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View Full Version : Massive breakage, advice needed



Ninika
February 22nd, 2016, 03:34 PM
Dear fellow LHCers, I am writing on behalf of my longhaired DH. He is suffering from severe breakage, most noticeably in the crown area. It seems to have started a couple of years ago and has gradually gotten worse up to a point where after hair washing, the tub is full of short, broken off strands, it looks really scary. His hair used to be thick and coarse, single hairs easily twice as thick as mine, but now it has become fine, extremely fragile and brittle. During washing, it just snaps off at about 5 inches or so. He hardly dares touching it anymore.

Overall, he is (and has been) treating his hair with benign neglect, washing once per week using sulfate free shampoos, conditioner. He uses ouch free elastics and a Tangle Teaser.
I just don't know what the culprit is. There has not been a change in habits, diet or anything. I am trying to help him with a new hair routine, so far I have only come up with supplementing Silica and Biotin. And for the last couple of weeks he made deep treatments with every wash, but there is still a massive amount of newly broken off hair every time.

Thoughts, ideas? Do we just have to be more patient and continue with the new routine? Anything else he can do?

Arctic
February 22nd, 2016, 03:52 PM
Has he been to doctor? Hairtype change like that can be sign of some disorder/imbalance/etc. For example thyroid disease can cause hair shaft changes. Also male pattern baldness manifests itself at first by hair shafts that become thinner and weaker until the follicle stops producing terminal hair.

Is he only having breakage and not (larger than normal) shedding?

I hate to be the person who immediately throws out the doctor question, but a hair type change like that does seem worrysome.

meteor
February 22nd, 2016, 04:12 PM
Dear fellow LHCers, I am writing on behalf of my longhaired DH. He is suffering from severe breakage, most noticeably in the crown area. It seems to have started a couple of years ago and has gradually gotten worse up to a point where after hair washing, the tub is full of short, broken off strands, it looks really scary. His hair used to be thick and coarse, single hairs easily twice as thick as mine, but now it has become fine, extremely fragile and brittle. During washing, it just snaps off at about 5 inches or so. He hardly dares touching it anymore.

Honestly, I'd run to a doctor ASAP. :flower: Either it's severe breakage (maybe from thinning of hair strands to extreme degree, maybe due to dietary deficiencies or health issues or something like that - in which case it's important to get diagnosis and get treatment soon) or it's simple male pattern baldness, in which case you also want to address this issue as soon as possible, because the earlier he starts treatments like minoxidil or finasteride or other DHT-controlling protocols, the better the outcome and the better the chances of retaining more hair.

(To check if it's breakage or if it's shedding (MPB), just run fingers on the ends of strands and feel for a bulb. If a bulb is there, it's a shed hair. Sometimes you can see a bulb under a magnifying glass, if the miniaturization is setting in, but you can still see it.)

Best of luck to your hubby! I hope his hair will regrow soon! :pray:

lapushka
February 22nd, 2016, 04:21 PM
Yes, another vote for: doctor! And it's urgent, trust me. Hair changes like that aren't product or manipulation related - at all. Get some bloodwork done pronto!

Anje
February 22nd, 2016, 08:13 PM
Is it all broken off at a point like where he gathers it for a ponytail? That's what mine was doing a year or two before I found LHC, but never in such quantities.

Otherwise, yes. Doctor.

Silverbrumby
February 22nd, 2016, 09:21 PM
Sounds like the follicles are shrinking. Also there appears to be a degrading in strength. For men my first thought is hormonal issues like male hormone dominance. That shrinks the follicles before they ghost out. Does he have family with balding issues? YEs, the doctor is definitely the place to start. If it's male balding issues there are things which help.

Ninika
February 22nd, 2016, 09:26 PM
Thank you all for your replies! He has been to the doctor recently for a checkup, his thyroid is fine and they did standard blood testing which also showed nothing to worry about, the iron levels are fine. Are there any defichiencies in particular to check for that might not be standard procedure and so would go unnoticed unless you asked for a test specifically?

The hairs are indeed broken off, they are all rather short compared to his over-shoulder length hair, about five to ten inches. The damage is too far up to have been caused by an elastic, the breakage occurs far up on the crown in sections that have never been gathered into a ponytail :(
DH says the breakage does not seem to occur during brushing, only while washing, even though he does not scrub much at all, he really is very careful. Could that be an indication of anything?

