This is what a proper shed should look like. Occasionally a piece will get caught and rip, but is still mostly one peice.
Every snake in the world goes through a process called shedding. The scientific term for this is called Ecdysis. When a snake sheds it's similar to when people lose skin cells, though people are constantly losing skin cells all throughout their lives, snakes do the same except that it is all at once and only once or twice a month. Because of this, they do not release dander which a lot of people are allergic to in cats, dogs, birds, horses etc. So, snakes can make a wonderful pet for people who have allergies to other animals. Also, unlike mammals, a snakes skin does not grow with the animal. Their skin has a maximum size capacity, so as the snake grows their skin does not, which in time they shed out of and have a fresh new layer ready.
A snake that is over fed will grow faster than a snake that is underfed. A snakes growth rate depends on when and how often they recieve a meal. The more food a snake gets means the faster it grows, the more often it will shed. Same goes for a snake that is underfed, the less food a snake gets means the slower is grows, the less often it sheds. Both over feeding and under feeding is NOT reccomended as is can dramatically shorten your snakes life span and cause serious health problems. The times a snake sheds also depends in its age. A baby snake that is properly fed should shed once every two weeks, but as that snake ages the shedding process becomes less often. An adult snake should shed roughly every 45 days. Snakes continue to grow throught their lifetime, which means a snake never actually stops shedding until the day it dies.
The shedded skin should come off in one big piece, if a snake is shedding in smaller pieces then the humidity isn't high enough or the snake may be dehydrated. A snake shedding in peices can mean trouble, especially if the skin on the eye (eye cap) stays on, that could lead to blindness. If the skin on the tip of the tail doesn't come off and isn't removed, overtime it may constrict blood flow and the snake could lose the tip of its tail. It is important to look over your snake and make sure that all of the shedded skin came off.
If you notice that your snake is shedding more often than normal, along with prolonged soaking in water, that can indicate that your snake may have parasites or bacteria. It is best to raise the humidity higher than normal until the snake is finished shedding to ensure that it has a proper shed (one big piece). You can also take them out and soak them in water for about 20 minutes two or three times during a shed to help them out.
The Whole Process
The very first thing you may notice when a snake begins its shedding process is that snakes that have a light colored belly like tan, white, cream or yellow, you will notice there will be a pinky-orange color that wasn't there before. This may or may not stay throughout the entire shed. When it comes to a black snake or any other dark color you will not notice any difference in color. About 3 or 4 days later you will notice the colors of your snake to get dull and have a very light grey shade over its body. You may also notice that the skin around the snakes bottom jaw and neck looks loose and may have wrinkles which normally indicates a dehydrated snake, but while shedding this is normal. Starting around this time your snake may not take any food. All snakes are different, my ball python would readily eat while in shed, but my red tail boa refuses food during this time, so get to know your snake. Roughly 5 more days later they eyes will start to cloud over with a grey-blue color. Some snakes can become very aggressive and agitated during this time and handling your snake would be avoided because during the shedding process a snake is very uncomfortable and would preffer to be left alone. Your snakes whole body will be incased with a grey haze. Colors become extremely dull and bland. Another 3 days later the sakes eyes will become clear again, and the grey haze over its body will disapate, but still be there. The snake will start to seek out rough edges to rub up against, usually rubbing its nose and side of its head first, creating a tear in the skin around the face, then continuing to rub until the snake is free from its skin imprisonment. Underneath will be beautiful brilliantly colored skin that shines in naural light. A day or two after the shin is shed, the snake should start taking food again if it refued before. From start to finish the whole process can take up to 2 weeks, depending on your snake. Some snakes take less time and others take longer. My red tail boa usually takes up to 2 weeks, while my corn snake was finished in 10 days.
Cloudy eyes indicate shedding
As you can see in the above pictures, the belly of this snake has a pinky-orange tint, when normally it is a cream color. The skin also has a grey haze and makes this normally light brown snake look grey and dull.