Why Does My Hair Look Shorter? Shrinkage and Hair Types

Medically reviewed by Dr. Bilal Khan M.B.B.S.
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated

Many people often wonder, "why does my hair look shorter?" There are several reasons for this, ranging from hair health and natural shedding to curl patterns and hair density. Let's take a closer look at these factors and understand why your hair might look shorter than it actually is.

Why Does My Hair Look Shorter?

Your hair may look shorter due to natural hair shedding, breakage, and curl patterns. Regular shedding is a natural part of the hair cycle where you lose 50 to 100 hairs per day. Hair breakage can occur when the strand shreds itself, often due to damage. Finally, the presence and tightness of curls can significantly influence the perceived length of your hair.

Key Factors That Influence Hair Length

Hair Health

Unhealthy hair tends to break more easily, which could make your hair appear shorter. Split ends, for instance, can break off and make your hair look shorter. Regular haircuts can actually help maintain the length of your hair by getting rid of split ends.

Natural Shedding and Breakage

Shedding and breakage are common causes of perceived hair shortening. If you find small pieces of hair on the ground or notice excessive hair shedding on your pillow, comb, or shower drain, it might be contributing to your hair appearing shorter.

Curl Pattern

The style and tightness of curls can also play a significant role in your hair's perceived length. Tight curls can make your hair look shorter than loose curls. Curly hair, particularly when dry, tends to spread outward to gain more moisture from the air, which can make it appear shorter.

Dealing with Hair That Looks Shorter

Identifying the reason behind your hair looking shorter is the first step to managing it. If breakage is the issue, consider using hair care products that strengthen your hair. If you have curly hair and want it to appear longer, try hair elongating products or styles that stretch out your curls.


So, if you've been asking, "why does my hair look shorter?", the answer lies in the health of your hair, its natural shedding process, and the characteristics of your curl pattern. While it's not always within our control to change these factors, understanding them can help us make more informed choices about our hair care regimen.

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Dr. Bilal Khan M.B.B.S. graduated from the Jinnah Sindh University in Karachi. He'll take the official medical licensing program in the US (USMLE) in September 2023. Bilal has a passion for research and has extensively fact-check and medically review articles under his name to make sure you have the most accurate information.