Hair Shedding vs Hair Loss: What Is The Difference?
What is the difference between normal hair shedding vs hair loss? And - how can you tell which of these you're suffering from? You've come to the right place - we're going to give you the answers you've been searching for.
You might hear the term 'hair shedding' and 'hair loss' being used interchangeably. Their end result is the same, which is less hair on your head, but they are two very different things. So, what is the difference between normal hair shedding vs hair loss? And how can you tell which problem you have?
Both hair shedding and hair loss can be frustrating and alarming. In order to fix the problem, you must understand what is causing it in the first place. So - let's not waste any more time.
What is the Difference Between Normal Hair Shedding vs Hair Loss?
The difference between normal hair shedding vs hair loss is whether or not the hair grows back and if it can grow back without treatment.
Hair shedding is when your hair continues to grow, but more hairs fall out every day. It is typically a temporary problem and can go away without intervention. Hair loss, on the other hand, is when hair doesn't grow back unless you treat the underlying problem. Hair loss can also be permanent.
So, with all this said, how can you tell the difference between hair shedding and hair loss?
It's hard to distinguish between the two. In both instances, you experience hair falling out. The question then becomes, is it being replaced with more hair? This requires you to take routine photographs of your scalp from different areas.
If you start to notice your hairline receding after a few months of photographs, it's likely hair loss. However, if you continue to experience hair fall but don't notice any changes in the overall amount of hair on your head, it could just be shedding.
Another way to determine if the hair fall you're experiencing is cause for concern is by looking at the potential causes of your hair fall.
What Causes Hair Loss?
There are many causes of hair loss, some natural and some lifestyle-related. Although some types of hair loss are not permanent, some are. That's why early prevention is crucial if you want your hair to grow back faster. Here are some of the most common causes of hair loss:
Hereditary hair loss is the most common cause in both men and women. It is also known as androgenetic alopecia and male or female pattern baldness.
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss on the scalp. You'll also notice these effects in other parts of the body, such as the eyebrows, pubic area, and eyelashes.
Psoriasis on the scalp can cause bald patches. You'll also notice your skin is scaly and sometimes inflamed. Hair will not grow on these patches until you treat psoriasis.
Excessive styling causes too much stress on the hair follicles which causes them to break and fall out easier. For black women, wearing hair in tight hairstyles and using heat tools frequently are two major causes of hair loss. If you want to learn more about hair loss causes for women of color, check out our article on black hair care for beginners.
Protein deficiency occurs when you don't eat enough protein. Protein is vital to the growth of healthy hair. When you don't get enough of it, your hair is more susceptible to damage and thus falls out easier. Some specific types of protein that can cause excessive loss of hair include collagen and biotin.
Some medications cause hair loss as a side effect. Certain birth control pills, muscle-building steroids, blood thinners, and depression medication can make your hair fall out.
What Causes Hair Shedding?
Hair shedding is often temporary and goes away on its own. However, that doesn't change the fact that you want to stop it. Here are the possible causes of hair shedding:
Stress is the most common cause of hair shedding. When you experience emotional stress, your hair goes into the 'resting phase' prematurely, which means that you can't grow more hair until your stress levels go back to normal. This is why it is common to lose hair when you are overwhelmed, especially during major life events such as a divorce, a death of a loved one, or a loss of a job.
Weight loss can also cause you to lose hair, albeit temporarily. Some people who lose significant amounts of weight (15 pounds or more) experience shedding as a result.
Childbirth causes extreme stress on the body. You may experience excessive hair shedding while pregnant or after giving birth--or both. Breastfeeding can also cause hair shedding due to deficiency in nutrients lost through lactation.
Menopause is characterized by major hormone changes. This can cause hair to become dryer and thinner. After menopause, your hair shed should stop.
Acute illnesses such as the flu, an infection, or fever can make your hair fall out. This is especially true if you are taking certain medications to treat said illness. Hair shedding can also occur while you are recovering from an injury or an operation.
