Tuesday, 27 March 2012

My HAIR on My Mind: Shedding ...!

"The past few days have been horrible for me, so far as my hair is concerned. In totally honesty, it is really getting me down. And it’s the same old story EXCESSIVE SHEDDING!”

I have been shedding a lot. It is getting to the point where I have been questioning continuing with this HHJ. I am almost 2 years into this journey and my hair, although it is thicker, it certainly isn’t anywhere near where I think it should be at this stage of my journey.  I even had to do yet another trim to deal with the effects in an attempt to nip it in the bud before it gets worse.

In the years pre HHJ when I shed like this I just got on with it and wasn’t in the least bit worried seeing my hair all over the floor of every room. It was ‘normal’ so it really wasn’t a problem. But now that I am aware of the health of my hair and scalp and the damage shedding and breakage can do, I really am bothered about my hair going through this phase yet again. It seems to have been continuous over the past year and it REALLY IS BOTHERING ME. It’s upsetting, almost to the point where it is depressing me! So much so I was thinking of taking a break from blogging altogether, Not posting. Not reading other hair blogs. No YouTube viewing. No research. Nothing!!!

But I can’t do that.  There is definitely a problem which I need to get to the root of (pardon the pun!).  I figure if doing what I have been doing is not working then I am forced to try different tactics.

I washed my hair on Wednesday after taking down my crochet braids and didn't shed that much at all.  I then had to cowash on Thursday as my scalp was itching and my hair felt dry.  I shed alot during and after the cowash. I then cowashed again on Saturday because my hair still felt dry.  Again, I shed alot during and after the process.

In between cowashes I have been moisturising like a mofo! This has consisted of a moistiurising spritz made of Elasta Olive Oil & Mango Butter mixed with water from my shower filter. On my nape and edges and all around the perimeter of my hairline I used the Elasta OO&MB straight out of the jar. I have also been using Taliah Waajid Mist Bodifier and At One Leave In Conditioner with Argan Oil. I have been sealing with mostly coconut oil and sometimes hemp seed oil (I really need to replenish my grapeseed oil) and applying various serums as required.  Last night I added some AVJ to the moisturising spritz and saturated my hair, put in 8 x 2 strand twists and baggied my whole head overnight.

Five days later I am pleased to say that my hair is finally responding and feels softer and less dry.  I have been bunning since Wednesday and using some bulk braid hair to create my bun.  I have been switching the postion of the bun on a daily basis.  Funnily enough my real bun is longer and feels thicker than it has for quite sometime. Maybe this shedding is just down to the adjustment post protective style?  I considered whether it was the MN but I don't think it was as I would have shed more when taking out the protective style. 
It really has been hard work trying to get my hair to play ball, without falling out in my hands and/or onto the bathroom floor. It’s just so depressing to see all my hard work walking it’s way out of my scalp. I have been inspecting the hair than I have lost and the vast majority of it is shed hair as it has a bulb attached to it. There is only a small amount of broken hair but the split is like 90% shedding and 10% breakage.  My strands of hair actually feel strong and have good elasicity when wet or dry and they pass the strand test easily. With the hair that is shed I have noticed since last year that the bulb is really small and almost non-existent. A lot of the time I need to run the strand through my fingers to actually feel for the bulb as opposed to relying on sight alone. I don’t think this is normal and it seems like the bulb/follicle is stunted/minimised. Maybe this is causing the shedding. Either way, this has been going on for way too long - almost 2 years is too long in any ones book – right?

I have taken a look back through all of the ‘shedding tags’ on my blog (having a blog has got to be THE BEST way to retrace your footsteps from previous months/years to see if there is pattern to your experiences) and I was hoping to see that my worst shedding happened around this time last year. Unfortunately the search was inconclusive as I have been shedding pretty much all of 2011! However, this post from18th April '11 stood out so I think I will keep up the application of Aloe Vera Juice to my hair and scalp.  I added it to the moisturising spritz last night and my shedding yesterday evening and this morning are minimal and in a normal level.  I don't know if this is down to the AVJ or the changes I have made since last Friday but I'll just keep doing what I am doing.  I will also do a black tea rinse over the weekend. I don’t really like doing the black tea rinse as they make my hair feel hard, however this is only directly after application. They are also a bit messy as I always end up with tea all over the place. On the bright side they are less messy than ayuvedic tea rinses so it could be worse.

