Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Perfect Hair and Split Ends

Q: Is everyone’s hair perfect? I mean, do you really have to cut away all split ends? It’s hard to imagine that everyone with long hair has perfect hair, without a certain percentage of damaged hairs and split hairs. If I would cut every single split end and hairs that split higher up the hair shaft, I would lose at least 4 inches in length. Especially splits higher up the shaft are a problem. These are not “ends”, why do they split then? I take good care of my hair and I straighten it only twice per week with a flat iron and protective product. I don’t understand why my hair gets damaged.
A: The way your hair responds to heat styling and other stresses depends a lot on the basic factors of your hair type. Not everyone’s hair is perfect, obviously, because not everyone’s hair is alike. And actually I would discourage people from thinking in terms of “perfect” hair at all. You want your hair to be the best it can be according to its particular type. You want it to be strong, resilient and healthy.
girl with long blonde hair that looks perfect

Cutting away split ends is usually a good thing, because left alone, split ends tend to continue to split. Splits in the hair shaft that occur above the ends are a problem for some people and usually occur as a result of weak points in the hair that separate as a result of the same kinds of styling stress that cause split ends. Treating these is usually best handled through the use of protein treatments and protein-rich shampoo and conditioners. Such products are generally branded as “strengthening” or “smoothing”.
What makes cutting away split ends the most effective treatment is that you can’t truly repair such damage, you can “mend” it, but since the hair is dead fibers, it’s akin to gluing together a piece of china or pottery. It’s never going to be as strong as before the damage, so you can only truly grow it out and cut away the damage to be truly rid of it.
You also have to remember that such hair damage is cumulative. Even if you only heat style the hair a couple of times a week and use protective products, you will still eventually accumulate a certain amount of damage to the hair. Any slight accidental over-done effect will add to any minor stress that occurs as a result of daily styling.
Related posts:
How to get rid of split ends
How to repair split ends
What split ends look like
Damaged hair and how to recognize it