By: Ava Alderman: I sometimes hear from folks who really hope that they are seeing regrowth after a bout of hair loss or shedding. The problem is that they can’t be sure what type of hair they are looking at. They often see wispy, thin, and short hairs that could possibly be either regrowth or hair that has thinned or become miniaturized. Of course, most people hope that they are seeing regrowth, but they can’t be sure.
To that end, you might hear a comment like: “I had a horrible bout of what I believe is telogen effluvium. I lost a lot of weight a couple of months ago and I think that this is what brought on the shedding. It was really bad for a while but it seems to have gotten better. When I pull back my bangs and when I look at the top of my head, I see some tiny little baby hairs that appear to be coming in. My first inclination is that these hairs are regrowth. But, they look a little sickly. They are thinner than the rest of my hair. My father is bald. My brother is thinning. So I suppose it’s not inconceivable that what I am seeing is actually miniaturized hairs. How can I tell which one I’m looking at?”
I agree that it can be difficult. And fear of the unknown can make you begin to worry that you are only seeing what you want to see. Here are a couple of things to look at to help you determine if you are looking at regrowth or miniaturization.
Is The Hair More Thick In Diameter Closer To The Scalp?: Some people are lucky enough to have really robust, and normal looking regrowth. What I mean by this is that even if they are growing in short, baby hairs, those hairs are normal in diameter and they are the normal thickness of a regular hair. But some of us are not so lucky. Many people have commented on my blog that their regrowth came in fine at first but then it thickened up as it grew. I had some areas of my scalp where I noticed this as well. In this case, you might notice that the hair is thicker the closer to the scalp that it is.
Is The End Tapered Or Blunt?: This observation isn’t always going to be applicable. But sometimes, this information is very helpful. Generally speaking, regrowth hair has a tapered end. The reason for this is that you haven’t cut this hair, so it won’t have that blunt, straight across end. Now, if you are looking at miniaturized hair that has been cut, that hair will almost always have a blunt end. But if you are looking at a tapered end, then you are either dealing with regrowth hair or you haven’t cut that hair yet. As I said, this won’t always be applicable, especially if your hair is longer and you don’t cut it regularly. But if the hair is blunt or cut straight across, the chances are good that it’s not regrowth, unless you just got a hair cut and the stylist cut those baby regrowth hairs for some reason.
Do The Feather Test: This isn’t scientific by any means. In fact, I’m not a specialist of any kind. This is just something that I developed myself. This comes from my own observations during my own bout with hair loss. Hopefully, you find it helpful and applicable. I had a couple of areas on my head that were miniaturized and were different from those thin baby hairs that were regrowth. I plucked hairs from both areas of my head and I compared them. Although the regrowth hairs were more thin than my regular hairs, the miniaturized hairs were just so much more light weight. If I took the hair and held it between my fingers and then moved my hand in an upward motion to make the hair fly up, the miniaturized hairs would float down like a feather. They did not have enough weight to make them come down naturally. They would short of hover and float whereas the regrowth hairs would come down more slowly than normal hairs, but they wouldn’t float.
I know that this is probably a weird description. But I found it to be helpful in separating the two types of hairs. I hope that you do as well. I was very upset to determine that I had miniaturized hairs. But I found a way to support healthy regrowth. You can read more on my blog at http://stop-hair-loss-in-women.com/