Baby Hairs or Breakage: How to Tell the Difference


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How to Tell the Difference Between Baby Hairs and Breakage

Have your clients ever come to you in a panic about hair breakage or baby hairs? Hair loss in women is frequent and can happen for various reasons. And as a hairstylist, you may have to inform and console many women about their hair breakage. For this very reason, we wanted to write this article to help you and your clients tell the difference between baby hairs and actual hair breakage.

Your clients may frequently confuse baby hairs for breakage and vice versa because, throughout life, many may experience different body changes such as weight loss, hormone imbalance or a change in medication, which can cause hair growth or loss. While baby hairs may insinuate that someone has had baby hairs since birth, that’s not always true. Baby hair patterns can start later in life after events like pregnancy, which can cause someone to wonder if their hair is breaking or if they are growing new hair.

As a stylist, you deal with so many different kinds of hair on a daily basis, which means it’s probably pretty easy for you to differentiate between hair breakage and baby hairs. However, that doesn’t mean it’s always black and white and easy to understand.

So, in this article, we will dive into the differences between hair breakage and baby hairs. This will give you a better understanding of the two and it could also help you better explain your client’s situation to them. You’ll also be more informed about recommending professional hair care products that fit each of your client’s unique needs when it comes to hair breakage and baby hair styling.

What Are the Differences Between Baby Hairs and Breakage?

While baby hairs and breakage may have some similarities, they have far more differences. Here are some of the main characteristics of each.

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Baby Hair Characteristics

As we mentioned above, most people are born with baby hairs that never seem to grow as long as the rest of someone’s hair. However, some life changes can cause baby hairs to appear later in life. Here is how to identify baby hairs.

  • Location – Baby hairs usually grow around the hairline or underneath the nape of the neck.
  • Texture – Baby hairs are usually soft to the touch and shiny.
  • Length – Baby hairs stay short and remain around the hairline. These hairs usually avoid getting heat damaged because they are so short — hence, they can remain soft and shiny.

Hair Breakage Characteristics

While it can be confusing for someone who doesn’t see a lot of different hair types, it should be pretty straightforward for stylists to determine the differences between baby hairs and hair breakage. Here are some characteristics to compare with those above to help you.

  • Location – Hair breakage usually happens midway down the hair shaft or toward the very end. If a person is losing hair around their hairline, this may be hair breakage but is probably hair loss.
  • Texture – When hair is damaged and breaking, the texture will be dry and brittle.
  • Length – Hair that is breaking is most times shorter in length, but with that being said, those with longer hair can experience hair breakage, too.
  • Split Ends – If your client’s hair has a lot of split ends, that may be a sign that hair breakage is about to happen.
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How to Remedy Hair Breakage

Telling clients that they are suffering from hair breakage can be a tough conversation. However, you can follow it up with a recommended hair care routine that can make hair softer and healthier.

  • Start with At-Home Hair Care Recommend professional shampoo and conditioners depending on your client’s needs and show them the best way to use them to improve health and texture.
  • Help Clients Develop a Routine – Once your clients have the best professional products, help them develop a wash routine. Sometimes, hair breakage and damage can be sped up by washing too frequently. So, understanding your client’s current wash routine can help you recommend a wash schedule that will improve their hair health.
  • Suggest Regular Visits – Clients with hair breakage should be coming to the salon more regularly for routine trims and deep conditioning treatments.

We hope this article helps to prepare you to have these tough conversations with clients and recommend the best possible solutions. Hair breakage and loss can be a touchy subject, but we have the utmost confidence in you!


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