There is a lot of conversation surrounding the theory of how to stop shedding and/or breakage of damaged hair. The methods to increase hair health vary as widely as techniques and styles. However, there is one tried and true way to cease breakage and shedding and that is through a trim.
Now, it is true, this is not the answer that most want to hear when looking for a solution to stave off hair loss but for some reason, no matter how many bushes we dance around, we more than likely come to the same final conclusion. Trimming is the answer to stop hair breakage.
Let us revisit the difference between breakage and shedding for just a moment (because there is a difference). In short, shedding is loss of hair from the root, that is usually characterized by long, full strands of hair loss, often accompanied by a hair bulb. This hair bulb comes from directly out of the scalp. Shedding is sometimes in conjunction with delivery/child birth or illnesses or drastic change in diet. Breakage on the other hand can be characterized by long or short strands, these strands often look split and choppy and the strand itself may look “broken” or jagged. Most of the time this problem is due to mechanical processes. For a more in depth explanation of hair breakage versus shedding click here.
To be sure, there are “alternatives” to trimming, unfortunately none are as effective. Some people lean toward deep conditioners as a possible solution hoping to fortify split ends and stave off breakage. Others seek more holistic measures like vitamins, even changing to a better, more healthful diet. This method is always a winner in the end, however, it may not be able to fix the damage that has already been done if the damage is too drastic. And it is usually not a quick fix. Fortunately, it can help to strengthen new hair for the future and increase overall health as well. There are even those that feel that oils and elixirs can “mend” ends and reconstitute a faulty scalp to stop shedding or breakage. While all of these solutions can serve as a partial fix. And other solutions may be a longer term process to bring about healing none of them provide an instantaneous response from hair.
A significant hair cut is almost like magic as strange as that may sound. Once those dead ends come off it is like the hair refortifies and garners new life. It works well for shedding, however, it works best on breakage.
Some may question, do I have to cut “all my hair off”? The answer is a resounding no! This may not comes as comfort to those who do not want to cut their hair at all or for those who “finally” got their hair to the length they had been hoping for. Of course, these people do not want to hear the word “cut” in any way. The truth is though healthy hair is usually hair that stays trimmed regularly. As a matter of fact, hair that is cut often seems to grow faster.This phenomenon is not completely understood. At least part of the answer lies in the fact that keeping blunt, freshly cut ends do not “break” as badly. Trimmed hair sheds less during detangling.
The way to avoid a big cut is to maintain regular small trims. This way there is always fresh new hair that you are working with. However, if you have gotten to the point where the hair in the brush is making you sick to your stomach and you want it to stop immediately, a hair cut is the only way to do that. Only a professional can determine how much hair needs to be cut, but usually there is a point going up the hair shaft where breakage lessens. If you travel up the shaft far enough you may find a healthier zone. Cutting above the damage or breakage may help you get your hair to a healthier state. Keep in mind that although you do not want to cut your hair, hair is like skin, the healthier it is the better it looks. There is nothing pretty about broken off, split up, choppy locks.