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View Full Version : Is it possible to lose a lot of hair and not know it?



intothemist1999
March 14th, 2009, 11:07 PM
I keep getting this sneaking feeling...that my hair isn't as thick is it used to be.

Recently it feels "thin and light". I thought maybe it was from build-up from the conditioner I was using making it feel lank...or the switch to hemp oil on damp hair.

I'm used to having a thick, heavy head of hair that makes me hot all the time. When I look at it from behind in the mirror, I notice I can see through the ends a fair bit...."ends" being from around 6" and down to the ends. Maybe I always could but never thought of it much because the hair seemed normal otherwise. Even putting it in the turbie, it just feels like theres' not as much bulk. :confused: Granted, I did just cut off an inch, but surely it can't make that much difference (and I think I might have felt it was thinner pre-trim).

I don't count shed hairs or anything so I can't give solid info on that point....I always shed alot in the shower, and that's stayed the same.

I measured my circumference, but I started with a not very precise measurement, so I can't be scientific about that, either. *sigh*

I'm probably trying to rationalize in saying that a good deal of the hair (and ESPECIALLY the new growth) is in SO much better condition, with less frizz and dried ends, that maybe it *feels* lighter and less bulky? :shrug: Doesn't explain the thinner ends, if they are in fact thinner.

Any thoughts? It's kind of freaking me out :-(

Silverlox
March 14th, 2009, 11:17 PM
Yes, I think it's possible. Especially if you're not the one to count shed hairs. I don't count either and it's not always easy to try and guesstimate if your shed rate is more, less or equal to the rate of your regrowth.

For me, the most "certain" way to establish whether I've lost circumference or not is actually to do a braid. I don't even need to look at it. My hands "remember" the normal thickness of my hair and will quickly notice if anything has changed in that department.

Have you tried braiding it to check on the braid thickness? This will obviously only work if you braid it kind of regularly, so your hands have a memory of the original thickness. You could also look at the braid and see if it looks skinnier than usual. If you don't usually make braids, try to make a ponytail and look at it in the mirror. Does the circumference look smaller than usual? Or a cinnamon bun will probably work too, if you look at the thickness of the coils or how many coils you can make.

Cutting off one inch shouldn't affect your perception of thickness.

intothemist1999
March 14th, 2009, 11:22 PM
Good idea, thanks, Silverlox! I don't often braid, but come to think of it, when I did one not long ago, I *did* seem to think the ends had more 'taper' (if I'm using the right word...for some time I thought it meant one thing, but it meant another).

I'll try that tomorrow. I have a pic of a braid from a few months ago, so that will be a good reference point!

julya
March 14th, 2009, 11:25 PM
It helps to compare photos of braids or buns over time to see trends too.

Silverlox
March 14th, 2009, 11:34 PM
Glad to help! :D

The problem with shedding is that when your hair is long, your shed hairs always seem like a handful, even if it's just a dozen hairs or so. And if you've just shed a little more than normally for a period, your hair would get thinner, without the sheds looking alarmingly massive.

Another thing is that you might not have an increased shedding, sometimes the problem lies in a slower regrowth instead. Basically anything that offsets the shed/regrowth balance in a negative way would make your hair thinner. It could also be due to more breakage, perhaps due to coats and sweaters in the winter.

ETA: Yes, taper is the right word, if you mean the way the hair volume decreases from the nape down to the hemline. :D

intothemist1999
March 14th, 2009, 11:43 PM
Another thing is that you might not have an increased shedding, sometimes the problem lies in a slower regrowth instead. Basically anything that offsets the shed/regrowth balance in a negative way would make your hair thinner. It could also be due to more breakage, perhaps due to coats and sweaters in the winter.

I've been wondering about that, too...I haven't had any length growth since last fall. I just started wearing buns as of the first of the year, but tend to wear it down around the house after washing it, and to bed. I'm thinking I should do something about both those.

