Updated: Nov 27
Have you ever experienced a moment in the shower where you notice more strands slipping through your fingers as you wash your hair? It's easy to attribute thinning curly hair to the aftermath of sporting those protective styles for an extended period. However, it becomes challenging when thinning edges and noticeable curly hair balding appear during your styling routine. The once thick, luxurious natural curls have given way to a more fragile version of your hair. Don't be disheartened. Recognizing these signs is the first step in addressing potential issues within your hair care routine or uncovering a deeper health concern. This blog is crafted to guide you through understanding why your curly hair is thinning and, more importantly, provide effective strategies to halt the process and restore your hair to its natural glory.
Why my curly hair is thinning?
The factors that contribute to hair loss and thinning are diverse, ranging from hormonal fluctuations and stress to illness and trauma. You need to understand the natural cycles of hair growth to unravel this mystery. Hair undergoes three phases: Anagen, the active phase; Catagen, a transitioning or resting phase; and Telogen, the dormant phase. Disruptions in these phases can lead to increased shedding and subsequent hair loss.
The growth phase, known as the anagen phase, varies widely, lasting anywhere from three to seven years, depending on genetics. This variability explains why some may feel their hair has a growth limit, which is often tied to the duration of their anagen phase. When this phase ends, the natural shedding of approximately 100 hairs per day occurs. Subsequently, the follicle rests before new hair begins to grow, a process taking one to four months. It's important to note that around 10-15% of your hair is in this resting phase at any given time.
How do you know if you are losing hair?
Understanding the nuances of your unique situation is crucial, as everyone's hair shedding can differ day by day. The hair shed might get caught in your curls, especially if you space out your wash days. To assess whether you're experiencing significant hair loss, keeping track of the frequency of your hair washes and the amount of hair shed over several weeks can provide valuable insights. If this concern persists, seeking advice from a healthcare professional is the next step in unraveling the mysteries of curly hair loss.
6 Reasons For Curly Hair Thinning Out
Breakage is a prevalent cause of thinning natural hair and warrants thorough examination as the primary factor behind this concern. Learning about the root causes of breakage is crucial to understanding the reason for your curly hair thinning. Breakage is majorly caused by dry and inadequately nourished hair, signifying a lack of the necessary moisture for maintaining thickness and length. Consistent use of heat tools without proper conditioning can exacerbate the issue.
Stress plays a crucial role in the well-being of your hair, often resulting in thinning curly hair and increased hair shedding. When your body undergoes physical or emotional stress, it triggers telogen effluvium, causing hair follicles to shed more hair than usual. If stress persists for an extended period, it may push your hair follicles into the resting phase (catagen), intensifying the shedding process. Prolonged stress can even induce a dormant state in the hair growth cycle, leading to curly thinning hair and heightened shedding.
3. Alopecia Areata
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition characterized by the immune system attacking healthy hair follicles. Various factors, including genetics, nutritional deficiencies, stress, and hormone imbalances, contribute to its onset. If you notice round, smooth curly hair bald spots on your scalp, it could be a sign of alopecia areata. It's crucial to consult with an expert if you suspect this condition, as they can guide you through potential treatment options tailored to your specific situation. Early detection and intervention can make a significant difference in managing alopecia areata effectively.
4. Traction Alopecia
Traction alopecia is a gradual hair loss resulting from continuous tension applied to the hair. Traction alopecia is often caused by tight hairstyles such as braids, weaves, ponytails, and other styles that exert constant pulling on the hair. Research has proved that approximately one-third of African-American women experience traction alopecia, making it the most prevalent form of hair loss for curly hair.
Increased estrogen levels during pregnancy foster luxurious, healthy, and extended hair growth during the nine months. The elevated estrogen effectively keeps the hair in the growth phase, minimizing the usual shedding. Postpartum, as estrogen levels decline, the retained hair begins to shed. It's essential to recognize that this postpartum shedding is a natural process, and any excessive hair loss usually resolves within six months to a year after giving birth.
Overusing hair products, including co-washes, deep conditioners, and stylers, has unwanted consequences for your hair and scalp health. When these products build up on the scalp, they can clog hair follicles, hindering the potential for new hair growth. These same products can also create a film on the scalp that clogs follicles and traps the hair's natural sebum and bacteria. This buildup interferes with the scalp's natural exfoliation process, creating an environment that may lead to inflammation and potential infection. The consequences can vary, from mild symptoms like pimples and itchiness to more severe conditions affecting follicles and impeding growth. The trapped hair follicle, concealed beneath this film, may enter a dormant state, contributing to various hair-related issues like thinning curly hair.
