Taylor says the quick and easy test to knowing if you’re dealing with hair breakage is to examine the strands of hair that are falling out. “If the strands falling out are not as long as your hair’s length and are much shorter, brittle, and broken into several pieces or split, your hair is breaking,” she says. 

Fitzsimmons says other signs of hair breakage are lack of sheen, split ends, and visible texture differences. These can all easily stem from a lack of hydration in the hair, which, as previously noted, is a main factor when it comes to hair breakage. 

If you’re not sure if you’re dealing with shedding or breakage, Fitzsimmons recommends looking at the hair lost to determine the cause. “When you shed hair, you will often see a small bulb-like attachment on the bottom of your hair strand that you won’t see with hair breakage,” he says. “That little bulb usually indicates that it has come directly from the scalp, having essentially been shed off.” 

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