Many of us have found ourselves at some point dealing with the dreaded condition known as split ends. It can be caused by a variety of factors, from too-vigorous brushing, to the
stresses of wind and water in recreational activities. When the hair is treated roughly in these ways, the ends are often abused, causing them to fray. The strands crack and the cracks run upward along the length of
the hair. This is obviously where the term “split ends” comes from.
Since it is such a common issue for many individuals, it logically follows that the hair industry has myriad products that claim to deal with the problem. Some of these products make
claims that vary in accuracy as to what they can do to treat split ends. There are ‘hair therapies’ that claim to heal the damaged ends, while others refer to themselves as ‘hair repair’ for split ends. In spite of the
difference in names, the functions are basically the same, though the names used are where most of the problems occur.
It may seem like a trifling matter to obsess over whether a hair product claims to heal hair damage or repair it, but these two phrases imply very different sets of results. Only one of
these sets of results are realistic.
You CANNOT “Heal” the Hair
There are a number of things that hair products can do: soften, add shine, smooth, cleanse and impart body and manageability. We all know that these benefits are achievable, because
we’ve seen the evidence of it. However, when it comes to damaged hair – whether it’s chemical damage or split ends, some products claim that they can ‘heal’ the damage and leave the hair healthy again.
This isn’t true. The best any product can manage is to make the hair LOOK healthy again. The only tissue in the body that can “heal” is living tissue. Your hair and nails are not living
tissue. They consist of hardened proteins referred to as keratin. Because the tissue is not alive, the idea of saying that you can “heal” damage to them is like saying that you can heal a rip in a silk blouse or damage to
a piece of furniture.
Where I take issue with the use of the term “healing hair damage” is that it gives people the idea that it’s better than products that only claim to repair damage. Don’t get me wrong,
there are products out there that can do wonderful things for your hair, but nothing will heal damaged hair and make it healthy again.
What You CAN Do to Repair the Hair
What you can do when it comes to repairing your hair – namely split ends – is to make the hair APPEAR whole and healthy again. The products that are used for making the hair look
healthy again use smoothing agents and lightweight polymers to make the split portions of the hair stick back together. These products can make the hair appear healthier and less damaged, but the results are only
temporary. When the hair is washed again, at least some if not all of the benefits will be washed away, and the desired product will need to be reapplied.
Many of you with straight hair may have used the trick of lightly misting the hair with hairspray because you find your finished style has little “stick-out” hairs all over the place.
You simply spray the hair lightly with hairspray and gently pat the hair to make the “stick-out” hairs adhere to the rest of the hair. This makes the finished look smooth, silky and healthy looking.