Hair breakage. Split ends. We’ve all been there, right? These are both extremely common for women with all different hair types and lengths. We may not even realize it, but our daily routines often cause the most damage to our strands. This is why it is extremely important to take care of your hair.
We’re here to help you pinpoint the difference between hair breakage and split ends, what exactly is causing them, and how to help and prevent them.
Difference Between Hair Breakage and Split Ends
A common misconception for most people is that hair breakage and split ends are the same thing. While that’s not the case, they are both caused by many of the same poor hair maintenance habits. Hair breakage and split ends both occur when strands or tips are broken, which usually happens from a lack of moisture, heat styling, or from chemical exposure. Hair breakage can appear on the ends of the hair, but you might see it at any point of the strand. A tell-tale sign of breakage is seeing small white dots in different areas of the hair. These white dots are an indication that the hair is fractured or severely chemically damaged, giving your hair an overall straw-like look. Split ends, however, are usually only seen at the tips.
7 Common Causes of Hair Breakage and Split Ends:
- Lack of Moisture and Oils: Washing your hair too often will strip out all of the natural oils that your scalp produces. If the scalp becomes dry and brittle, it will not give your scalp enough time to produce the oils that it needs. This will result in dry, brittle hair, leading to breakage or split ends. Using the wrong products also plays a factor. If you're cleansing your hair with sulfates and other harsh ingredients, the scalp will become dry too quickly and you’ll be worsening the problem. Pai-Shau Replenishing Hair Cleanser is sulfate free, gluten free, vegan, and made with a tea-infused formula that works on both the hair and scalp.
- Styling: Frequently using heat styling tools will severely damage your stands and cause breakage. The heat from these styling tools will strip the oils and proteins that are needed in order for your hair to stay strong. Without them, your hair will dry out, thus causing it to break off easier. Tight hairstyles can also cause breakage. High ponytails and super tight braids might look super cute, but the long-term effect will eventually cause breakage to your hairline. The tight friction of pulling and tugging makes the hair more susceptible to breaking off at the root.
- Chemical Exposure: If you get your hair colored or chemically treated often, then you’ve definitely experienced breakage at some point. It’s just inevitable. These chemicals change the bonds that make your hair the texture that it is.
- Nutrition: Lack of essential nutrients could be an attributing factor to hair damage. Zinc, iron and folic acid are essential nutrients you need in your diet for your hair to stay strong. Some examples that will help your diet are eggs, spinach, salmon, avocados and nuts. Hair is made up of a protein called keratin. Make sure you’re not consuming too much or too little. Always use protein in small doses. Water is another key nutrient to healthier hair. Hydration will show through your scalp and prevent lack of moisture.
- Environmental Conditions: Cold, dry climates, heat, humidity, wind, and the sun can all take a toll on the overall health of your hair. The dry winter air will lead to static and dry hair. Switching from indoor air to outdoor can damage the cuticle layers of your hair. Strong winds in the air lead to tangles. Tangles lead to breakage. The list goes on... When in these environmental conditions, it is important to adjust your hair care regimen accordingly and give yourself some extra self care.
- Stress: Have you been stressed out lately? Extreme stress can cause hair roots to reach a stopping stage of their hair growth cycle prior to when they are supposed to. This will result in fall out from the root.
- Genetic Factors: Lastly, a cause of hair breakage and split ends could be your genetics. Do your parents, grandparents, or relatives have fine hair? This could be the reason why your hair is more susceptible to breakage. Fine hair is fragile and must be treated with delicacy.
5 Ways To Repair and Prevent Hair Breakage and Split Ends:
- Limit manipulation of your hair. Avoid aggressive brushing, drying, heat styling, and tight hairstyles.
- Consume the right nutrients. Start eating foods that are rich in protein, such as eggs, fatty fish, spinach, and also drink more water.
- Get a trim. Visit your hairstylist every 4-6 weeks. This will remove the tips that are broken off, and leave hair looking and feeling healthy again.
- Load up on moisture. Use Hair Care Products that are gentle (like Pai-Shau!) and have natural ingredients that fit well with your hair texture. Add Pai-Shau’s Supreme Revitalizing Mask, Something To BeLeave-In, and Biphasic Infusion into your hair care RouTEAne. These products will give you ultimate hydration and strength. Be careful when your hair is wet (this is when it’s most fragile).
- Switch out your towel and pillowcase. Use a microfiber towel and a silk pillowcase to lessen irritation on your hair.
Hair breakage and split ends can sometimes be hard to manage. Stay the course with the advice above and, you’ll see a dramatic difference in your hair. Try it out!