If you struggle to grow your hair out, you're undoubtedly thinking about all the things that are getting in the way, like split ends. But can split ends actually stop hair from growing, or is this a hoax? Continue reading to find out.
What Are Split Ends?
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Before evaluating if split ends directly affect hair growth, let's first analyze what they are and their causes.
Split ends occur when the hair shaft fractures or when the cuticle on the exterior of your hair gets damaged. You can tell you have split ends when the tip of your hair separates into numerous strands, much like a rope that has come undone. You can easily feel them by running your fingers through your hair.
Split ends give your hair a noticeable "v-shape" and make it appear thinner than the rest of your strands. They are a sign that your hair is not getting enough nutrients, which causes it to become dry and brittle. It can also be caused due to heat styling and environmental factors.
Do Split Ends Stop Hair Growth?
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The answer is no. Since split ends cause hair to break at the ends, they can make it challenging to grow out our hair, but they can't actually prevent new hair growth since they do not impact the hair follicles.
While every person's experience varies slightly, the average person can anticipate annual hair growth of about 6 inches. This, however, assumes that your hair strands are healthy and that the proper circumstances are provided for it. Even in the absence of optimum conditions, your hair growth cycle will continue, but you can lose length at the other end of the hair follicle due to split ends.
How to Prevent Split Ends
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Split ends cannot be miraculously fixed, but there are a number of ways to stop them from happening in the first place. Continue reading to find out which option is best for you:
1) Cut Off Any Split Ends
As mentioned before, there is no magic solution to repair split ends. Once the hair's shaft cracks and split ends appear, not even the best product will fix it. That's why it is always recommended to trim split ends. By doing this, you can prevent the damage from spreading to the rest of your hair.
To get rid of split ends, you must know how to trim hair. To prevent further harm to your hair, always use sharp scissors rather than ones with a blunt edge. If you want the best results and are unsure about trimming your own hair, go to a local, licensed hairstylist or barber.
2) Be Gentle With Your Hair
After removing split ends, the best thing you can do for your hair is to treat it well. Make sure that any shampoos and conditioners you use have only natural ingredients and exclude any harsh chemicals or byproducts.
You can also try using wide-toothed combs or boar bristle brushes while combing your hair. Bristle brushes and wide tooth combs have the ability to evenly distribute the sebum generated by your scalp throughout your locks, which is vital for promoting healthy hair.
You can also practice gentle care and keep your hair healthy by:
- Appling a detangler
- Using hair masks
- Giving your hair a break (avoid coloring it or using heat on it)
3) Do Not Brush Wet Hair
When you brush wet hair, you run the risk of stretching and snapping the hair shaft, making your locks more prone to split ends. Your hair is most vulnerable while damp, so treat it with care.
As previously mentioned, use a wide-toothed comb to gently smooth and detangle your hair. If your hair's texture allows it, you can also try finger-combing it after washing. To do this, work your way slowly up from the ends of your hair. The key is to avoid stretching the strands and breaking them.
4) Use Hair-Friendly Accessories
Split ends can also be brought on by metal hair clips and elastic bands. To support healthy hair growth, choose hair ties that are kind to the hair, like Burlybands hair ties. Unlike most hair ties, Burlybands don't pull and tug at your hair. By using these hair ties, you can prevent snapping and promote healthy hair growth.
5) Sleep on a Silk Pillowcase
Split ends can be caused at night when your hair rubs against your pillowcase. To decrease friction, use a silk or satin pillowcase in place of a cotton one. Another choice is to cover your hair at night with a silk scarf or bonnet.
6) Use a Heat Protectant
Heat styling is one of the main culprits that cause split ends. If you do plan to heat style your hair, make sure that you use a heat protectant. The best heat protection products have silicones and moisturizers that physically separate your hair from the hot element. This thin layer of protection prevents heat from drying out and causing the ends of our hair to break off.
How to Increase Hair Growth
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If you really want to increase hair growth, you must adopt an internal strategy. This involves ingesting nutrients to promote hair growth as well as increasing blood flow to the scalp through a scalp massage. When you massage your scalp, the increased blood flow helps the hair follicle absorb vital nutrients and oxygen, which may promote growth. With regard to nutrients, you can consider taking collagen supplements to give your body the necessary amino acids needed to create keratin (aka, what each strand of hair is made of).
In conclusion, split ends do not stop hair growth. No matter how many split ends you have, your hair will still grow. However, since split ends lead to breakage, it could be challenging to meet your hair growth goals. Fortunately, by applying the advice in this article, you can completely avoid split ends and will soon be able to take care of your hair so that it grows as long as you want.