September 10, 2013

Can Damage Travel Up My Hair Shaft?- Split Ends and Breakage


 via TheBeautyBrains


Madeleinmia wonders…I was the victim of a bad hair dye accident (apparently they used the wrong activator, not that I would know) resulting in my hair being dry, damaged and breaking off. It is now more than a year later and I am still trying to grow out the damage, however I have only partially trimmed the damage lengths because I want to keep the length of my hair. I’ve heard that hair damage can travel up your hair if you don’t cut off all the damage. Is this true? Will I actually cause more damage to my hair by trying to retain the length rather than taking the plunge and going short? 

Read On>>>


The Left Brain responds:

The technical literature shows that when hair absorbs water it swells which causes the upper layer of the cuticle to buckle and crack. Any type of damage that increases the amount of water that the hair absorbs can only make this worse. So, if chemical processing has left the ends of your hair more porous they will absorb more water and therefore the damage is more likely to increase. If you have actual split ends then it’s even worse. As the hair undergoes multiple cycles of wetting and drying, the split can propagate up the shaft. It’s the same principle as a crack in a sidewalk that spreads over time as water and ice split it even further.

What’s the solution for over-processed hair?

I suppose you could stay ahead of the damage by just trimming a little bit each time. You might be also be able to offset some of the increased damage by treating hair with a penetrating oil, like coconut oil, that will essentially water-proof your hair from the inside out.

How often do you trim?

8 Weigh in!:

Anonymous said...

My hair was over-processed by color too. I had to cut off my damaged ends because that was were the damaged stated it was frizzy splits everywhere and my ends were dry and breaking every time I combed it when I straightened it was horrible. I cut about 3 inches off my midback length hair that broke off and became bra strap length because it was breaking and uneven I sported a short Bob for a while. I started deep conditioning pre-pooing with extra virgin coconut oil and doing protein treatments as well. My hair improved and grew I used the one n's only argan oil hydrating mask from Sally's and it also improved my hair and helped me gain and retain length because it is combo of moisture and protein (keratin).

Megan Montgomery

Anonymous said...

I trim about an eighth of an inch about every 4-6 weeks -- keeps knots and split ends at bay. Can someone please explain to me if the upper layer of the cuticle that cracks from water absorption occurs with the daily wetting that many of us do to moisturize our hair or does that only apply to the type of deep hair wetting we do on wash day? Thank you :)

Anonymous said...

I use to have a regular trim routine (4-6 weeks) due to the single strand knots. But it was getting to be too much so I didn't worry about it. SSKs in my hair is inevitable. So all I was doing was cutting off healthy ends since I don't straigten or color my hair. So if I do trim my hair it's on a as needed basis. So maybe twice/three times a year.

Anonymous said...

I get my hair cut at the salon every 3 months. But if I think things need cleaning up in between, I'll do a little trimming at home. I like clean ends, and my hair always gets longer so I don't fear scissors. The stylist tells me what she thinks needs to come off and I go with that. And my hair's length is increasingly steadily.
Too many people create a self-fulfilling prophecy by never cutting their ends, having their hair break off, declaring that their hair "won't grow" and then not letting anyone give it a proper trim b/c of this fear.
No one can tell you when you should trim your hair, but it needs to be done and the difference you'll see if you are one of those people grumbling about length retention will probably be huge.
If you trim you hair every six months and it's never any longer, than yeah, you probably need to see the scissors more, not less.
And holding on to damaged hair can just let the problem continue much longer than it has to.

Anonymous said...

I have been natural for about 2.5 years and just started getting single strand knots. Is there any way to prevent them? I've been trimming them myself but cannot get ahead of them.

Immacul8jess said...

I trim whenever my hair needs it. Don't really have a time frame. If I start to see a lot of SSKs, I know I need to moisturize more. I just cut off an inch and went through in sections to search for SSKs. I don't really cut all my hair I really just cut what needs to be cut. I'm now at bra strap length and aiming for almost waist length. I recently straightened my hair and it was still pretty even all over.

If you have a lot of splits and breakage you should rethink your regimen and technique when handling your hair.

Erika A. said...

I trim my hair when I notice any ragged ends. My hair has suffered in the past because I did not trim my ends :( Don't hold on to damaged hair!

Brooke B. said...

When my ends start to look thin, raggedy or feel rough that's when I trim, I don't have a set time

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