After years or even decades of mistreating your hair and dealing with the problems that came along with it, you finally have your eyes opened to healthy hair journyes and the possibilities that come along with them.
You spend 2 months solid learning almost all there is to know about hair, watching YouTube channels more than regular TV and following every hair blogger you can get a hold of.
A year later and your hair is thriving and you are retaining length like it’s going out of style but what’s this? Split ends???
My colorful storytelling notwithstanding, this is actually something that many women go through at some point or other in their hair journeys.
For decades, before information sharing became instantaneous many women of color both natural and relaxed followed the Caucasian version of hair care and as such we had it drilled into our heads that us that heat = split ends. But this is not strictly accurate.
What causes split ends?
While it is factually true that excessive heat usage does in fact cause splits ends, it is not the only cause.
Black hair is structurally different from other hair types having a flatter more oval cross-section as compared to Caucasian or Asian hair.
Our small diameter curls and coils added to the torsion twists that our strands create as they grow makes our hair relatively dry and fragile.
That is to say that even under perfect conditions, a very low manipulation or protective regimen, our hair will still experience more breakage than other hair types.
Now while we have shown over and over that this increased breakage won’t stop you having long healthy hair of your own but there is a little known consequence of this increased breakage. Split ends.
Split ends form when there has been damage to the hair fiber that causes the hair shaft to split into two or more sections. In spite of products on the market that would try to convince you otherwise, the only way to actually treat split ends permanently is to cut them off with a sharp pair of hair shears.
Delaying or just not cutting off split ends leads to further damage of the hair strands and even though the split is unlikely to travel all the way to the base of your hair shaft, they do have the potential to travel a few inches down your shaft. This weakens that portion of hair making it very likely to break off when next manipulated.