed, it yielded promising results as a possible therapeutic treatment for androgenetic alopecia among other potentials. 

How Can I Reopen My Hair Follicles?

Rather than re-opened, it's more of an awakening of growth in the root area. Hair follicles can be activated to produce new growth by using medications, topical treatments (such as Procapil, Finasteride and Minoxidil), laser therapy. The best is the drug free Procapil which is the key ingredient in our Scalp + Hair Rejuvenating Booster. Hair follicles can be re-opened, or re-stimulated (for a better word) naturally by using essential oils, scalp massage, and careful diet and lifestyle changes.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hair-loss/symptoms-causes/syc-20372926

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499948/#:~:text=This%20cycle%20can%20be%20divided,into%20proanagen%20and%20metanagen%20phases.

 https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/its-not-too-late-to-save-thinning-hair

https://kidshealth.org/en/kids/gray-hair.html#:~:text=When%20there%20are%20fewer%20pigment,be%20around%20to%20produce%20melanin.

https://better-notyounger.com/blogs/the-better-blog/what-are-some-common-issues-with-gray-hair#:~:text=More%20Breakage,avoiding%20hot%20tools%20is%20important.

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