Does long hair fall out more? I’ll tell you my theory based on experience

When their hair is shedding or falling out enough to cause alarm, most people look high and low to find the cause. When a cure or relief doesn’t come quickly, it can be common to look for something, anything, to make it easier to cope. A common suggestion to improve things is to change the length of your hair. I am often asked questions like “does having long hair make it fall out more?”; or “If I’m losing hair, will cutting my hair shorter help?” I will answer these questions in the next article.

Is the weight of long hair a factor for it to fall out or fall out more?: The theory behind cutting long hair that is falling out is that the weight of the hair makes it more likely to fall out. I used to have the same theory and cut my hair from a length down my back to a short choppy cut. For a while, I noticed some relief in the amount of hair I was seeing in the drain, on the floor, and on my clothes. However, I now firmly believe that the reason for this is that short hairs easily go down the drain, don’t wrap around the vacuum rod, and don’t stick to clothes. In short, you just don’t notice them as much.

Also, when you look at 5 long hairs in a pile and 5 short hairs in a pile, you probably think that the long hairs down represent 10 times as much hair. So seeing long, worn hair in a pile can seem terribly scary and troublesome, even if it’s the same amount you’d lose if you had short hair.

Think about this for a second. When your hair is healthy and you’re losing normal levels, does brushing your hair make it fall out more? Sure, a few more hairs come out during this process. But this heavy handling is not a cause for concern. If you had pulled your long hair back into a ponytail when it was healthy, would you have thought twice? No, because it’s not even on your radar then. It is only when we start to notice the excess loss that we start to be very aware of how many are coming out and this is due to problems that are causing the loss, not with the length of your hair.

In my case, once this theory occurred to me, I started to be more vigilant about picking hairs after combing my hair and taking inventory of my clothes. And guess what? I was shedding so much with the shorter hairstyle. However, the length made it much less noticeable.

The other variable: I think there may be another variable at play here. Sometimes people with long hair don’t need to wash it as much. Longer strands don’t get covered in natural oils as quickly, so while you may need to wash daily with a short cut, you can usually do this for several days if your cut is longer. In fact, I know some in the long hair community forums who wash their hair only once a week or wash with conditioner only.

This practice can make hair healthy for someone who doesn’t have shedding problems. But if you have hair loss, this practice can make it worse. Why? You are allowing sebum, DHT, and androgens to build up on your scalp. Your risk of hair follicle clogging followed by shedding. And you’re allowing inflammation to build up. I understand that you don’t want to shampoo your hair too much, but you can use very mild products that shouldn’t make the fall worse.

Does cutting your hair shorter help when you are losing hair?: It can for some. Mentally, it can feel good not to see long hairs everywhere. But I doubt it’s going to decrease or eliminate your shed in the long run. And you can feel very bare without the camouflage of longer hair. But, long strands can become stringy and appear very small. I often advise people to go for a blunt bob instead of a layered cut. This will give you more volume, but it’s not so short that it looks like you don’t have anything there or that you can see through your scalp.

What will really help you both in terms of coping and in terms of your appearance is determining why you are having excess shedding or hair loss and fixing it. Healthy hair deeply embedded in the scalp does not fall out unless you pull it (hard) or you are in the resting or falling phase of your life. And that applies to short or long hair. The key is to figure out why it keeps going into the resting phase prematurely.

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