Solutions For Curly Hair From Falling Out & Thinning
1. Deep Conditioning
You can combat breakage, a common cause of thinning hair, by providing your hair with the essential moisture or protein it needs through regular deep conditioning. Allow the deep conditioner like Touch Of Love by TLP to sit on your hair for at least 30 minutes, enhancing its effectiveness. Using a hooded dryer can intensify the treatment by applying heat, aiding better penetration.
2. Protective Styling
Minimize hair manipulation and breakage by embracing protective styling, such as crochet hairstyles. Such protective styles not only prevent tension on the scalp but also promote healthy hair growth. Keeping your hair in a protective style for 4-6 weeks can rejuvenate it after experiencing curly hair thinning.
3. Exercise and Nutrient-Rich Diet
If your curly hair thinning is caused by stress, incorporate regular exercise, yoga, meditation, and deep breathing into your routine to alleviate stress. Enhance your overall health by consuming a nutrient-rich diet, including protein, fruits, and vegetables. Foods rich in vitamin C, such as broccoli and citrus fruits, prevent deficiencies that lead to dry and weak hair. Additionally, silica-rich foods like bananas and oats and biotin sources like eggs and avocados contribute to hair thickness and scalp health.
4. Investing in Quality Products
When it comes to preventing curly hair loss and promoting growth, Investing in natural hair care products specifically designed to restore, repair, and stimulate hair growth can make a substantial difference. Look for hair products for thinning curly hair with nourishing ingredients that cater to your hair's unique needs.
5. Prioritizing Scalp Care
Making your scalp a priority is crucial for overall hair health. Establishing a scalp care routine that provides nourishment and attention is key to promoting healthy regrowth. Choose products for thinning curly hair that address scalp concerns and maintain a clean and balanced environment for optimal hair growth.
6. Seeking Expert Advice in Extreme Cases
If you suspect that your hair loss may be linked to an underlying medical issue, don't hesitate to seek professional advice. Schedule an appointment with your hair loss expert to explore potential health factors contributing to hair loss. Early intervention and proper medical guidance can significantly impact your hair's overall health.
Here are the products I highly recommend for maintaining a balanced scalp and fostering hair growth
1. Loving You
Loving You is a sulfate-free, no-lather pH-balancing shampoo designed for gentle, effective cleansing. Formulated with natural ingredients such as African Black Soap, Rhassoul Clay, and Sea Kelp, this shampoo offers a mild detox for your scalp. Enriched with Hibiscus and Marshmallow roots, it promotes hair growth and enhances the health and shine of your curly hair. Carefully selected natural components work to reduce inflammation on the scalp, while the shampoo efficiently removes buildup, excess dirt, and oil without compromising your scalp's natural pH balance.
2. Touch Of Love
Touch Of Love is a deep conditioner designed to keep your hair moisturized regardless of type or texture. Packed with natural ingredients like slippery elm for detangling and addressing skin issues, healing Aloe Vera, bacteria-fighting peppermint oil, and reconstructive sea kelp, this treatment nourishes your curls from root to tip. Touch Of Love is a nutrient-rich therapy promoting hair growth in areas most needed. It sustains and activates growth and restores and adds structure to damaged curls, ensuring a well-balanced and vibrant hair experience.
Nice Thing is a natural hair detox that effectively removes buildup and toxins from your hair and scalp while maintaining a healthy pH balance. Nutrishing the scalp with a blend of nutrients, vitamins, and hydrating agents promotes the growth of healthier hair strands. Celtic Sea Salt enhances blood flow and eliminates toxins, contributing to improved scalp health—Basil Oil, another essential ingredient, seals thinning hair strands, fostering overall hair and scalp well-being.
4. Heaven Scent
Heaven Scent is a natural hair growth-stimulating hair oil. The star ingredient, pumpkin seed oil, acts as a natural DHT blocker, reinforced by three other DHT blockers, making Heaven Scent a powerful source for promoting hair growth. Enriched with the benefits of Rosemary and Tea Tree oils, this potent formula profoundly nourishes and stimulates hair follicles, contributing to stronger, thicker, and healthier hair.
Thinning curly hair is a common concern, but you can restore and revitalize your natural curls with knowledge, the right products, and practical strategies. From addressing breakage to managing stress and embracing protective styling, this blog equips you with the tools to reclaim the thickness and health of your unique curls. At TLP, we provide a platform for combating curly thinning hair, empowering you to make informed choices and bask in the beauty of your natural curls. Remember, your curls are unique, and so is your journey – let's make it a celebration of health and beauty.
More from Paula Bland:
About The Author: Paula Bland
The founder of TLP, Paula Bland, is a medically qualified Nurse Practitioner, Hair aesthetician, and psychiatric Nurse Practitioner known for her highly effective hair consultation. Paula has a non-traditional approach to hair care and advocates a chemical-free, natural, and holistic approach. The Love of People is her brainchild, and its products reflect her approach to hair health and have helped women with naturally curly hair manage their curls in a chemical-free and organic way.