To cut or not to cut—that is the question. If you take pride in caring for your hair, especially ensuring its growth, it can definitely discourage you to see dry and damaged ends. When confronted with this problem, what is the best solution? Are there really cure-alls such as split end menders, or special oils or conditioners that will repair hair? To understand whether or not we can treat thin and damaged ends, let’s first take a look at why we get them to begin with.
One of the most common culprits is over-use of heat tools on our hair. Did you know that your strands can instantly heat up to 80 degrees when using a blow dryer? When you throw in a flat iron or hot press, this spells dryness and damage for your ends especially. Your hair produces sebum (a natural oily substance), which is supposed to prevent it from drying out, but those of us with curlier and kinkier hair patterns tend to not have our sebum reach the ends of our hair.
Whether it’s application of a relaxer or hair dye, any chemical process applied to the hair can cause damage as the structure of the hair is being altered. Usually in these types of chemical applications, the hair’s natural protein bonds are being weakened, broken, or re-arranged. This can definitely wreak havoc on your tresses if this is done too often or incorrectly.
Also known as over-manipulation, sometimes we take for granted that hair can be fragile (especially when wet). When we grab, brush, comb or braid our hair without being careful, it can backfire on us and cause breakage and split ends—which equals thin or “see through” ends.
So What’s the Solution?
The first step would be to eliminate (or limit) the causes above which lead to dry and damaged ends. Although it helps to do deep conditioning treatments, hot oil applications, etc., these won’t guarantee that your ends will bounce back from the beating they’ve taken. Everyone’s hair journey and hair health is unique, so this is only one perspective and should be treated as such, but if your ends are beyond repair—don’t be afraid to consider a trim or cut. Not only will your ends be noticeably thicker, they will also be free of splits and even some previous heat damage.
In the end, make sure to research all of your options and go with the one that best suits you. It’s your hair, and you’re the one who has to wear it and live with it.