During my post cowash rant to my boyfriend on Saturday, I told him how upset I am with the state of my hair, the first thing he suggested that could make it better was revising my diet. He is a bit of a health-nut and believes in having a good diet and always tells me that you get out of your body what you put into it. He is right. Coincidently, since Friday 23rd March, I have been taking the following supplements daily:

Ferrous Sulphate ~ Iron (2)
Hair, Skin & Nails (2)
l-Lysine 500mg (1)
MSM 750mg (1)
Garlic Capsules (2)
Zinc & Magnesium (1)
Evening Primrose Oil Capsules (1)
Vitamin B6 (1)
Raw carrot (1)

I also mentioned my hair woes with my mum and my sister yesterday and they both mentioned incorporating supplements into my regimen. This is something that they have both mentioned before and it is something that I have failed to do effectively in the past.  I plan to be more focused with it now and in addition to this, I have also revised my diet.

I have been putting off starting a healthy eating regimen for years!!! Being naturally pretty slim I have always been able to ‘get away with’ my really not-so-healthy eating habits which generally consist of eating exactly what I want. Typically this would be things like cream cakes, bacon sandwiches, biscuits, cakes, orange juice, fried food, rice, potatoes, pasta, chocolate and fat laden dressings.

In the evenings I cook mostly from scratch and the meals are generally pretty healthy well balanced with a balance of steamed vegetables etc but I know I can do more to improve upon what goes into my body and in turn, reduce the size of my pot belly and hopefully improve on the health of my hair and strengthen it at root level by improving the quality of the follicles.

So, from now on I will go back to my 2009 – 2010 eating habits which will be to have a big lunch (such as a healthy salad and some sort of protein) and will not have a main meal in the evening, unless I am hungry. If I do feel hungry which I haven’t often when I have done this in the past, I will have healthy low fat dinner such as steamed fish or chicken with vegetables, or prawns with salad and couscous and on those occasions I need to eat early i.e. straight after work. I will no longer eat bread and I will only eat rice or pasta very occasionally. This should help me to loose the half a stone I have put on in recent months. If the past is anything to go by I will shift the half stone in about 7 days and then maintain my weight at 9½ stone.  Goodness knows what I will do regarding breakfast, I will need to give that some thought, but for now I am eating 2 different types of fruit, Fruit Crunch Rivita and water.  I will probably incorporate more fruit, weetabix, Greek yoghurt and honey as this should be doable.

I have also upped my water intake and will try my hardest to maintain it at 1ltr (or more) per day.  I am not really a water drinker so the middle ground for me will be to drink Volvic Touch of Lemon & Lime flavoured water which I happily sip on.  I drink the version with added sugar as I hate the taste of artificial sweetner in drinks, especially when at room temperature which is how I prefer to drink my water.

I will also start to do a little gentle but regular (gentle) exercise, in the form of a jog around the block. I started last night with a 15min jog and I will aim to increase this but seeing as I don’t do a jot of exercise and haven’t really since leaving school (over 20 years ago!) I will be easing myself into it – gently, cos the aim of this is not to half kill myself!!  I will go for another jog tonight, covernig the same route and every night after work this week.

I think that all of this will help me to improve on both my overall health and this should pay dividends with my hair. At least this way it gives me a distraction from my hair falling out!!

I am probably over reacting as my hair is not coming out in clumps.  It is probably partly adjusting to just coming out of a month long protective style but I just want my hair to stay on my head and not end up in the bin!!!

Ciao 4 Now


  1. Great post! You know what, there are more of us "slow progressers" than you think! I just saw a post on LHCF of a woman who took 7 years to go from SL to BSL. It was super encouraging to me because like you...I feel like I should be SO much longer by now! But the truth of it is, if our hair is healthier or even slightly longer its a success. We could be shorter or less healthy if we weren't on our journeys you know?

    I like your inside-out approach and I bet that will help so much. Kudos to your BF for being supportive and providing a helpful suggestion!