So - Are You Suffering From Hair Loss or Hair Shedding?
Now that we've covered all you need to know about the hair loss vs hair shedding debate, you should have a better understanding of which of these you're suffering from.
In summary, hair loss is more concerning than hair shedding - which is very normal. By looking at the specific symptoms you're suffering from and the extent of hair fall you're experiencing, you can start to narrow down an answer. You also know the different causes of normal hair shedding vs hair loss so you can take a look at your own risk factors to get a clearer picture of your issue. While you're at it, we recommend you learn the difference between new hair growth or breakage.
Now - with all that said, you probably want to learn how to stop the problem - no matter which of these you're suffering from. So - here are some tips to help you prevent both hair loss and hair shedding.
How to Prevent Hair Loss and Hair Shedding - Whichever You're Suffering From
While the causes of hair loss and shedding differ, most prevention strategies can apply to both. This is because when your hair is stronger, it is less susceptible to damage. Therefore, it's less likely to fall out. Here are some tips to prevent both hair loss and excessive hair shedding - while also promoting black hair growth.
See a dermatologist
If you suspect that you have psoriasis, alopecia areata, or any other medical condition that causes hair loss, see a dermatologist immediately. These conditions do not go away on their own and require medical intervention. And the earlier you seek treatment, the more likely you are to stop excessive hair loss in its tracks. A dermatologist will help you learn how to take care of natural black hair.
Limit hair washing
Washing your hair strips away the moisture and oil on the scalp, which tends to make the hair weaker and more at risk of damage. African hair is naturally dry and brittle. That said, washing less frequently helps you retain moisture on your scalp and hair.
Moreover, we highly recommend using organic shampoo. Most non-organic shampoos contain chemicals that can damage hair. To protect your hair with the right shampoo, learn what ingredient in shampoo causes hair loss. And, explore our blog on how often to wash black hair.
Moisturizing is especially important for African hair as it helps protect the follicles from damage. Use a conditioner every time you wash your hair and deep condition your hair at least once a week. Frequent moisturizing also promotes faster hair growth because it makes your hair stronger and susceptible to breakage.
Our article on dry scalp black hair can help you with this ailment - as can our discussion of scalp eczema & black hair.
Avoid tight hairstyles
Avoid cornrows, braids, weaves, and other hairstyles that pull your hair too tightly. The force that these hairstyles put on your hair can make them break more easily, which can lead to permanent hair loss. If you must put up your hair in a tight hairstyle, let your hair rest for a few days in between sessions. And, be sure to moisturize your scalp thoroughly.
You should also learn when to cut hair for growth - as perfecting your hairstyle can help encourage healthy hair follicles.
If you are experiencing excessive hair shedding, it may be time to reevaluate your lifestyle. Is your job causing you too much stress? Are you not getting the reprieve you need at home? Is your relationship stressful more often than not?
Whatever the cause may be, you must learn how to manage your stress--not only to prevent excessive hair shedding but to improve your physical and mental health as well. Learn more about the relationship between stress and hair loss in our blog.
Use a hair growth serum
The #1 way to treat & prevent hair loss and shedding is with hair growth products, like a hair serum. What is a hair serum, though? This is a type of growth product specifically tailored to grow hair faster - you apply it directly to the scalp.
However, not just any serum will do. As you know, black hair and white hair differ greatly - so you should consider your hair type. You want a serum specifically designed for you. And for black hair, in particular, the Allurium Growth Serum is the premier choice for the best products to grow African American hair. Don't just take our word for it - take a look at the testimonials over on our site!
Final Thoughts on Normal Hair Loss vs Hair Shedding
There is a big difference between hair loss vs hair shedding. But either way, losing hair is never a good thing. If you want fast hair growth for black hair, you're in the right place. Our serum uses all-natural ingredients and is specially designed for women of color, you've come to the right place.
Allurium Beauty has what you need to treat hair loss and hair shedding--our 700 5-star reviews can attest to that! Get started today and watch your rate of hair growth soar.