Are White Bulbs on the Hair Follicle Causing Breakage?


Have you ever looked in the mirror and noticed a tiny white speck on a strand of hair? Sometimes it’s closer to the root or follicle, but they can also develop throughout the hairline and around recently split ends. While it might look a lot like a speck of dust, dirt, or fabric, it can actually be a sign you are developing telogen effluvium or pattern baldness.

Because there are so many different causes of hair loss, there are also different forms. Think of telogen effluvium as a hair loss type or shedding that a disturbance in your hair cycle can trigger. The signs are typically a dramatic increase in shedding while styling or sleeping.

In today’s blog, we’ll briefly break down the hair cycle, discover what the white bulb is, and provide you with a few helpful suggestions to combat breakage and get rid of those white bulbs for good!

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Understanding the hair cycle

Did you know our hair isn’t constantly growing? In fact, it grows in four major phases; anagen, catagen, telogen, and exogen. These phases are all part of the hair growth cycle. To really grasp the role of the white bulb in hair loss, it helps to go through an overview of each phase and the growth process.

Anagen: The ‘A’ in anagen stands for active! This is the phase of the growth cycle, where we witness rapid growth and increased cell development. It can last anywhere from two to six years. Each hair strand will develop a little white bulb at the end of the follicle.

Catagen: We like to call this the transition phase. The hair is no longer growing, and instead, the follicle gradually pushes the hair. The catagen phase is much shorter than the anagen phase. It only lasts for a few days or weeks.

Telogen: The hair and scalp like to rest during the telogen phase. The growth rate exponentially decreases, and there’s only minimal intracellular activity. You wouldn’t be able to see it with your naked eye, but below the surface, a new anagen is forming that will eventually push the telogen hair and the tiny white bulb from the follicle. During TE, this is the phase where you’ll begin to notice the white bulbs near the follicle line.

Exogen: Light to moderate hair loss and shedding is actually a normal part of the hair growth process. Our body sheds all of the telogen hairs during exogen to make room for the new anagen hairs to push through the surface. You can lose approximately 50 – 100 strands each day for a little over three months. However, if you notice you’re losing a lot more strands for longer than 80 days, it may be a sign that it’s time to talk with a specialist.

According to recent research, most of our hair is spent growing during the anagen phase, around 85% to 90%. The rest of your hair is typically resting during the telogen face.

What is the white bulb?

There’s a common misconception that the tiny white bulb along the hairline is the root; however, that isn’t really the case. Each strand is composed of layers. When you can spot the white bulb, you’re actually looking at the part of the hair that’s the closest to the root throughout the growth cycle. The white bulb is basically evidence that you’ve lost a strand at the root. It’s pretty common for men and women to lose strands at the root while dealing with telogen effluvium.

How To Combat Hair Breakage?

We’ve got good news! Just because you believe you may have TE does not mean you cannot regrow your hair. Check out a few of our suggestions to help you naturally regrow healthier and stronger follicles without white bulbs.

  • Eat diets rich in Vitamins and Nutrients: Our hair requires a wide range of vitamins and essential minerals to grow and avoid breakage. Luckily, if you aren’t getting enough through your diet, you can talk to your doctor about supplements.
  • Destress: Stress is one of the major causes of TE. We know, now more than ever, finding a time to unwind may seem insane, but it’s good for your mind, body, and hairline! Even just 5 minutes of meditation can help.
  • Stimulate your Scalp: At the end of the time, use the balls of your fingers and stimulate your scalp and promote blood circulation. That way, you make sure your follicles are getting enough oxygen and nutrients to promote hair growth.


Hair loss and thinning tend to be taboo topics among adult men and women. We get it! Balding and or thinning patches tend to be associated with getting older. While beauty trends may come and go, looking forever youthful is always in style. And nothing says “young,” like a full head of healthy hair.

If you’d like more tips on easy and effective choices you can incorporate into your daily lives to prevent premature hair loss and support lifelong hair growth, then you’ve come to the right place! Keep following us for the latest research on hair loss and hair restoration.