Q: I normally have curly hair, but lately I have been straightening it often. I will wash it one day, straighten it that
day, and not wash it the next day, and it’s the same throughout the week. But lately, I have been noticing that my bangs have
these very tiny white things at the ends of my hair. I was told by a friend that I have "dead ends" but I wasn't really sure. It's
definitely not lice, but it’s only on the parts of my hair that I straighten more than the rest of my head. I hope you can give me an answer. Thanks a lot.
A: Well, I can tell immediately from your description of the location of these “tiny white things” that it isn’t lice. Lice and
the subsequent nits would be found at the scalp area of the hair. I think that it is most likely one of two things: either your
friend is correct and you are seeing the evidence of “dead ends”, or you are seeing the effect of styling product build-up on the hair.
This is what I recommend:
First, I suggest you use a clarifying shampoo to clean your hair at every third shampooing in
your schedule. The clarifying shampoo with strip away all the product build up on the hair and leave it clear of residue which
could be the source of the white specks on your hair ends.
Follow the clarifying shampoo with a deep conditioning treatment. To do this, simply apply
your normal conditioner to your wet hair (after squeezing out the excess moisture) and comb the conditioner through the hair with
a wide tooth comb to distribute it evenly. Cover the hair with a plastic cap and heat it with a hooded hair-dryer, a blow-dryer
with a diffuser attachment, or with heated towels wrapped around the head turban-fashion.
Leave the conditioner on and keep it heated for 20 minutes, then rinse the hair thoroughly
using cool water. The cool water rinse will help to close the cuticle layer, and will lock in the moisture from the conditioning
treatment. If the hair is damaged, this will help to minimize the visible signs, and will help to protect the hair from further
damage caused by the heat styling.
If this doesn’t resolve the issue, I suggest getting a trim to remove the offending ends. Just
make sure to specify “a trim” in case you encounter a scissor-happy hairdresser. You don’t want to lose any unnecessary length in
order to get rid of a few dead ends.