As a person who rocks braids more than wearing my hair out, I've had my experience with taking down my braids and thinking, "OH MY GOD! I'm gonna be bald, my hair is shedding like CRAZY!"
Shed Hair vs. Hair Loss vs. those braids you thought were "so cute" is a real fear. We've heard stories of that friend who lost her edges or had bald spots after rocking a braided style. Maybe her braids were too tight, maybe her scalp too sensitive, or maybe she whipped her hair back & forth a bit too much. Either way she's decided that 'braids are the devil' and the hair that is balled up on the floor is her evidence. So let's discuss the differences and what you need to do.
When I take my braids out - I get a BALL OF HAIR too - What's up? - That's SHED HAIR. Seeing a bunch of shed hair, after removing braids, weave, or a protective style is scary yet totally normal. Remember, we usually shed 50 - 100 hairs PER DAY!
The average protective style or braid installation lasts for about 6-8 weeks. Doing the math - that equals 2,100 - 4,200 hairs locked into your braids during your installation. SO when you remove the style, you'll see all this hair and you will think - I'M GOING BALD! But you aren't it's just shed hair that wasn't able to fall out because it was braided tightly into your installation.
I removed my braids/weave and now I have a BALD SPOT/No EDGES! Help! - Now, if you remove your braids or weave installation and you find you have a bald spot (or broken spot or sad edges) this is not the end of the world. But it does mean your installation was TOO TIGHT and your hair follicles gave up the ghost. It sucks, but the hair will come back. Nightly scalp messages with essential oils, leaving your hair out of tight protective styles, and light manipulation will stimulate hair growth in that area.
Don't be scared to ask the question to get the results.
So if you see any of these issues after removing your braids - don't IMMEDIATELY blame the braids, their could be a number of reasons why your hair decided to say good-bye.