We’ve all been told many times without number to protect our ends because they are weak and fragile. We’ve also been told to apply products to our hair starting from the ends and working our way to the top. Another popular hair tip we’ve received is to always tuck the ends of our hair away in the form of protective style because this is the only way we can hang on to them for as long as possible.
|Notice the thinning ends|
So why are the ends of our hair the most fragile in comparison to the rest of the hair and why do they get more attention?
1. It is the most “experienced” part of the hair and it has gone through a lot. All the combing, brushing, wash days, styling, different experiments with hair tools, products and techniques, change of season and diet, change of environment and pretty much everything you’ve experienced since you started growing your hair will have a cumulative effect in the overall health of the hair, especially on the older parts of the hair.
2. Loss of Cuticles: The hair shaft is made up of many layers called the cuticle, but as the hair grows out and it goes through various trials, the cuticle layers will gradually chip away as time goes on. And so this is why the hair tends to thin out towards the end of the hair because the number of protective layers in that section of the hair is only a fraction of what it normally would be towards the roots. As we all know, a thin material is more susceptible to breakage than it’s thicker counterpart, and so to prevent the ends from breaking off easily, it’s crucial that we exercise caution when handling the hair.
|Notice how the hair tapers at the end
Image by Jc of Natural Haven
3. Because our ends is the part of the hair which rubs against our shoulders and any other surface which the hair comes in contact with. And when our ends rubs against a hard surface such as the head rest of a car seat or any other surface which the head/hair comes in contact with on a daily basis, the thinning ends can easily get tangled with that piece of material and break off. Also, the oils which were applied to the ends of the hair as an added protective layer can also rub off, thus exposing these fragile strands of the hair to elements which can permanently terminate them.
4. It is very far from the scalp and depending on the length of your hair, the natural oils which the scalp produces might never reach the ends of the hair and so this part of the hair which is already old and weak isn’t as lubricated and moisturized as the “younger” generations closer to the scalp. This is why it’s crucial to apply products to the ends first so that it isn’t deprived of all the goodies which the other parts of the hair would normally receive from products and the scalp.
5. To summarize, the ends of our hair is in its old age and like any old and “worn out” material, it will be weak and fragile as it prepares for its end times.