Nobody wants a split end... but what really is it?


| 5 Comments

   As a girl, I cannot deny the fact that sometimes I find myself caught in the act as well.  Most girls can easily be spotted playing with their hair while bored sitting in class, waiting for an appointment, watching television or working on the computer.  However, are they just playing with it for fun or are they on a mission for another reason?  Very easily, picking split ends can turn into a very, very habitual action, or even an addiction.  According to www.Glamour.com, Glamour Magazine, a very popular adolescent girl magazine, conducted a survey on their website asking girls, "Do You Pick/Snip At Your Split Ends?"  The choice, "Yes" results were 85.57% and "No. Ew" with 14.43%.  Based off of those results, it is evident that most teenage girls fiddle with their hair, in an attempt to get rid of split ends.

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Some guys or even girls may be wondering, what is a split end!?  Split ends, or as some hair experts call it Trichoptilosis, is a common problem for many people, not just women (Wisegeek.com).  A split end is technically formed with the protective cuticle at the end of a hair strand is ultimately destroyed.  Because of this, the hair strand normally splits into two or more strands.  The split does not necessarily have to happen at the end of the hair strand but can basically occur anywhere on the piece of hair wherever it is broken.  Lots of hair product companies including Dove and Pantene come out with shampoos, conditioners, hair cream and various other products promoting split end hair treatment and hair protection.  These companies claim that the split can be repaired but hair experts know this is just a common myth.  Once the damage is done, the proper way to handle split ends is by using a pair of scissors. 

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 What split ends look like according to Blog.Spaboutique.Ca :

A. The classic split end

B. If the classic split is not stopped it continues and breaks along the shaft

C. Multiple Splits - this happens when A and/or B is not stopped

D. Dot - looks like fluff but cannot be simply just brushed off

E. Dot bends at a straight angle - this is Trichorrexis Nodosa and is caused by an explosion of the 2nd layer of hair in a single spot

F. Hole - very difficult to find because the hair shaft has developed a split in the middle

G. When one takes the hole split strand and pushes it together, it pushes the split apart and creates a hole

What causes split ends? (Hairbreakage.net)

   Excessive Combing - The more one handles their hair, the more likely they are to cause to damage to it.  Combing hair too much on a daily basis can actually damage it, believe it or not.  Combing your hair excessively can cause it to break and eventually split; avoid split ends by gently combing.

   Poor Diet - As we all know, our eating habits affect every aspect of our well being.  Many people have unhealthy hair because of their diet. If your diet lacks essential nutrients, that can cause your hair to dry out and become more easy to break.

   Unprotected Heating/Overuse of Heating - Million of people cause damage to their hair by using heating tools such as flat irons or blow dryers.  If you don't use a product first, a blow dryer can severely damage your hair, which causes split ends.  Blow drying hair strips away our hair's natural moisturizers.

   Towel Drying - Most people normally towel dry their hair either before blow drying or instead of.  Don't roughly towel dry it; instead, pat dry or squeeze the water out of your hair in an attempt to prevent damage!


     Next time you are sitting around looking for something to do, take a look and observe the number of people picking at their split ends.  A future good blog topic would be whether picking at split ends could actually become an addiction because so many people do it!

5 Comments

Like I'm sure a lot of other girls will, I found your topic to be quite intriguing. Split ends is something that most of us have to deal with, and something that I'm especially conscious of for some reason. Most girls desire to have long healthy locks, but the reality is that split ends usually come with that reality. I did a little research on whether picking split ends may be an addiction and it turns out that I couldn't find any concrete evidence on this. However, I have come up with the notion that touching hair in general, not necessarily split ends, is a common trait of a lot of people. It is said that it can be due to insecurity or at least a manifestation of the feeling. I personally have fallen victim to touching my hair a lot without even noticing yet I don't think of myself as particularly insecure. I'll have to chalk it up to a force of habit.

I am a girl and I also notice that I will pick my split ends or when looking around I see many other people doing the same thing. In my opinion it seems to be an addiction like cracking knuckles. Once you start you can't stop. I found an article that said doing things such as picking split ends and cracking knuckles is a compulsive behavior. A compulsive behavior is basically something you feel like you have to do. I also think that picking split ends is a nervous habit that occurs when you feel uncomfortable or when you are nervous like when you are taking a test or doing a presentation.

This was an interesting article. I used to be one of those girls until my hairdresser told me that it was bad to pick at them because it damages the hair even more. I prevent split ends from occurring by only straitening my hair on weekends when I go out and wearing it natural during the week. I also never blow dry my hair and I seem to think that my hair is fairly healthy. The Oprah magazine blog has some ideas on how to prevent split ends from happening by using a special shampoo and more. I feel as though split ends are inevitable and in order to keep your hair healthy, getting trims occasionally is a good idea.

Split ends are the worst. No matter how many times I cut them, they keep coming back. In an article, I found interesting ways to help preventing the damage often caused by the addiction of twirling your hair as you mentioned above. Much like preventing them, there is also no way to get rid of all your split ends. Also remember that split ends are more common in hair that is shoulder length or longer, simply because as hair grows, it looses the ability to retain moisture as easily.
When you want to cut off split ends, make sure you take the scissors at least a quarter inch above the split to avoid having it reappear.
It says, once you have split ends there’s not much you can do to get rid of them – other than cutting your hair. So, prevention is key.
http://www.studybreaks.com/blog/what-to-do-about-split-ends/

While it is seemingly obvious why excessive combing, heating, and rough towel drying would result in split ends, your blog made me curious about the specifics on our diets' effects on our hair's health. I became curious as to what vitamins are essential for healthy hair and which foods contain those vitamins.

An article on WebMD explains that essential fatty acids (like OMega-3s ), Vitamins B-6 and B-12, folic acid, and protein are the most important nutrients for healthy hair. In the cases of Omega-3s and Vitamins B-6, I found our body can't naturally produce these, so I deemed those the most important to look into. Why do we need them for healthy hair and what are some good sources of them?

Foods like salmon (and many other fish) and walnuts are a good source of Omega-3s. According to another WebMD article,Omega-3 fatty acids are especially important to work into othe diet for healthy hair because our body cannot synthesize them naturally. Omega-3s make up 3% of the hair shaft, and are essential oils for maintaining both a hydrated scalp and hair.

There are 3 types of Vitamin B6; the one called pyridoxine is the one responsible for regulating hormones that prevent hair loss. According to the LiveStrong website, this vitamin results in healthy blood flow to the scalp that keeps it hydrated and not prone to things such as dandruff, dry scalp, and other issues that are likely to result in hair dryness/loss. Like Omega-3s, this Vitamin is not synthesized by the body, so we must place it in our diets. Spinach, whole-wheat bread, and peanuts are all full of Vitamin B6.

You mentioned in your blog that the products claiming to reverse "split-end damage" is not actually possible. I tried looking up information on how some of these prodcuts claim to work in doing so, but came up short. This lead me to believe that you were correct in saying it isn't actually possible.

However, being a total nerd on this subject (possibly because my hair is so split-end prone), I found that products that claim to prevent heat-damage are possible. According to yet another WebMD article, most of these products do so through the ingredient silicone.

This website explains that silicone not only works to make the hair appear shinier and smoother, but it also prevents water loss and humidity absorption - all necessary in keeping the hair hydrated and protected from the heat.

Sorry about my extensive research on your simple topic, but as a girl, this stuff just interests me! I'll be certain not to waste money on expensive hair products claiming they can repair my split ends. Take that money and spend it on salmon or walnuts instead!

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