People with longer hair often notice changes in hair density and thickness between their roots and their ends. Indeed, it is a common problem for people who have medium to long hair. Fortunately, the cause is relatively easy to explain, and the solution is rather simple. Take a look to see how you can make your ends look thicker and healthier, much like the hair growing from your roots.
The Hair Growth Cycle Explained
You need to have a general understanding of the hair growth cycle in order to visualize how your ends become thin. The hair growth cycle is a 3-phase process. It starts with anagen, moves to catagen, and ends with telogen.
Anagen is the growing phase of the hair growth cycle that typically lasts 4-7 years. Some people have longer anagen phases, which is why they can grow longer hair than others. During anagen, your hair is obviously growing and will continue to lengthen unless you cut it.
Catagen is a transitional phase. Once the hair follicle stops growing, it transitions into this short, two-week phase, where it prepares to move into telogen.
Telogen is the resting phase, where the bulb (base of the hair) begins to detach from the follicle and prepares to fall out. This phase lasts around three months or 120 days. Intriguingly, most people will experience a temporary hair loss condition called telogen effluvium. In this condition, a stressful event forces a significant portion of their hair into telogen, where it then sheds after 3 months. A normal amount of shedding is between 50-100 hairs a day, but people with telogen effluvium can lose up to 300 strands per day.
How Does This Play Into Thinning Ends?
Now that you have an idea of how the hair growth cycle works, you can imagine that the hair you are looking at between your fingers has been around for quite a while (as in years - especially if it is long). Therefore, your hair has been exposed to a number of things, such as toxins, harsh winds, extremely cold and hot temperatures, chemicals, dyes, abrasive actions, etc. Even brushing your hair or drying it with a terry cloth towel can be damaging.
Over time, damage starts to strip the hair of its protective outer layer (the cuticle). Thus, your hair can become thinner, more easily damaged, and you can have a lot of breakage and splitting. A telltale sign that you have breakage and thin ends is that your ends do not look even, and you notice smaller hairs shedding or breaking off.
How Can You Keep Your Ends Thick and Healthy?
Good hair care is essential if you want to keep your hair healthy throughout all phases of the hair growth cycle. There are several habits you will want to integrate to keep your ends happy.
Get Regular Trims
Remember, your ends have been with you for several years, so they have been exposed to a lot of different elements, chemicals, and manipulation. Therefore, the cuticle will become more fragile, and breakage can occur. With regular trims, you can keep your ends thicker and healthier, which in turn can make your hair feel and look better, too. Indeed, it is also easier to style if your hair is healthy at the ends.
If you feel that your hair is particularly thin at your ends, your stylist may recommend trimming a few inches off. You will be surprised that your hair will feel much more full at the ends if you take off the damaged ends.
Cut Back on Harsh Styling
Getting regular coloring treatments or doing permanents can break down your hair strands faster than just about anything. And frequent curling or straightening with hot styling tools can also be damaging. Instead, try to give your hair plenty of rest days and avoid pulling your hair up in tight buns and ponytails.
Practice Regular Washing
Too much washing can dry out your hair. However, not washing often enough can cause oils, toxins, and pollutants to cling to your hair and scalp. Thus, you will want to find a good balance in maintaining your hair hygiene.
Aside from scheduling your hair washing, make sure to use good shampoo products. You will want to choose a shampoo that fits your needs. For example, if you have curly hair, you will want to use a product that hydrates your curls without damaging them. Or, if you have dandruff, make sure to treat it with a shampoo that treats the underlying cause like Dandrene.
Also, conditioner is a key for most people, but especially those with longer hairstyles. Allow your conditioner to hydrate your ends for a few extra minutes in the shower before rinsing it off.
Allow Hair To Air Dry
If you can, allow your hair to air dry as opposed to using a towel and blow dryer. Sure, you will need to soak up some of the water after your shower, but try to avoid rubbing the towel vigorously all over your head. Additionally, rather than brushing your hair after showering, try to use a wide-toothed comb when your conditioner is in so you can coat your locks in moisture while simultaneously detangling.
Take A Multivitamin
Healthy hair starts with a healthy body. If your body isn’t getting the proper nutrients it needs, it can’t allocate nutrients to support healthy hair growth. Even if you have a nutritious diet, you may still not be getting enough vitamins and minerals for hair health. Take a daily multivitamin like the REVITA Nutraceutical Tablets for Hair Growth Support to ensure your hair has a great foundation.
Most of us don’t consider how our pillows can affect our hair, but many people with long hair are starting to use silk pillowcases to reduce friction and breakage. Common pillowcase fabrics like cotton can pull the natural oils from your hair, leaving it dry and brittle. Of course, if a silk pillowcase doesn’t sound like your thing, you can always tuck your hair into a loose bun while you sleep.