  2. I know exactly what you mean with the shedding...my hair has been shedding with breakage in-between for the past month. I feel like I'm at my wits end as to what to do. I'm going to clarify and do a regi I found on the Science of Black Hair website that is supposed to address shedding and breakage on my next wash day. Hope it works :(

  3. @EbonyCPrincess

    "Slow progresser" I'm definitely in that team!

    It's really motivating to hear about the woman who took 7 years to get to BSL. Not that it took her so long, but the fact that she stuck with it. That is some serious dedication there (",) Well done to her!!!

    You're right about the health of our hair improving despite feeling like the progress has been minimal. The increase in health is a good thing. Like you say, if we weren't on this journey our hair would most likely be shorter and a lot less healthy. If I wasn't on this HHJ I would be near bald for sure!!! My low iron levels have really taken the oooomph outta my strands.

    On reflection my hair probably isn't as bad as I think it is. I just want it to be better because of all the hard work and attention I have paid to it. I really want the shedding to stop so I can concentrate on getting my grow on!

    Thanks for commenting ECP.....it has really made me feel so much better.


  4. @Trini3arlz

    Hiya (",)

    Thanks for posting!!!

    I really hope your clarifying wash works for you.

    I feel you on being at your wits end girl. There is nothing worse than knowing you have to M&S or wash your hair but dreading it because you know you're gonna end up covered in shed and broken strands. I feel like I wanna cry when I can see strands gathering at the ends of my hair which come away from the rest of my hair with a gentle feather light pull. I just think of the hard effort and money and then feel like a fool for being stuck where I am (which is usually in the bathroom messing with my hair or cleaning it up off the floor!).

    That said, I'm gonna do a chealating wash with some ORS Creamy Aloe shampoo tonight and then maybe dc overnight to see if that is what is causing the problem. I don't think I have done once since my corrective relaxer.

    I'm also going to check out the Science of Black Hair website to see if there are anymore tips I can pick up.

    Good Luck!

  5. As I read through your post, before I got the part about your BF's suggestion, my first thought was that maybe an internal approach is needed. My grandmother always says "healthy insides mirrors a healthy outside" and I believe it. Yay for a supportive BF and his suggestion!

    I like the planned/organized approach you're taking to solving your shedding. I don't think you're overreacting, you've put substantial time and effort into your hair. It's perfectly normal (IMHO) to want to get to the root of a problem when it's regarding something you value.

    I agree with you about black tea making your hair hard. My hair reacts the same way and clumps together, but once I follow up with Roux PC, it feels normal again. And it is messy. I tried doing it in my kitchen sink once... never again. I got tea every where. I now only do it in the shower, taking my pitcher into the shower with me and just pouring it over my head.

    Best look on your plans, rooting for you!!!

  6. Have you ever tried garlic? They have garlic shampoo and conditioner, or you can add garlic powder to your conditioner or even just garlic paste. Check it out, it's really supposed be wonderful for shedding.

  7. @Jenijen


    Awww, my BF is gonna love all this glory coming his way when I show him the comments from ECP and yourself. He's gonna be in his element.

    I feel that I am grabbing the bull by the horns so to speak and trying all that I can do to sort out this damn shedding. I have been consistent with taking the supplements and improving my diet. I have even been for 2 x jogs, although I skipped it last night in favour of one or two drinks with my really good friend who I have not seen for ages!

    Thanks for the comment Jeni, it does help. Interesting to hear that the black tea does the exact same thing to both of us. I don't think I have applied Roux Porosity straight afterwards. I will need to check the blog and see.

    Ciao 4 Now
    T (",)

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. @amija


    Yes, I have tried using products containing garlic. Last year I brought some Nutrine Garlic conditioner, which I love using for cowashes and some Alter Ego Hot Oil Treatment with garlic which I also like alot. I haven't used either since taking out my protective style. Thanks for reminding me to do so. I didn't wash my hair last night but I will do tonight and will use either Nutrine or Alter Ego to see what effect it has.

    Thanks for commenting!


  10. if there's such thing as "Slow progresser" then I pressumed I belong to the "not progressing" group.
    my continuous hair loss is really freakin' me out. No matter what kind of treatment or cure i used. Then I used hair growth helmet and it works well on me and my hair condition is now normal :)


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