A Human Shedding Hair Like a Cat
June 12, 2006 3:42 AM   Subscribe

I'm a male, and have had long hair for about three years now. Right now, it's shoulder-length. However, I seem to shed an awful lot of hair. It breaks and it gets all over, especially on my clothes. What can I do to strengthen my hair and reduce how much I shed, short of cutting it off?
posted by SansPoint to Health & Fitness (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Gelatin strengthens hair and nails, so eat a lot of Jello. Brush your hair, a hundred times, every night--but not when wet. Wet hair is much more breakable. Daily brushing will help pull out the hairs that are going to fall out anyway, preventing the appearance of shedding.

You're probably not shedding any more than anyone else (~100 hairs/day, if memory serves)--it's just more noticeable because of the length.

I used to have long hair too, and I miss it.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 4:12 AM on June 12, 2006

My constant ponytail makes my hair break more. I try to wear my hair down more so that happens less.
posted by nadawi at 4:17 AM on June 12, 2006

I think part of it is genetic - some people have thick hair, some have thin. When I had long hair, a lot of women I knew always commented how thick it was and how they could never grow theirs that long. (I'm male, it went down to between my shoulder blades). But there are plenty of women with long, thick hair, so I guess it was just those particular women who had thin hair.

I would suggest conditioning with a good conditioner (it will take trial and error to find a good one), brushing and less ponytail wearing, per the other commenters. But you'll always lose some hair.
posted by GuyZero at 4:43 AM on June 12, 2006

Try taking some Biotin. It's amazing what that stuff will do for your hair and nails.
posted by helcat at 5:12 AM on June 12, 2006

Trying some (or a new) conditioner might help.
posted by bim at 5:12 AM on June 12, 2006

Make sure to have a regualr trim to take care of split ends. Also, if you wear a ponytail, use elastics like this.
posted by Biblio at 5:34 AM on June 12, 2006

I use Garnier Long and Strong shampoo and conditioner for my long hair and it's helped with the strength. (I'm a girl.)
posted by sugarfish at 6:40 AM on June 12, 2006

Take it easy on the hair dryer. When I had long hair (down to the middle of my back), I'd spend the weekends with wet hair, letting it air dry. The hair dryer process can damage your hair, if you do a lot of it.

When you do blow dry your hair, try doing it without your brush. I got into the habit of using my hands as straighteners, and blow drying the hair while holding my head upside down. This gives your hair more volume, and helps with the breakage that wet brushing can cause.

I know about the hair-shedding thing, believe me. With my hair, it was a wonder if I went for 10 minutes without finding it someplace. When I finally cut it, it was more of a maintenance thing than a societal pressure thing: With short hair, I just step out of the shower and towel dry.

Of course, my wife looks back on my long-hair days with fondness.
posted by thanotopsis at 7:21 AM on June 12, 2006

Just so you know, when one has long hair it can seem like you're shedding alot, when it's actually an average amount. Because the hairs are so long and noticeable, you are more aware of the shedding, as opposed to short haired people.
posted by Radio7 at 7:22 AM on June 12, 2006

I agree with Radio7, long hair is more apparently shed, and that may lead to the appearance of a larger number of hairs shed per day. I have long hair, and I find that I 'shed' less when I brush frequently, upwards of twice a day. That way I lose less in the shower and on my clothes, furniture, husband, etc.
posted by msali at 8:48 AM on June 12, 2006

As another male with long hair, I can add my confirmation that what seems like a ridiculous amount of shedding is perfectly normal, just more noticeable.

Invest in a high-quality shampoo & conditioner that suits your hair type.
posted by ElfWord at 10:33 AM on June 12, 2006

I'll second Garnier's Long and Strong. I also use infusium 23 leave in conditioner on the ends. My hair goes down to my knees and is in great condition. (then again, it could totally boil down to my asian heritage.)

A few more things that keeps my hair long, strong, and shiny:
- Never, ever, EVER use a hair dryer. Wash your hair in the evening, and if you have dry hair, wash it every other day. I wash mine every 4 days.
- I swear by Aussie mega shampoo. It gets all the buildup out.
- Bodyshop makes a great big brush for long hair. It's called a "paddle brush" which limits the amout of times you have to brush your hair to get the tangles out. Avoid those itsy bitsy roller brushes and if you must use a comb, make sure it's a soft one. The old "brush your hair 100 times" thing only applies if you're using an animal bristle brush - if you're using plastic, it doesn't do much aside from adding strain to your strands. Also, if you have very long hair, the animal brush would just break your hair.
- Invest in a Mason Pearson Brush if you want to keep having long hair.
- You are what you eat. Take a multivitamin, and extra vitamin E.

And yes, there is always hair all over the place at my house too. Don't sweat over it.
posted by Sallysings at 11:11 AM on June 12, 2006

Radio7 has it.

You could try shampooing only your scalp with a natural shampoo (no mineral oil or sodium laurel sulfate) - the rest of your hair gets washed in the rinse, and doesn't need a scrub.

Why the attachment to the long hair though? Pony tails on men = bleh (IMHO) Shorter hair could modernize your look!
posted by delladlux at 11:17 AM on June 12, 2006

Another ex-long-haired man reporting in. Is your hair coming out as complete strands from the scalp or is it breaking off halfway? The former is completely normal while the latter means your hair is breaking due to its (lack of) strength and the length involved. Avoid hair dryers, excessive brushing, and use elastic ties that are meant for hair - not rubber bands - when pulling it back. Think about using conditioner, and if you dye or color your hair in any way, don't do it.

If you can pull off the long hair look, I wish you luck. In retrospect I looked pretty bad and don't miss those days a bit.
posted by mikeh at 1:09 PM on June 12, 2006

Oh, you might want to try horse mane and tail shampoo.
posted by nadawi at 8:35 PM on June 12, 2006

« Older StatFi   |   Liquid vs Powdered Pectin? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.