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Curly Nikki

Breakage vs. New Hair- An Update!

By January 27th, 202119 Comments
Breakage vs. New Hair- An Update!
by Shelli of Hairscapades

This is just a quick post to provide an update and tip. Back in July 2011, I did this post on Breakage vs. New Hair. In it, I explained that I had experienced breakage in my crown in Jan-Feb 2010 and excessive shedding that began mid-2010 and continued through early 2011 (with a resurgence this past fall). So, I had a lot of short hairs and did some research to try to determine if it was due to breakage or regrowth. I suspected that it was new hairs though. Anywho, I shared the pic above to illustrate that post.

Well, yesterday, I was examining the same area of my crown and noticed that the hair was significantly shorter than the adjacent areas. At first, I became upset because I thought that it was breakage. Then, the memory of my old post hit me! So, I took a photo to compare what seemed to be the same area.

Breakage vs. New Hair- An Update!

Well color ME happy!! It looks like I was a little further back then the first pic, but the hair slightly forward was even longer! I’m pretty sure now that this was that same new hair that has grown rather than new breakage. Therefore, although I posted earlier today that my “W” shaped perimeter was indicative of a shorter crown, I’m comforted that this area is actually growing. I will continue to keep an eye on it and plan on testing Chicoro’s Lead Hair Theory by keeping my lead hair at waist length and seeing if the bulk of my hair, including the shorter areas in the crown, will “catch up” with it.

The Tip:

Photo documenting is invaluable! If you are concerned about a specific area or working towards a goal, pictures are a great tool that will serve you far better than memory. My immediate gut reaction to the shorter area in my crown was, “Dang!! It’s breaking badly!!” But, having an older photo that I could reference saved me from the anxiety of contemplating a potentially drastic and unnecessary cut!

So, if you have hair goals, are working on building a regimen and/or are trying to determine what products and techniques work best for you, I’d definitely recommend taking pictures. And, don’t forget to date them! Fortunately for me, the blog is a FABULOUS log and photo journal:)! However, prior to that, I just used a Facebook album. So, do whatever works for you!


Do you use photographs to document your hair journey, monitor the results of your regimen and/or product choices and/or evaluate progress towards goals? Any advice for those who’d like to start a photo journal?


  • hairscapades says:

    Mrs. K, curl loosening doesn't happen for everyone. However, if it were, I believe it usually takes a few applications (3 or more). Hope that helps!


  • Ms K says:

    Ms K.

    I've only hennaed once since reading the blogs. But I have not experienced the stretching of the curls. My curls seem to still be tight as once it dries to bunches up. My goal is to have longer wavier hair not spirally tight. Is this possible with more Henna treatments.

  • hairscapades says:

    Hmmm, that is odd if it's not loosening your curls as henna is actually supposed to make the circumference of your strands thicker with repeated applications. It is supposed to do that because the dye molecule is actually a physical thing deposited on the hair actually creating a "coating." So, if it looks thinner where the henna was applied and you notice a real difference after one application, it seems odd. Have you examined shed hairs to see if it is curlier at the roots?

  • utopia says:

    Ohhhhh, I see. I wonder why my hair seems so different from just one application. I applied the henna all over, but now since i haven't re-applied the henna, I'm noticing that my roots are thicker. I guess i'm trying to understand what the henna actually did. Hmmmm

  • hairscapades says:

    Hi Utopia, I apply henna once a month, but roots only, so that the new growth gets about 3 applications, then no more. The reason I started doing that is because henna seriously loosened my curls, which led to the hair looking straighter. I say that it's almost like I'm growing out heat damage in that the length of my hair when I was going hard on the henna looks a lot straighter and, therefore, thinner, whereas my "roots" or "new growth" has retained more curl. Therefore, it looks thicker. Is that what you were guessing?


  • utopia says:

    I wanted to add something that I have noticed about my own hair. My hair is fine in thickness. I used henna once and didn't continue to use it due to time and just well….life LOL. That was 4 or 5 months ago. Now i notice that my "roots" that have grown out are thick, while the pre exposed hair is thin. It's most noticeable at my crown. I've decided to just let my hair continue to grow. I just had to add this because your hair looks like what i'm experiencing and I know why. When was the last time you fully applied the henna to your hair?

