New Hair Growth or Breakage: Know the Difference

Amoha Jha
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
Dr. Akansha is a licensed Clinical Pharmacologist. She possesses remarkable knowledge in Pharmacovigilance, prescription analysis, drug information, and drug safety services. Additionally, she is a keen learner and an educator.

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New hair growth in men

You must have noticed pesky hair on your head, especially at the front, that looks like flyaways.

If you want a sleek hairdo, managing it must be irritating, and you may want to eliminate it.

But do you know what it is?

It can be both a good sign and a bad sign as well. 

It can be a good sign if it is new hair that is growing out of your scalp. 

But, unfortunately, it is a bad sign if it is hair breakage.

It can be challenging to know the difference between the two. 

The reason is that they appear similar. Both are short in size and given the name of flyaways in general.

In this article, we will tell you what is new hair growth, hair breakage, and, most importantly, the difference between the two. Read on to learn more.

Good to know:
The new hair growth occurs in the Anagen phase of the hair cycle, lasting up to 2 to 7 years.

New hair growth

New hair is wispy, and fine hair growths that may be framing your face.

When the cells in the hair root are rapidly dividing, it forms new hair growth. 

This process happens in the Anagen phase of the hair cycle.

Also, when old hair falls out, new hair grows back in its place. 

This regrowth of a new hair cycle continues all your life.

At any point, 90% of your hair on the scalp is in the growth phase.

Hair breakage

Hair Loss After Stopping Birth Control
Worried after seeing hair loss in the mirror

Hair breakage, as the name suggests, happens when your hair is broken in between.

An inner cuticle with overlapping scales that holds your hair strands together is essential for healthy hair.

Your hair may become damaged if these scales separate and dry over time. 

This damage happens due to several causes. 

Among them, two prime causes are heat styling and using chemical products on your hair.

You are more likely to have hair breakage if you repeatedly use color or heat-styling products like a dryer, curler, or straightener daily.

Also, tightly pulled hairstyles may contribute to hair breakage.

How to know the difference

Knowing the difference between hair breakage and new growth might be difficult. 

However, there are some signs that you may notice which will help you differentiate between them. It includes:

Dark spots on the scalp

You may notice dark spots, also known as shadows, on your scalp and hairline. 

These dark spots are signs of new hair growth.

However, you may not notice these dark spots if you have hair breakage. 

These dark spots on the scalp are hard to recognize. 

You will need good lighting and naked eyes to notice these spots.

Length of the hair

Hair breakageSource: Alexander’s_Images
Woman showing her hair length

The length of the hair strands can help differentiate between new hair growth and breakage. 

If the length of all the baby hair is similar to each other, then it may be a sign of new hair growth.

While hair, if you have breakage, may not have equal hair lengths as they can break from anywhere.

Hair ends

If you have new hair growth, the end of the hair may have a tapered shape. 

Hair that isn’t new has a blunt and straight tip. This type of hair tip signifies that the hair shaft was broken. 

This may be a sign of hair breakage.

Availability

In the case of new hair growth, you may notice small hair strands that haven’t been before. 

You may usually see it on your forehead. It can potentially be new hair growth.

Hair breakage happens from your already existing hair. 

You will notice any new baby hairs, but only old hair breaking.

Texture of hair

The texture of your baby hair differs in new hair growth and breakage.

IGK Hair Care’s hairstylist and co-founder Leo Izquierdo said, “Hair breakage may have split ends. The tip of the hair can be very thin, or the ends may be frayed and not smooth.”

Warning
You must prevent split ends as they may slow hair growth.

Location

New hair growth may usually be found along the hairline and in the bottom section of the hair. 

Whereas hair breakage can be found anywhere on the hair. 

Especially areas with excessively processed blonde color, frequent use of hot equipment, or hair worn in a ponytail or bun are likelier to experience breakage.

While new hair growth may be fine and uniform, all the way from root to tip.

Recommended Article:
Read Hair Breakage and Loss: 4 Hairstyles to Minimize to learn more about hair breakage and its prevention techniques.

Takeaway

Differentiating between new hair growth and hair breakage might be difficult. 

They look like pesky flyaways that are difficult to manage. 

New hair growth can be found along the hairline and in the bottom section of the hair. 

In contrast, hair breakage can occur anywhere on your hair.

New baby hair is fine and smooth, while hair breakage has a dry, frizzy, and rough texture. 

Other factors, such as hair ends, length, availability, etc., can help determine the difference between new hair growth and breakage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are short hair new growth or breakage?

The short hair you notice on your head can be either new growth or breakage. One prime factor that may help you distinguish between them is the hair’s end. If it is hair breakage, then it will have split ends. If it’s new hair growth, it will have a smooth texture.

How can you tell new hair growth?

You can notice new hair growth by observing dark spots on your scalp. You may look for new hair that may not have been present before. It can be found in the scalp areas with visible thinning.

How do I know if my hair is starting to grow?

You may notice many signs when your hair starts to grow, including a fine peach fuzz-like appearance on your scalp. It is translucent and thinner than the rest of the hair. This can be the prime sign of new hair growth.

Are new hair thinner?

Yes, if you see new hair on your scalp, there is a high probability that your hair will be thinner than other hair on the scalp. The hair follicles generate new hair that is thinner and has fragile shafts. It may thicken over time.

Does baby hair mean your hair is growing?

The baby hair may or may not indicate that your hair is growing. Baby hair is smaller-length hair all around your mane. If the baby hair is fine and smooth, especially without any split end, it may mean your hair is growing.

Citations:
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