|Left: Thin hair; Right: Hair after trim
1) UNDERSTANDING THE STRUCTURE OF HAIR
A typical hair strand is a flexible keratin thread with great elasticity and strength which is made of three layers. The innermost being the medulla, the middle being the cortex which contains melanocytes responsible for giving the hair its natural color and harboring the moisture the hair need for normal growth while the outermost layer the cuticle resembling roof shingles controls the movement of moisture from the hair strands by shielding it from climatic factors which can damage the hair.
2) WHAT ARE THIN, SEE-THROUGH ENDS?
Well, since the ends are typically the oldest part of the hair, they are more susceptible to damage than any other part of the hair. Yes, because your TWA of yesterday is now your end of today. Over time, the ends would wear out, fibers would divide and stick out and eventually become thin making them hot spots for further splits to occur. This very part of the hair becomes dry and brittle because the cuticle layer which protects it from moisture and protein loss is missing. And that’s why no matter how much you moisturize, you still happen to end up with dry ends. And at the end of the day the group of hair strands becomes so uneven in diameter, length and thickness.
3) WHY YOU HAVE SEE THROUGH ENDS.
Having see through ends is bound to occur over time as having wrinkles on the skin as one ages. However there are some factors that foster the rate at which ends wear out. They include:
a) Mechanical damage
b) Chemical damage
c) Heat damage
d) Climatic factors
e) General bad hair practices.
Mechanical damage occurs as result of combing and long-term use of styling tools like brushes, picks, hot combs, flat irons, e.t.c
Chemical damage occurs as a result of long term use of harsh substance found in styling products like relaxer, hair gels, curl activators, hair food, sprays, serums and creams.
Heat damage is as a result of long-term use and overuse of heat from styling tools like flat irons, blow dryers, hood dryers and hot combs.
Climatic factors that foster the damage of hair include exposure to the ultra violet rays emitted from the sun, winding sweeping through the hair strands and even constant exposure to heavy downpours.
The above types of damages are bound to occur with time and can be prevented. However, general bad hair care practices cause even greater damage to the hair. For instance, sleeping with the hair unprotected increases greater chances of mechanical damage. Leaving the ends unprotected for too long makes it prone to greater climatic damage. Keeping relaxer treatments for too long paves way for more chemical damage. Harboring styling products that cause build up also increases the chances of chemical damage. Applying heat constantly to hair without protectants increase the magnitude of heat damage. Therefore, all these mentioned bad hair care practices increase the rate of damage done to hair strands.
However, the goodness is that these rough and unhealthy looking ends can be prevented and corrected.
4) HOW TO PREVENT AND POSSIBLY GET RID OF THIN, SEE-THROUGH ENDS.
a) PREVENTION: By starting off with a good regimen to promote healthy hair growth is a good preventive measure. Other preventive measure include:
i) Minimizing the amount of heat on hair and using heat protectants whenever heat is applied.
ii) Minimizing the over-use of relaxers
iii) Avoiding harsh styling products
iv) Applying natural oils containing ultra-violet ray protection like Shea butter when hair is not in a protective style.
v) Protective styling at constant intervals
vi) Having regular protein treatments to improve strength and elasticity of hair.
vii) Reducing combing and over manipulation of hair
viii)Protecting the hair at night with a satin scarves and bonnets.
ix) Regular trimming or dusting of ends to prevent and get of the damage ends