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?
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
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.