No, the above picture is not from National Geographic of newly found sea creatures of the deep but actually of hair shafts under microscopic view taking different forms of trichorrhexis nodosa. Trichorrhexis nodosa is basically fancy terminology for a type of hair breakage along the shaft which translates to mo problems, mo problems, mo problems! Trichorrhexis nodosa is a “defect in the hair shaft depicted by weak points or thickening (which is referred to as nodes) of the strand that cause the hair to break off easily. If a large population exist of this condition it will contribute to damaged hair, the appearance of hair loss, and temporarily stunting of growth. Say what!!! I did not stutter, yes lack of hair growth!  Here is everything you need to know about trichorrhexis nodosa.

Causes

  • Trichorrhexis may be due to genetics but also can be induced by environmental components. These circumstances are directly correlated to environmental causes such as excessive chemical use (perming, relaxing, coloring, keratin treatment, etc), excessive heat use from curling or flatirons, hot combs, blowdryers, etc or excessive manual use such as overly abusive combing on tangled hair. 
  • Other factors of trichorrhexis nodosa may be caused by disorders or diseases such as argininosuccinic aciduria, Menkes’ syndrome, Netherton’s syndrome, argininosuccinate lyase deficiency, trichothiodystrophy and hypothyroidism.
  • Trichorrhexis nodosa may also be due to malnutrition or especially iron deficiency.

 Symptoms 

  • Stunted Hair Growth: Hair may appear not to grow but under microscopic examination hair shafts can show signs of nodes or swellings near the scalp that break with ease.  Hair growth is regular but is fracturing or breaking near the scalp which gives the appearance of “stunted” hair growth.
  • Hair Shafts May Have Nodes from Within:  As previously mentioned with symptom, “stunted hair growth” nodes not only appear near the scalp but can form anywhere along your hair shaft.
  • Ends of Hair Thinned, Split and Break with Ease.

Treatment

  • Discontinue use of severe chemicals such as relaxers, texturizers, coloring, etc.
  • Avoid direct heat from tools and appliances including blowdryers.
  • Gentle brushing and combing especially when detangling.
  • Harsh Shampoos which are chemically based should be used sparingly or avoided and replaced with a conditioner. Harsh shampoos can strip the natural oils from your already damaged hair and this is exactly what your strands do not need to be exposed to when on the road to recovery.  
  • Use of herbal/organic hair conditioners and all natural oils and butters.
  • Make sure your hair is properly moisturized which means the use of water externally on hair and internal intake.
  • A nutritional diet.

Trichorrhexis nodosa is much worse than it really sounds and the great news is if the cause is environmentally induced most symptoms can be eliminated over time with the previous suggested treatments.