I receive many emails regarding hair issues and recently one of my regular readers asked: “My hair is falling out, should I cut it short?” I’ll answer this question in this blog post.
The thing is, hair loss is something that creeps up on you slowly but surely. One day, it’s just a little hair fall – perhaps more hair than usual on your bathroom floor after wash day. But a few weeks later, you might notice a section of your scalp peeking through your strand because of how thin your mane has become.
Don’t panic – there are tons of possible reasons why your hair might be falling out. It doesn’t always mean something is seriously wrong. Most of the time, it’s because of hair damage from styling or chemical processes, and you can always reverse that (but more on that later).
Nevertheless, it can be difficult to be around people when your hair is falling out.
Some people get so self-conscious about how they look that they consider just chopping their hair off in an attempt to stop the hair fall or flaunt a new look.
But does it even work?
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Common Causes Of Hair Fall And Shedding
Hair loss can happen to anyone.
Both men and women, young and old, healthy and unhealthy people can experience this at some point in their lives.
However, the reason behind hair fall varies from person to person.
If you’re experiencing hair fall at a more mature age, it’s likely a part of growing older.
For some people, hair loss that comes with age is simply in their genes.
This is more widely known as male- or female-pattern baldness and is a common symptom of aging.
Stress And Trauma
You could also notice more hair fall than usual when you’re going through a stressful and traumatic event in your life.
It might happen when you’re grieving the loss of a loved one, or dealing with big changes in your life, like getting married or having a baby.
The more stressed and exhausted you are (mentally and physically), the weaker your body gets.
This affects every part of your system, including your hair and scalp.
So, high levels of stress is another common culprit of sudden hair loss.
The good news is once they go down, the shedding stops.
Another reason why your hair might be falling out is because of an unhealthy scalp.
If you have scalp infections or have a bad case of psoriasis in the scalp area, hair loss might be a negative effect.
But one of the most likely reasons for hair shedding is having hair that is so weak and unhealthy because of constant manipulation.
Putting your hair up in super tight styles can ultimately lead to hair loss.
See, when you put your hair in high ponytails, uber-tight buns, or braids so tight that it’s uncomfortable to move your temples, you put a lot of tension on your scalp and hair.
This exposure to intense, frequent tension is the most common cause of alopecia, a disease where your hair starts to fall out.
Heat Styling Appliances
If you have an obsession with styling your hair with a curling wand or flat iron every day, some hair damage may occur.
The thing is, when you heat-style your hair, it’s a double whammy.
You pull and tug at your strands with a heat styler, sure.
But you also expose your hair to such high temperatures that damage it and make it fragile.
Getting too many chemical processes done on your hair can cause damage to your tresses and eventually lead to some hair loss.
Processes like bleaching, relaxing, perming, and coloring break down the proteins that keep your hair strong.
The chemicals used for these procedures damage the hair so much, leaving it dry, rough, and basically fried.
The hair gets so weak that shedding and breakage are inevitable.
Will Cutting Your Hair Shorter Help?
Whatever the cause of your hair fall, the emotional turmoil is still pretty intense when you see your beloved hair falling out.
It’s understandable that many women – especially those who consider their hair to be part of their identity – feel self-conscious and less confident when going through hair loss.
People who go through this kind of emotional stress might have even thought about cutting their hair shorter as a solution.
But will it even help?
The simple answer is that it depends on the main reason you’re experiencing hair fall in the first place.
Obviously, if your hair loss is genetic or is a symptom of an underlying medical condition, cutting your hair is probably not going to do much.
Your hair will still keep falling out.
If these are the reasons your hair is shedding, it’s best to talk to a medical professional to see your treatment options.
But if the cause of your shedding is damage, dryness, or too much tension due to constant manipulation and styling, a haircut may help tremendously.
Benefits Of Cutting Short Your Hair
Here are a few ways why it may be helpful to cut short hair that is falling out due to damage and constant manipulation:
Gets Rid Of Split Ends And Damaged Areas
Split ends are a side effect of having super damaged, dehydrated hair.
If you heat style or bleach your hair a lot, you could have very unhealthy ends.
This contributes to why your hair is falling out.
Weak, unhealthy hair will always be more prone to breakage and shedding.
Recommended Post: Bleaching Hair Side Effects: What You Need To Know
But why the ends, you ask? That’s simple.
The ends are the most porous section of your hair because they’re so far away from your scalp – the main source of sebum and moisture.
Because of that, it’s the most vulnerable when you use chemicals or heat on your locks.
The worst part about split ends is that they travel upward.
They could be a small split right now, but if you don’t chop your ends off, it ends up traveling up until it reaches your roots.
That’s when the hair fall starts.
So, it’s best to suck it up and snip off the lower portion of your hair to maintain overall hair health and prevent even more hair fall.
Prevents Constant Manipulation And Heat Styling
Having long hair makes it even more tempting to play around with hot tools.
But tugging at your hair with a flat iron or curling wand is the last thing you want to do when you’re already experiencing hair fall.
If you cut your hair short, you won’t be as tempted to curl or straighten your locks.
The same goes for tight hairstyles.
You technically can’t put shoulder-length hair in a super high ponytail – the type that is so tight your edges look like they’re about to snap.
It’s a good precautionary measure if you don’t want to flirt with the possibility of getting traction alopecia.
Related Post: How To Grow My Edges Back From Traction Alopecia
Shorter hair also means less brushing.
You won’t have to deal with the frustration of detangling long hair, so you won’t be vigorously pulling on your strands with a brush.
That means way less hair shedding than what you’re experiencing now.
Make You Less Anxious About The Hair Fall
When your hair is long, it looks like so much of it is shedding.
If you look at your hairbrush after detangling your locks, it might seem like there are so many strands on it.
And that can give any hair lover anxiety.
In reality, it’s just the length of your hair that gives the illusion of too much hair falling out.
But if you cut your hair shorter, you’ll see way less hair fall.
Sure, it doesn’t directly affect or reverse whatever is causing your hair loss in the first place.
But it helps a huge amount when it comes to your mental well-being.
And remember, stress and trauma plays a role in hair fall too.
Cutting long, poofy hair into a shorter length can make your hair less frizzy.
If you have hair that’s prone to being frizzy and unruly, a shorter cut might make your mane more manageable.
Thicker And Fuller Hair
Getting your dehydrated, thinned-out ends cut off can make your mane look thicker and fuller.
As the hair starts to split at the bottom, that section will start to look thinner.
Once you chop it off, your hair will bounce back to having more body.
Detangling won’t be a headache anymore.
Long hair is known for being fussy and high maintenance because of how much you need to brush it.
With a shorter cut, your locks won’t be prone to stubborn fairy knots and tangles.
Related Post: Best Leave-In Detangler For Curly Hair
There are plenty of reasons why you could be going through hair fall right now. There’s a chance it’s hereditary or age-related (aka out of your control, so don’t sweat it).
But it can also be because of how much you manipulate your hair.
If you’re heat-styling, wearing tight ponytails, or going to the salon to get chemical processes done too frequently, you might want to stop for a bit until your hair stops acting out.
If you suspect that your hair loss is somewhat related to how much you’re manipulating your locks, a haircut might be a good idea.
It cuts off split, damaged ends, which can be the culprit of your hair fall.
It also keeps you from doing things like putting your hair in tight styles and brushing your hair too much.
But the best part of getting a haircut is sporting a new, trendy hairstyle.
If you’re sick of hair fall and the anxiety it brings, it might do you good to move forward with a brand-new look.
When you’re ready, set that salon appointment and get ready to get that hair snipped off!