A long hair odyssey. . .
With the constant assault from combs, blowdryers, curling irons and even necklines, it's little wonder that our ends can begin to show signs of wear and tear very quickly. Even before the invention of the myriad styling tools at our disposal today, there were still the elements; sun, wind and rain, each a powerful force capable of ravaging our tresses.
Hair can be a very durable material, but nature provided a source of constant renewal, in the form of hair growth, for a reason.
Once thinness at the ends shows up, it's an indication that this part of your hair has lost most of its cuticle layers and will slowly be eroded away. A combination of good haircare and less frequent trims can help extend the period of time your hair stays intact, and thus the overall length it can reach, but no hair was meant to last forever.
Hitting one of the major milestones on your long hair journey is a measurement of the care it has taken to get your hair this far. The long hair journey is not just about long hair at any cost, but long hair in good condition – a symbol of the care and time you have invested in getting your hair to this point. Each milestone reached is a reflection of this care, and serves as a reward from your hair for all the good things you have been doing for it. In contrast, even when it makes it to great lengths, hair in so-so or poor condition does not reflect a good return on your investment. It's more like a hint that something, somewhere needs a tweak.
Visually, the interruption in the length – from thicker, healthier strands to thinness – creates a break in continuity. It registers in the eye as two separate things: your hair and your thinning, spacey ends.
And on a more personal level, thinned out ends, no matter how lengthy, do not chime with the image of abundant, lustrous hair which most have in mind at the outset of their long hair journey.
Appearance aside, there's also the overall condition, manageability and length to worry about. Thinned out and damaged ends can jeopardise hair further up the strand. As weakened parts of the hair cannot take much force, the strain put on the hair through styling is unevenly distributed throughout the shaft, putting extra pressure on other parts of the hair, weakening them in turn.
Sometimes, this breakage becomes so severe that, instead of steadily becoming weaker and thinner, as layers of cuticles fall away, the whole strand breaks off at a weak point, leaving the entire head of hair much shorter. Not to mention the increased susceptibility to tangling that comes with damaged ends.
When you're aiming for a particular length, parting with your ends can be sweet sorrow; a sense that you are so close to your goal and yet so far. It can be very tempting to keep the ends on, but if your goal is for hair that is as luscious as it is lengthy, then thin ends fall far short of this.
With all of the women who have successfully made it to shoulder-length, waist length and beyond with strands that are full and vibrant from root to tip, barely scraping through with haggard, see-through ends can ring rather hollow.
There is good news, however: the fact that your hair has made it to this length, even in poor condition, is proof that it can make it to the same place again – in a healthy, abundant state. Upping your conditioning, minimizing your handling, and protecting your hair from any aggressors in your environment will have you back at your goal length – this time in pristine condition – in no time at all.
DHA Hair Care Experts