When hair is falling or breaking very easily, feels too dry or has white specks on the hair, it could indicate a hair shaft problem. The hair shaft is an excellent diagnostic indicator to a variety of conditions that may be responsible for breaking or splitting the hair and causing it to fall prematurely.

Common problems that cause hair breakage 

Fungal infections like ringworm can form hard crusts which stick or strangle the shaft and cause the hair to split. Some grow inside the hair shaft and so causes weakness and breakage.

Some people have an inherited defect that may cause twisting or beading of the hair shaft. A common problem I see in young fair haired girls is ‘Loose anagen syndrome’, whereby hair falls in the anagen stage, microscopic analysis reveals anagen bulbs without a root sheath. This problem normally improves with age.

Chemical or mechanical damage whereby the hair has been over oxidised (by bleaching or sun exposure) or over heated ( hair straighteners) or excessive traction ( buns too tight or tight braids).

Psoriasis or disorders that alter the normal shedding of the cells of the skin can cause severe itching and so lead to hair breakage. Normally diet is the effective treatment.

Examination or microscopic analysis of the hair and scalp will give diagnosis and appropriate treatment and management plan for the problem.