I often get emails that describe miniaturized hair or regrowth even if the reader doesn’t know the correct term for it. Often I’ll hear phrases like “my hair is starting to come in or regrow as the texture of a baby’s,” or “my hair is becoming very thin and fine,” or “I no longer have any volume,” or “I’m suddenly seeing the texture of cotton candy or peach fuzz.” Some readers do know the term “miniaturization” but don’t know for sure how to know it when they see it. I’m often asked for “signs, symptoms, or characteristics of hair that has become miniaturized.” I’ll go over some of these in the following article.
Hair That Looks Different From Other Stands On Your Head: The easiest way to spot this is to either comb your hair against the grain to spot the little regrowth sprouts. Or, use dry shampoo sprayed right at the part line to help to expose the new regrowth. Chose hairs that have been regrowing for at least a couple of months (which should be at least an inch or two long.) Now, you’re going to have to pluck out a few strands of regrowth. I know that no one who is losing hair wants to pluck out or surrender anything that is coming in, but you must know if you’re regrowing hair that isn’t going to do you all that much good anyway.
Once you’ve found a couple of regrowth hairs, gently pluck them out and place them on some white toilet paper or tissue so that you can easily see them. Next comb your hair and remove any hairs that came out (but don’t pull.) These should be longer, healthier, more normal strands. Now compare the hair from the comb with the hair on the tissue. Is there a difference in diameter? Do the strands from the comb look thicker and more substantial? Next, look at root ball on the end of the shaft. Since both hairs were pulled out (and didn’t fall out naturally) both should have a dark sheath on the end. Do both have equal sized sheaths to indicate that the hairs are being properly nourished and were deeply embedded into the scalp?
The Flyaway / Feather Test: Another test that you can do is to take the healthy hair, hold it between your fingers, and sort of flick your hand so that the hair moves up and then down. A strand that is “normal” should take only a few seconds to come back down as this strand has some weight to it. However, a hair that is too thin or fine will actually react as a feather would. It will sort of drift up and then down, almost like it is hollow in the middle or is blowing in the wind.
What Causes Your Hair To Be Miniaturized And Why Is This A Problem?: The reason that this is a problem which must be fixed is because if your regrowth is thin, sickly, or too fine in texture, it will not provide enough coverage and volume. Think about it this way. If you took 100 healthy strands and stood them beside 100 sickly strands, you’d see that the courser stands provided a far more cosmetically appealing outcome and volume. Hair extensions look so good because the human hair used is often Indian hair which has a phenomenal, thick and healthy texture.
Although there are a few causes for miniaturization, the most common boils down to either genetics or androgens. In short, DHT, inflammation, or androgens are compromising the hair follicle so much that it isn’t able to either maintain or reproduce a healthy normal hair. So you have to do two things to fix this. First, you must lessen the DHT that is staying on your scalp and you must then vigorously stimulate your scalp to put out healthy hair.
In some cases, chronic telogen effluvium (CTE, chronic shedding) will cause the hair to become thinner and finer in this way also. In this case, you will need to identify the trigger and stop it so that the shedding stops. Then, as I mentioned above, you will have to be aggressive in stimulating regrowth.