I’ve compiled a list of common hair concerns and questions this week from my clients and dear friends. Concerns like, how much hair in my brush is too much? Does beer really do anything to my hair strand? What does breakage look like? How can I reduce the buildup of oil on my scalp? And more!!
Knowledge is power, and as always, I’m here to arm and guide you into having the greatest hair you’ve ever known!
So throw on your reading glasses and get nerdy with me!
How many strands being lost a day is normal and when to seek a professional.
This is a very common stress for my clients and a question that I get very frequently. Here’s how this works. You may have heard that you lose, on average, 100-150 strands of hair a day (average means that some of you will lose more or less and that that’s your normal). But what is not as commonly known is that you NOTICE most of it coming out when you wash your hair. So let’s say you wash your hair every 3 days. When you get out of the shower, or even in the shower, you might be alarmed and say- THAT’S WAY MORE THAN 150, but if that’s the first time you’ve brushed your hair and washed in a few days, then you are seeing multiple days worth of loose hair strands all escaping at once. So it is still completely normal. The same rings true for if you wear your hair in a braid for a few days, when you take it down and brush it, you have all of that hair that would have come out yesterday, coming out today, so it’s going to seem like more in your hairbrush.
The general rule of thumb is that if you notice hair coming out in CLUMPS, then that is when you should seek out your doctor and see if something under the surface is happening. (Don’t be alarmed, it could be as simple as needing an iron supplement, or introducing a different food to your diet, it doesn’t necessarily mean anything serious is happening, so just take a deep breath!)
What does breakage really look like?
Breakage! We are all so scared of it happening to us. And sometimes when we do see that hair coming out in our hairbrush we may be tempted to think that that is breakage. And while you may be brushing your hair too hard and yanking it out of your scalp, breakage is something altogether different.
When a hair strand is broken, it means that somewhere along the strand, it has broken apart. What this will look like is uneven hair lengths that are about 3-4 inches long.
What causes breakage?
Breakage is caused by 2 things: Chemicals/Heat (in extreme and careless situations) and Friction/Tension.
The absolutely most common reason for breakage are: ponytails, hats, headbands and flat irons. And it’s the excessive use of these things that causes it.
Think about your beautiful pony tail for a moment. This breakage is seen predominantly in the nape area. You hair is being stretched and held with tension in a particular place all day long. This is putting stress on your precious locks and causing it to ultimately rip apart (*cry*).
This actually happened to me in the past few weeks, but in a weirder way. After posting the last Tame of the Shrew article (recap here) I fell in love with the Headband Roll and started wearing it about 3 days a week. The headband that I have happens to be particularly tight and gives me a terrible headache, but without even noticing, I ended up wearing down the hair on my front hairline by my part and I now have a very slight bald spot (with short broken strands about an inch long)! (EEKKKKKKKKK!) It’s the repeated excessive pressure in the one area that wore my sweet little hairstrands right out of their sockets.
The only real way to prevent this is just be careful of the repitition of our habits. It’s okay for you to wear a hat (that’s constantly rubbing against your scalp all day) and wear a pony tail, and flat iron your hair. But when we’re doing these things MORE than we’re not, that’s when breakage and stress starts to happen. We just have to be more aware. I wish I could say there was a magic product that could solve this, but there just isn’t!
Frequent haircuts, do they really help you grow your hair?
Here’s how a split end works. Your hair is upset and starts to split into 2 or more strands. This split ends up working it’s way up your whole hair shaft. Have you ever seen someone with incredibly long hair but who has crazy fly aways about mid way up their hair? That is a split end. And the only way to prevent this from happening (because no! Despite commercials, there is no “split end” corrector.) the only thing to do is to be diligent about frequent haircuts and stopping those split ends before they continue up your hair strand.
The truth about home remedies
Okay. So this is actually kind of scientific, so I’m going to use a PH Scale to show you guys what’s up.
Your hair likes to live at 4.5-5.5. That’s where it’s happy, shiny, not full of fly-aways… etc. It’s home. And different products alter the PH of your hair with the purpose of benefiting it, so let’s say… Shampoo will be slightly alkaline to open your cuticle and remove dirt and oil, and then conditioner is more acidic, closing that cuticle back up and restoring it’s PH balance to where it likes to be. All with intention okay?
So the only way I could think to find out if there is anything to these home remedies is to look at the the science of it, because God knows there is no freaking way I’m putting mayonnaise on my head. Ew.
So here’s what it looks like:
Lemon Juice 2.0-2.6
Here’s what this means. Lemon Juice is shutting your cuticle so tight that it could have the potential to make it look shinier, but here’s the problem. It’s still outside of it’s comfort zone and therefore you are going to be damaging your hair! Remember in the 60s the “Sun In” products and all of that? Yes, you’re putting acid on your hair and hoping the sunlight will blow up your color molecules and magically make you “blonde”. Eek people. When doing this you’ll also have hair that feels like hay. Just saying.
As far as the beer and mayonnaise.. they’re so close on the PH scale to the normal place that hair likes to live that it makes them have absolutely no effect on your hair strand. Especially beer. Even if there are some kind of “antioxidants” in the beer and mayo, the ph isn’t opening your cuticile up at all to feel the benefits, it’s just sitting on the outside. So, unless you’re the kind of person who just likes to do things to do things, probably don’t. I don’t know about you, but thinking about my hair smelling like guinness or a ham sandwich kind of makes me gag.
Let’s just stick to the conditioner and treatments people, okay?
Shiny hair and light reflection.
You know when you’re out in public and you see that girl with long flowing hair and it is just absolutely radiating the most perfect amount of shine and you slowly start hating that girl with all of your heart? Yeah. Good. I’m not alone. Okay. Well here’s how this works.
Light is reflected completely differently off of different colors and tones. A dark rich brunette will always have shinier hair than a blonde. Their hair will always look richer and healthier. That’s because blonde hair just doesn’t get that same bounce of light and play of texture. This is why there is typically micro-crystals and sparkles in blonde shampoos and conditioners, they are trying to use enhancements to replicate that shininess.
Oily hair conundrum.
Last but not least, let’s talk about greasy hair. Because I know that this is a common battle and something that really can be worked on. While it’s true that coarser and thicker hair textures absorb more of the oil and can be washed less than people with fine thinner hair, let me let you in on a little secret.
Shampoo (IS NOT THE DEVIL. SO STOP. This no “poo” thing is really grinding my gears, but… anyway) strips the oils out of your hair and your conditioner restores the balance of moisture. What happens though is that if you are shampooing too frequently, like every single day, your hair actually starts over-producing the oil because it’s trying to maintain itself. While the first 2 weeks may be slightly uncomfortable, it’s best to train your hair to go at least every other day and ideally 2 days in between washing. I promise you that it will level out and reduce the amount of oil on your scalp. The days that seem the most unbearable are best worn in a braid or some kind of up-do swept out of your face. The extra oil helps to hold these kind of styles in place and it camouflages any “dirt”. Hey, you never know unless you try!
So how are you feeling?
I really tried to hit the main topics, but by all means if you’re ever wondering about something please email me, message me, yell at me… whatever you want. I’m here for you guys!
Cheers to using knowledge to take control of our hair strands.