  • hairscapades says:

    NaturallyBeautiful, I'm not doing anything too different for that specific area other than being extra, EXTRA careful when detangling (as that is the curliest, finest and most porous and breakage prone area on my head) and making sure I saturate it with conditioner on wash day, through every step (including DC) and when applying my leave-in and sealing with oil. So, my regimen is the same, I am just more careful with and apply more product to that area.

    If you go to my site and check the menus in the right hand navigation, you'll see a link to my complete regimen. Thank you!

    Sophie, yeah, it made sense to me too. I think the difficulty is ensuring that the ends are all healthy and that the hair is growing, not breaking. I think we all are conditioned to believe thin ends mean breakage and we have a desire for thick, blunt ends. I am one who DEFINITELY believes the idea that damaged ends should be cut off and that you shouldn't hold onto unhealthy hair to maintain the appearance of "long" hair as it just looks bad. I always say that it'll look so much better to get rid of the damage and hair will grow back. So, when I first read the lead hair theory, I was like, "Wow, never thought of that." But, now, I'm intrigued by the idea and figure that it easy enough to prove by keeping track of one's own hair. So, we'll see! It is definitely time for a trim for me and I'm thinking I'll probably get an inch (maybe two) trimmed off the longest length and then I'll see what it does from there. The problem? Finding someone who I trust to only trim it and understand what I'm trying to do. My experience with most hairdressers is that they'll tell you thinner ends means you have breakage and they'll try to blunt cut you for aesthetic reasons. But, since I do TnCs and updos 90% of the time, I don't need blunt ends. I might end up just trimming my own ends using twists.


  • Sophie says:

    nice! glad to see your problem area growing! My crown is also a problem spot, I think I should start taking pics too! I think that "lead hair" theory sounds right because it's sort of intuitive. You have hairs of various lengths on your head (different stages) so when you're first growing it out and it is getting thicker because there's less early breakage, you have to wait for the new thickness to grow out. In the mean time, you will be trimming any splits off the "leads" because you're maintaining them at a certain length while they keep growing.

  • NaturallyBeautiful says:

    What was your routine to have your crown grow back. I have the same issue and I find it so frustrating.

  • CurlyInTheA says:

    I think that pics are INVALUABLE in documenting our hair journeys. Not only length but thickness a well. When we look at the mirror, we see the same hair day after day. It can be so hard for us to believe our hair is growing, but pictures don't lie. Plus, if you don't regularly straighten your hair, it can almost be impossible to realize that yes, our curly hair is growing! I have tons of hair pics on my phone (my kids/hubby tease me about it), but it's MY way of documenting my hair journey. And good hair days, lol!

  • hairscapades says:

    Thanks ladies! Anon @ 12:20, I was thinking it was just the typical 1/2 inch a month. But, looking at it again, it does seem like a little more, but only about 1 inch a month, I'm thinking (like 5-6 inches). So, I went back to my pics folders to make certain that this was one that I took in July (I thought, "That does look like more than a typical 1/2 inch a month! Maybe I took that picture several months earlier??"). But, it was a picture that I took in July 2011, 7/9/11 it seems and the updated picture was taken January 24, 2012. So, about 6 1/2 months later.


  • Anonymous says:

    Wow, thats an amazing growth rate. It appears to be 3-4x faster than the usual half-inch per month! Lucky you!!

  • Whisper29 says:

    I had the same issue…I have short hair patches around my hair line..I had some hair loss after my pregnancy so if I had not documented and took pictures of that time and compared I wouldn't know far my hair has come.

  • Candace4life says:

    That's alot of growth and thank goodness it wasn't breakage :). Oh ladies I just saw at Publix there is a New Premier Issue Mazagine that just hit that is called "MHE" and it's for natural haired black/women. It was on point and had alot of different models and good info in it as well.

  • DiscoveringNatural says:

    I document my hair journey on my blog at I also believe it is invaluable and a great source of encouragement on days that you feel down about your hair.

  • hairscapades says:

    Quaneasha, no problem;)!! M, thanks! Dani, yup!


  • Dani @ says:

    So that growth is in just 6 months?

  • M says:

    Congrats! I do document my hair journey on FB and on my blog. I also keep a hair journal album in iphoto. It really, really helps!

  • Quaneasha says:

    I used to document my hair journey on fotki. I've been slacking lately though. It's a great way to reference old styles, products, etc. Thanks for the reminder. I need to get back on top of that!

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