Curly hair gets the short end of the stick in certain areas; it’s weaker and naturally drier than wavy or straight hair types. These things lead to a higher risk of split ends and breakage, and many folks are aware of that.
But one thing isn’t so clear: whether curly hair sheds more. Whether you have curls or are simply curious about the hair type, you’re in the right place.
In this article, we’ll fill you in on how much curly hair sheds in relation to other hair types and teach you how to minimize it. Let’s get right into it!
Table of Contents
- 1 Does Curly Hair Shed More?
- 2 Shedding Is Individual
- 3 Why Your Curls Appear to Be Shedding a Lot
- 4 Is Shedding the Same as Hair Loss?
- 5 How to Minimize Curly Hair Shedding
Does Curly Hair Shed More?
Curly hair does not shed more than other hair types. In general, people shed 50-100 hairs per day, regardless of their hair type. There’s no evidence that curly hair sheds more than straight or wavy hair types.
Shedding Is Individual
The amount of hair you shed primarily depends on your unique body makeup. One person may naturally shed more hair than the next person simply because of their genetics.
But that’s not all! Your hair shedding rate also depends on your lifestyle and habits. Here are a few things that can make your hair shed more:
- You have just had surgery or a procedure.
- You were sick and developed a high fever.
- You are under very high levels of stress. Daily stress from raising kids or working a job doesn’t usually have this effect; extraordinary stress does.
- You’ve just lost a lot of weight.
- You recently had a baby. This increase in hair shedding is called postpartum shedding and doesn’t always happen right after birth. It could take a few months.
Note: This is not an exhaustive list of situations where your hair may shed more than what’s normal for you.
Why Your Curls Appear to Be Shedding a Lot
Every wash day, it may seem like your hair is shedding several times as much as it should. This is due to your curls. When straight hair sheds, it’s more likely to fall out without the person noticing.
In addition, those with straight hair often brush or comb their hair every day or every other day. Whenever they do, they only see a few hairs in their comb or brush.
On the other hand, when curls are shed, the shed hair doesn’t usually make it out of the head. It gets caught and intertwined within the surrounding curls.
On top of that, curly folks don’t usually wash their hair every day or every other day, so these shed hairs build up over time. So when you go to wash your hair and finally detangle it, you’re met with what seems like a giant clump of shed hair.
Though it seems like your curls shed a ton, the amount of shedding you’re experiencing is likely normal. It’s just that you’re seeing shedding over many days versus just a day or two.
Is Shedding the Same as Hair Loss?
Many people confuse hair shedding with hair loss for obvious reasons: they both concern losing hair strands, but they are, in fact, different.
Hair shedding is a natural part of the hair growth cycle. There are four main hair growth cycle phases:
- Anagen – The phase where new hair is formed and actively growing.
- Catagen – The phase where a hair’s growth rate decreases and the strand is detached from the bottom of the hair follicle.
- Telogen – The resting phase, where the hair no longer grows. Instead, it sits for a few months.
- Exogen – The shedding phase, where hairs at the end of the growth cycle fall out.
At any point in time, a hair could be in any of these stages. And hairs that are in the exogen phase are the ones that shed on a daily basis.
Excessive hair shedding is a condition where more than 100 hairs are shed on a daily basis. This is considered abnormal.
Hair loss, by contrast, is when a portion or all of your hair stops growing for some reason. The medical term for this is anagen effluvium, and it usually occurs as a result of something in the environment.
Here are a few causes of hair loss:
- Heredity. As many as 70% of men will experience hair loss at some point in their life. They experience male pattern baldness, where the hair along the hairline stops growing. Women experience female pattern baldness, where the hair stops growing in the crown.
- Certain supplements or medications. Medications affect everyone differently, and sometimes they can spark hair loss. Some medications deemed to have this effect include antidepressants and blood thinners. Hair loss isn’t guaranteed with these drug types, but there’s a chance.
- Extreme stress. Everyday stressors aren’t usually enough to prompt hair loss. But extreme stressors like the death of a loved one or a physical accident can shock the body and stop your hair from growing in certain areas. Hair loss stemming from stress may resolve after your stress levels are more normalized.