Silverlox
March 14th, 2009, 11:50 PM
My impression is that it is not uncommon for hair growth to stall for a while, to resume growing later. I've seen threads about that, even if I don't think I've experienced it myself. Not sure, though, as I don't measure my hair regularly. :shrug:

We also tend to wear a lot of thicker clothes in the winter, as least those of us living in winter countries. I'm sure Canada qualifies very well! The thicker clothes are often made of "rougher" material, like knitted wool, than the thinner, softer cottons with a smoother surface that we often wear in the summer.

There are so many variables, that sometimes it's hard to pinpoint just one as the reason for thinner hair.

ktani
March 15th, 2009, 12:14 AM
Perhaps, if it is very gradual. But you should only be concerned IMO, if your hair looks thinner at the scalp.

When I used to use conditioner and my hair was coated, it looked even thinner than it is. I have a mix of fine and medium hair (in diameter) and thin hair. It looks a lot thicker now, without a coating of conditioner on it.

As to a taper, for me, there are 2 kinds. The breakage taper I no longer get and a growth taper from going too long between trims.

intothemist1999
March 18th, 2009, 03:01 AM
Good point, ktani - I clarified a couple of days ago, and what a difference! Also, I think I made a mistake in stopping my trims. I thought it would help me get some length faster, but it might have backfired.

I've also stopped using buns that need an elastic (for me) to anchor them. That, or use a different tool - I'm finding forks are working better. With a single stick it's almost impossible for me to feel a bun is secure for an entire work day. I don't think pulling an elastic out every day was very good, either.

As you folks wisely suggested I took a photo of a braid. Here's a couple of comparison photos...the first one was taken at the end of last October and the second one was a couple of nights ago:


You didn't notice the big ole note stuck on the mirror, right? :o
http://i294.photobucket.com/albums/mm104/linsoolam/Hair%20stuff/length/ponybraid1.jpg



http://i294.photobucket.com/albums/mm104/linsoolam/Hair%20stuff/length/DSC00571.jpg

Other than there's not much new length, there's a bit more taper toward the tassle of the second one, which I'm not surprised by. Is it my eyes, or is there not much difference in the overall thickness (or is it wishful thinking?)?

Let me know what you think.


ETA: I should have been in bed ages ago, but I can stay up late tonight, so I am! my eyes are glazing over and I've read and re-read the post...sorry if I've missed typos or entire missing pieces of sentences! :)

Honey39
March 18th, 2009, 03:22 AM
*MAYBE* a wee bit more taper, but I can't really see a difference between the two. I think your hair looks lovely.

When I get worried about thinning hair, it's not the shedding I think about, it's the lack of new growth. Do you have a lot of short little baby hairs when you look at your hair that indicate the growing cycle is going on?

lilalong
March 18th, 2009, 03:31 AM
it maybe an illusion, but to me, your hair looks a little thicker towards the top of the braid in the second picture. Could you have a lot of re-growth? That would also make your ends see, thinner in comparison.

bouton99
March 18th, 2009, 04:45 AM
Don't worry. I don't see any real difference in your pictures. :)

Maybe lilalong could be right and that would explain that the rest feels taper. But it's hard to tell since you used an elastic in the older picture.

My first thought was that your hair might not be as dry as it used to be. When I started to look after my hair it was really dry and frizzy and looked very thick (as in iii). After some oiling and using no more poo I suddenly realised that it looked a lot thinner (as in ii). It didn't show at the base when I used elastics so I haven't lost anything for real. But it looks like it and everyone could see. The bonus is that the frizz is mostly gone, too. :D

intothemist1999
March 18th, 2009, 11:21 AM
*MAYBE* a wee bit more taper, but I can't really see a difference between the two. I think your hair looks lovely.

When I get worried about thinning hair, it's not the shedding I think about, it's the lack of new growth. Do you have a lot of short little baby hairs when you look at your hair that indicate the growing cycle is going on?


I can't say I've *noticed* baby hairs. I'll try to keep an eye on it.

I'm beginnging to think it might have been more from damage, because you're right, I've been concerned over the lack of length growth -- measuring down the back of my head. However, my new bangs grow like crazy - I'm trimming them every couple of weeks.

