When my father-in-law passed away this past February I experienced extreme hair shedding due to the stress and sadness. I had never been under so much stress that my hair literally was falling out in handfuls. It took me sometime to even stop stressing that my hair was falling out. Sometimes things can happen in life that weigh on you in ways that you wouldn’t ever expect. The truth is that we are all much stronger than we think even during really rough and sad times. It feels like a big blessing to be on the healing side of things now than only the mourning side.
Once I emotionally calmed down about the hair fall, I contemplated cutting my hair. I was devastated with how thin my hair was feeling and looking. It seemed almost see through at the time and I was not used to that. I have fine hair strands, yet a good amount of them, so most would not even think my hair was fine unless they looked closely.
I finally decided to give myself a major hair cut to beautify the overall appearance of my hair after the intense shedding the first week of April. The extreme shedding had subsided and I wanted a fresh healthy start. I also went against all proper curly hair care techniques of curl by curl cutting and instead gave myself a very blunt hair cut. I cut the longest layer which was at bra strap length stretched to match the majority of my strands at arm pit length stretched.
Although blunt cuts are definitely not recommended for curly hair, I knew that this type of cut would give my hair a much thicker feel and appearance. Also the size of my natural curls are equivalent to the diameter of a pencil with equal shrinkage throughout. I knew that a blunt cut would be a great solution to the appearance of hair thinning due to shedding for my hair length, curl pattern, and the amount of shrinkage of my curls. I wouldn’t advise a blunt cut for those who primarily wear their hair in wash-and-go styles or have larger curls, yet I wear my hair in braid and twist outs as much as possible so wasn’t worried for myself.
Prior to blunt cutting my hair, I changed up my hair regimen. I started deep conditioning my hair weekly with a DIY banana conditioner which I mentioned in this article. I also made sure to eat more protein and green leafy vegetables along with also finding as many ways to reduce my stress levels. Doing yoga, stretching, and getting in as many dance classes as possible helped me physically process my emotions. Journaling helped with understanding all the thoughts in my head. Prayer and meditation helped soothe my soul.
The inches of hair that I cut is quite evident especially if wearing a wash-and-go, yet I know that it will grow back in an even healthier state. I do feel that it is easier to care for my hair now that a majority of it is the same length. I plan to continue maintaining the health and thickness of my hair with 1/8″ trims. I am still growing my hair out, but I am no longer on a fast track to gain extreme hair length. I will just let it happen without the emphasis and focus on hair length only hair health. In case you are curious, in these photos my hair is stretched to the maximum, and I did a dry braid out to keep my hair stretched. I also pinned my bangs to the side.
Hair shedding is a natural occurrence. Properly caring for hair and even using henna treatments and other Ayurvedic herbs such as amla, brahmi, and fenugreek can help with decreasing hair shedding. Other herbs such as rosemary, burdock root, and nettle promote hair growth. As part of my updated hair regimen, I infuse a few hair loving herbs into apple cider vinegar and dilute in pure water to use as a hair cleanser. You can learn more about herbal infused apple cider vinegar here. Although there are times when extreme hair shedding is a result of hormonal changes in the body, medications, and even intense stress, please know that this time will pass, and we can always use it to learn better ways to care for ourselves and our hair.
Self nurturing such as minimizing as much stress as possible, eating a healthy diet, and resting is the most valuable thing that we can do for ourselves during intense life changes.
Images by Dawn Michelle