We are all familiar with splits ends but subtract the “ends” and substitute “mid-shaft” then you may have a problem you never knew existed but yes, mid-trichorrexis nodosa or mid-shaft splits do exist and are more of a common problem then you may think.
The reason why split ends occur so commonly is simply stemmed from age. Our ends are the oldest part of the strand, and wear & tear naturally regardless of protection. Therefore over manipulation, excessive heat/chemicals or lack of sealing can increase our chances of split ends but not only are some of these culprits the cause of split ends but are the direct result of “mid-shaft” splits. Learn the top 5 contributors to mid-shaft splits to prevent damage to your strands
Improper use of heat (including blow drying) can drastically deplete the strand of its moisture creating a highly susceptible environment for breakage while chemicals harshly strip the cuticle down to ensure a successful penetration of the designated function. Compromise of the cuticle to accommodate heat or chemicals leaves the cuticle extremely vulnerable to damage. If straightening/curling is on the menu, always use a heat protectant and ceramic/tourmaline tools which allows for more evenly regulated, distributed heat.
Protective Styling or Stretching on Wet Hair
As previously mentioned improper use of heat and chemicals can cause irreparable damage but did you know we can cause damage unknowingly with the use of water on our strands through the simple act of braiding or twisting your hair.
As I have said countless times before every curling point or where the hair bends along the strand is a potential point of breakage. This “potential point of breakage” depicts an area of weakness creating grounds to support and enable breakage within the shaft. Now water is our friend in every aspect regarding our body but harsh manipulation while strands are wet can easily turn our friend to a frenemy! Once your strand is saturated with water the strand is weakened due to the weight of the water which elongates the strand placing stress on every single potential point of breakage. Now couple water saturated strands with the tension of braiding, twisting or any protective style that causes stretching, can induce your chances of trichorrexis nodosa. Knowing the density of your individual strand as well as your porosity can give insight in the amount of stress your hair can handle.
Combing vs Finger Detangling
Finger detangling is not for everyone stemmed from a more time consuming technique but the simple truth is, that your fingers can catch and feel what a comb cannot. If a comb is till your preference any difficult tangles your comb encounters you should definitely compromise and consider merging these two techniques and finger detangle the hot spots. Unfortunately even finger detangling cannot save every strand therefore if a strand is beyond rescue of a dreaded knot, deal with the situation with a quick snip, pulling and tugging to release a captured strand can do more harm than good. Remember to always invest in proper hair shears, using faulty tools or improper practices can assist in further damage.
Constant twistouts, braidouts or any daily ritual to achieve the “perfect” coif can increase abrasion of the strand leaving you with a weak and frayed hair shaft. Besides styling, over manipulation can also include the way you dry your hair. Whenever possible try to air dry strands but if this is too time consuming remember to always blot hair in a grab and squeeze motion with a cotton t-shirt or equally less abrasive material.
Ignoring the Signs of Your Hair:
Once you equip yourself with the knowledge of natural hair, and have some sense of familiarity with your own hair, learn to tune into what your hair needs, and trust in the signs. If you are using products that have a drying effect, eliminate the usage of these products. Continuous use of detrimental products or a regimen to achieve the results of another’s benefits can lead to breakage if the results spell out disaster for you. The proof is in the pudding, an old common proverb but true! Your hair will never lie, always alerting you to what it needs, never base the results of others as the official outcome regarding your hair.