And thanks for the compliment! :)

intothemist1999
March 18th, 2009, 11:23 AM
it maybe an illusion, but to me, your hair looks a little thicker towards the top of the braid in the second picture. Could you have a lot of re-growth? That would also make your ends see, thinner in comparison.



It's possible! I guess thelesson I'm learning is that I've paid NO attention to my hair at all, then I don't know when it's doing something strange! LOL

Silverlox
March 18th, 2009, 11:28 AM
Wow! Just wow! :thud:

That's some braid you have. :D Had to pick the green smile, as I'm green with envy just looking at it.

Honestly, I can't see any noticeable difference between the two pictures, perhaps because the second picture is a little more tightly cropped, so the tassel is missing. Perhaps there is slightly more taper now, but not until the very end, where the elastic is. It's a bit hard to tell, as I can't see the tassel.

Of course, just because I can't see it in the picture, doesn't mean that you can't feel it! :shrug:

intothemist1999
March 18th, 2009, 11:28 AM
Don't worry. I don't see any real difference in your pictures. :)

Maybe lilalong could be right and that would explain that the rest feels taper. But it's hard to tell since you used an elastic in the older picture.

My first thought was that your hair might not be as dry as it used to be. When I started to look after my hair it was really dry and frizzy and looked very thick (as in iii). After some oiling and using no more poo I suddenly realised that it looked a lot thinner (as in ii). It didn't show at the base when I used elastics so I haven't lost anything for real. But it looks like it and everyone could see. The bonus is that the frizz is mostly gone, too. :D


I used an elastic in the second one, too...it harder to see, being the same colour as my hair.

I think you're right, that the frizz has something to do with it. While looking for picture #1 I came across a pic from last summer and WOW was my length looking dry and frizzy!

I never thought of using the base/elastic to judge! That's a good idea, too.

Thanks, you guys, you've helped a great deal!!! :grouphug:

ktani
March 18th, 2009, 11:34 AM
Good point, ktani - I clarified a couple of days ago, and what a difference! Also, I think I made a mistake in stopping my trims. I thought it would help me get some length faster, but it might have backfired.

I've also stopped using buns that need an elastic (for me) to anchor them. That, or use a different tool - I'm finding forks are working better. With a single stick it's almost impossible for me to feel a bun is secure for an entire work day. I don't think pulling an elastic out every day was very good, either.

As you folks wisely suggested I took a photo of a braid. Here's a couple of comparison photos...the first one was taken at the end of last October and the second one was a couple of nights ago:


You didn't notice the big ole note stuck on the mirror, right? :o
http://i294.photobucket.com/albums/mm104/linsoolam/Hair%20stuff/length/ponybraid1.jpg



http://i294.photobucket.com/albums/mm104/linsoolam/Hair%20stuff/length/DSC00571.jpg

Other than there's not much new length, there's a bit more taper toward the tassle of the second one, which I'm not surprised by. Is it my eyes, or is there not much difference in the overall thickness (or is it wishful thinking?)?

Let me know what you think.


ETA: I should have been in bed ages ago, but I can stay up late tonight, so I am! my eyes are glazing over and I've read and re-read the post...sorry if I've missed typos or entire missing pieces of sentences! :)

The thickness of the braid looks the same to me too.

The taper (which I cannot see in the 2nd pic) could be from breakage and/or growth if you have not been trimming but neither is the result of thinning or shed hair, from the look of your braid.

You have gorgeous, thick, long hair.

rags
March 18th, 2009, 01:34 PM
The thickness looks close to the same to me too. But I did notice you said you had new bangs. That can take away from your thickness too, you know! (that much hair not going into the braid)

intothemist1999
March 18th, 2009, 04:23 PM
The thickness looks close to the same to me too. But I did notice you said you had new bangs. That can take away from your thickness too, you know! (that much hair not going into the braid)


That, too! Boy my detective skills were really slipping when I first posted. What would I do without you folks?! :o