There are several types of damage that can happen to your hair. Chemical (color, misuse or poor execution), Environmental (Sun, weather, pollution, hard water), and Mechanical.
Mechanical damage is all of that stuff that we do to ourselves. It can range from using the wrong brush for our hair to the hair loss from continued friction with the follicles.
If you've sacrificed getting your color on for fear of damage, yet find you're still dealing with it, the problem may be mechanical.
If there is a constant tug on these follicles and bulbs (think of those tight ponies or buns), after constant pulling, the follicles let go of those hairs at the root and quit making more.
Regular follicle damage that affects the bulb / root area can result in permanent hair loss. This is called Traction Alopecia.
"Traction alopecia is a form of acquired hair loss that results from prolonged or repetitive tension on the scalp hair. It was first described in 1907 in subjects from Greenland who had developed hair loss along the hairline due to prolonged wearing of tight ponytails." (The Fringe Sign, clinical findings of traction alopecia)
In a study done at UC Davis in 2011, they had found their average age of someone suffering from Traction Alopecia was only 34 years old (Samaro 2)
Solution: Let the hair down and let the follicles "breathe". Try loose, side braids. Keep the scalp massaged and circulation flowing. Add protection to your routine with a leave-in treatment, too.
"Treatment options for TA vary depending on whether or not longstanding disease has resulted in permanent hair loss. Treatment can be divided into three stages: prevention, early TA, and long-standing TA. Prevention is key in childhood and involves educating parents on the importance of loosening the hairstyle and avoiding tenting, which occurs when the hair is pulled so tightly that the skin of the scalp is raised by the force of the pull.
In early TA in children it is important to loosen the hairstyle, and avoid chemicals or heat because hair loss is reversible at this stage. Brushing the affected area “to stimulate hair growth” should be avoided. In adults with early TA, the hairstyle should also be loosened." (Samaro 4)
It is not only pulling the hair that can do this kind of damage. Sometimes the repeated rubbing of the follicles can result in the same. If you or someone you know has been using the same clip-in extension set - every day - and has found that the hair keeps getting more thin (they're having to backcomb / "tease" more to clip) where they attach the extensions, that person is dealing with mechanical damage and potential hair loss.
Solution: If you or someone you love is experiencing this, consider moving into permanent extensions like a tape extension option.
If the damage is a breakage that is happening in the middle area of the hair, then we ask:
"Are you putting your hair in a ponytail while it is still wet?"
Hair is most fragile when it is wet, so this is something we often see in ladies who put their hair up while it is still wet and in that fragile state. Most especially when this is a regular part of the routine. We understand that we are all pressed for time these days, but be aware that the midshaft breakage is, likely, because of this.
"Even though wet hair can stretch up to 30% of its original length without any harm, irreversible changes occur when it is stretched between 30% and 70%, and at 80% the strand will ultimately break." (Gavazzoni)
Using the right brush for your hair and desired result is important, too. Wide-tooth combs are great for distributing conditioners in and leave-in products. A paddle brush or Wet Brush are wonderful for taking out tangles gently.
When you're wanting that round-brush blowout, be sure that your hair is 80 - 90% dry before bringing in the round brush in. This makes less exhausting work for you and also protects your hair during the blow dry.
A good heat and style protection product will help at this time.
There can be many factors that are causing changes or undesired results with your hair.
If you have specific questions, or you are looking for some ideas on better ways to help you be you, book a complimentary consultation with us.
Gavazzoni Dias, Maria Fernanda Reis. “Hair Cosmetics: An Overview.” International Journal of Trichology 7.1 (2015): 2–15. PMC. Web. 3 Oct. 2017.
Samrao, Aman; Price, Vera H; Zedek, Daniel; & Mirmirani, Paradi. (2011). The “Fringe Sign” - A useful clinical finding in traction alopecia of the marginal hair line. Dermatology Online Journal, 17(11). Retrieved from: http://escholarship.org/uc/item/25m840mz
Özçelik, D. Aesth Plast Surg (2005) 29: 325. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00266-005-0004-5 Extensive Traction Alopecia Attributable to Ponytail Hairstyle and Its Treatment with Hair Transplantation