- Tight hairstyles. Tight hairstyles yank at your hair follicles and damage them. Over time, the follicles can become so damaged that they stop growing hair. This is called traction alopecia. Traction alopecia usually occurs along the front hairline and is the reason why many people lose their baby hair.
Note: This is not an exhaustive list of hair loss influences.
Interestingly enough, many of the conditions and influences that cause hair loss also cause excessive hair shedding.
How to Minimize Curly Hair Shedding
Though there are a ton of things that can lead to hair shedding, there are still things you can do to ensure you don’t shed too much hair. Keep in mind that it’s normal to lose up to 100 hairs a day, and there’s nothing you can do to alter the hair growth cycle and minimize that.
But if you believe that you’re losing over 100 hairs per day and want to fix that, there are several ways to minimize shedding:
- Don’t wear your hair in tight hairstyles. Tight hairstyles pull on your hair and follicles. Any time you’re putting too much pressure on your hair follicles, you could damage them permanently. Instead of pulling your hair into sleek, tight ponytails or wearing your hair in tight cornrows, opt for looser hairstyles. Wash n’ gos and twist-outs are much better choices.
- Eat a balanced diet. Hair follicles cannot do their job well if you don’t feed them the nutrients they need to function. To ensure you’re doing your part, eat a wide variety of vitamins and minerals in your diet. Some of the main vitamins you need for healthy hair growth and follicle health are vitamin C, vitamin B, copper, and riboflavin.
- Don’t neglect your scalp. Healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp, so it makes perfect sense to prioritize your scalp in your hair regimen. Give yourself regular scalp massages with your favorite oil to aid in blood and nutrient circulation. Try pre-poo scalp treatments to protect your scalp from the harshness of the average shampoo. If you have dandruff, psoriasis, or any other scalp ailment, there are OTC treatments that you can try.
Does Curly Hair Shed More in the Shower?
It’s normal for hair to shed during a shower, regardless of your hair type. However, curly hair may appear to shed more in the shower due to the unique structure of the hair strands. Curly hair is prone to tangling and knotting, making it more difficult to detangle, and may result in more shedding during the shower.
Does Curly Hair Shed More in Men?
There is no evidence to suggest that curly hair sheds more in men compared to women. Shedding is a natural process that occurs in all hair types and genders. However, men may experience more shedding due to genetics, age, and other factors. Male pattern baldness, for example, is a common condition that can lead to hair loss in men.
Is Curly Hair More Fragile?
Curly hair can be more fragile than other hair types due to its unique structure. Curly hair strands are often thinner and more prone to damage, breakage, and tangling. Additionally, curly hair is more susceptible to dryness, which can lead to brittleness and breakage. However, curly hair can be strong and healthy with proper care and maintenance.
How Much Shedding Is Normal for Curly Hair?
It’s normal for all hair types, including curly hair, to shed between 50 to 100 hairs per day. Shedding is a natural process that occurs during the hair growth cycle. As old hairs shed, new hairs grow in their place. However, if you notice excessive shedding, it may be a sign of an underlying condition.
So, there you have it! Curly hair doesn’t shed more in general, though it may seem that way. But if your hair is shedding more than what’s considered normal, you should definitely take action in the ways described above.
If you’re still dealing with excessive shedding or hair loss and can’t seem to pinpoint the right remedy, reach out to a dermatologist for a consultation and treatment plan. We hope you found all the information you were looking for, and we wish you the best of luck!
Kenneth Byrd holds a BS in Accounting and Management Information Systems and an MBA from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. With over 15 years of experience, Kenneth has been dedicated to hair care since 2008, when he co-founded Curl Centric® and Natural Hair Box alongside his wife. As a team, they promote healthy hair care practices through their comprehensive platform, Curl Centric. Curl Centric is a website operated by a husband and wife team that encourages healthy hair care. At Curl Centric, we aim to help our readers take control of their hair care journey and make good decisions about products, hairstyles, and maintenance techniques. We also have strict editorial integrity; here’s an explanation of our editorial guidelines and how we make money.