Meteor, I will look into the treatments you described, I have not heard of them before.

Llama
February 22nd, 2016, 10:43 PM
Back when I was a teenager I wore my hair in a ponytail in the same place almost every day using ouchless elastics. My hair broke off really high on my head, exactly where that elastic always was. It wasn't until I noticed an entire new layer of hair there, created purely from breakage that I realized it was the elastic doing it. I haven't had that problem again since swearing off elastics (unless used loosely at the bottom of a braid or something).
Something to consider anyways.

antler_tines
February 22nd, 2016, 11:32 PM
Could it be that he is a restless sleeper, with a coarse cotton pillow case? Maybe while sleeping his head is rubbing the pillow a lot?

Sweets
February 23rd, 2016, 12:45 AM
Well, if the test at the doctor were fine, including the testosterone, I don't know, except perhaps the mechanical damage from sleeping. Good luck, I'm sorry he is going through this!

lapushka
February 23rd, 2016, 05:28 AM
If he hasn't had his hormone levels checked in depth, I'd do that. Maybe it's male pattern baldness.

There has to be a reason it's breaking off, and if it can't be mechanical wear and tear...

Maybe try switching up the products (not that I think it will do much). What's he using now? Maybe he can't deal with sulfate-free. Did he have that with sulfates as well? Could it be that simple?

Ninika
February 23rd, 2016, 11:55 AM
Thanks for your suggestions!


Back when I was a teenager I wore my hair in a ponytail in the same place almost every day using ouchless elastics. My hair broke off really high on my head, exactly where that elastic always was. It wasn't until I noticed an entire new layer of hair there, created purely from breakage that I realized it was the elastic doing it. I haven't had that problem again since swearing off elastics (unless used loosely at the bottom of a braid or something).
Something to consider anyways.

I've never seen DH wear a high ponytail, so I asked him if he wears one while working at school, but he insists he isn't. :shrug: Though I bet it would look awesome ;).

I think mechanical damage can be ruled out, he really is careful with his hair, we don't use coarse pillow cases, so that leaves either age/hormones, nutrition or products.
Lapushka, he uses SLS free shampoos about 90% of the time, 10% he reaches for the one SLS shampoo I use for deep cleansing. The result is always the same, unfortunately.

Yes, he probably see the doctor again, addressing the hair issue specifically.

One more thing about male balding, sorry if this sounds dumb: I used to think this just relates to hair falling out due to age-related hormonal changes. Is an overall change in hair quality for the worse (i.e. coarse to fine) another common age-related hair phenomenon?

I just feel so sorry for him, it must be tough going through this.

Silverbrumby
February 23rd, 2016, 12:56 PM
Thanks for your suggestions!



I've never seen DH wear a high ponytail, so I asked him if he wears one while working at school, but he insists he isn't. :shrug: Though I bet it would look awesome ;).

I think mechanical damage can be ruled out, he really is careful with his hair, we don't use coarse pillow cases, so that leaves either age/hormones, nutrition or products.
Lapushka, he uses SLS free shampoos about 90% of the time, 10% he reaches for the one SLS shampoo I use for deep cleansing. The result is always the same, unfortunately.

Yes, he probably see the doctor again, addressing the hair issue specifically.

One more thing about male balding, sorry if this sounds dumb: I used to think this just relates to hair falling out due to age-related hormonal changes. Is an overall change in hair quality for the worse (i.e. coarse to fine) another common age-related hair phenomenon?

I just feel so sorry for him, it must be tough going through this.

Yes, the overall shrinking of hair follicles is what happens with male balding. People think the hair falls out and that does happen but also the follicles shrink. I went from fine with a lot of hair to courser with less overall hair, I also went from wavy to curly. A lot of women get slightly courser hair as they age and men can get the reverse, finer hair as it thins, weaker and more fragile.


I think you DH is doing everything right and it's age related. There is that hair restoration stuff he could try to reverse the shrinking. I tried it but lost a ton of hair and got the rare side effect of terrible eye bags. The falling out of hair at the beginning of using it is common but I couldn't take looking like I'd been on multiple all night benders.