How To Differentiate Between Baby Hair And Breakage


If you’ve ever looked closely at your hairline, you will find that it has a lot of stories to tell. From thinning to receding hairline, patterns can often point to hair issues that you may be overlooking. And even if you do look closely, it can be deceiving – take baby hair, for instance – the tiny, wispy strands of hair that do not blend in with the rest of your mane. These days, a popular trend is to lay down the baby hair into soft and delicate tendrils tamed on the edges in quirky spirals and swirls. This is done using a hair gel and a toothbrush, a practice that African American women have been observing for ages. But is it really new hair or – here comes the scary word- Breakage? 

We like to put our faith into prevention over cure and if your baby hair does indicate breakage, here’s how to spot it –

What Is Baby Hair?

Baby hair, also known as ‘vellus’ hair is the fine, short and wispy hair found on your hairline in the front and sides or around the nape of your neck. Styling baby hair can be really easy (and fun too). With some firming gel or foam, you can swoop them sleek or in wavy grooves, framing your face as you like. Just like the name, ‘baby’ hair requires more attention, care and love than your usual ‘terminal’ hair as they’re at the forefront of all your hair styling tools and the pulling and tugging from different hairstyles.

Baby Hair Vs Breakage – How To Tell The Difference 

So coming to the most critical question- how can you differentiate between baby hair and breakage? Firstly, the texture is essential. Breakage will feel dry, brittle, and frizzy. They will be irregular in length and also show split ends. The location will also help you discriminate; baby hair will be present along the hairline, and breakage will be all over your scalp.

You can differentiate between the two by gathering your hair in a ponytail and doing a close inspection of your head. Baby hair will stick out, lean towards the hairline and be closer to the scalp. Breakage will be longer, and lean towards your ponytail.

How To Manage Hair Breakage 

Excessive use of heat gadgets, overdoing chemical treatments, bleaching and constant tugging of your hair in tight ponytails leads to breakage. But, it’s not too late; breakage can be reduced by updating your routine with the right products and practices.

1. First things first, reduce heat styling. It weakens the bonding of your hair and damages the natural keratin present in it, leading to untimely ruptures and brittle hair strands. Replace blow-drying with air drying, let your hairline breathe.

2. Add a heat protectant serum before going ahead with the heat tools. Apply it throughout your hairline (let it dry before going in with the hot iron). Also, make sure to adjust the device to the lowest temperature.

3. Conditioning should be your mantra – leave-in conditioner masks, hair conditioning serums and oils, allow them to moisturize your hair. Hydration is your hair’s well-wisher.

4. Another way to arrest damage is to shift to silk pillow covers as they’re gentler than the cotton; satin also works. Replace your elastic hair ties with silk/satin ones as well.

5. Use a high-quality hairbrush to help minimize (if not end entirely) the hair trauma.

6. Introduce hair supplements in your diet, which will help in the newer hair growth. Biotin and collagen are the top picks.

7. Avoid tight braids or hairstyles that can strain your already weakened hair roots and cause them to break.

ELLE’s Top Picks To Manage Hair Breakage –



Photos: Instagram, Pexels

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