June 16, 2012 4:38:33 PM
Just the other day an age-old myth raised eyebrows at the salon amidst the yellow roses, somewhere near the current issue of Veranda and most definitely surrounded by two beautiful ladies sitting regally on my antique red settee.
"I was once told a trim every four weeks is a must when growing my hair out to keep it healthy, or else the split ends will take over like kudzu vines!" one said to the other. "Well, I declare," the other replied, lips pursed.
It's been a controversial topic for as long as I can remember. Popular opinion is that hair will grow faster and be healthier with the regular severing of split ends, and I somewhat see the logic in this way of thinking as false as it may seem. If you are willing to lightly crop the hair, it will be healthier, and that's just the short of it.
Let's take it back to 1990 when I was a freshman at the beauty college in Hattiesburg. Right there in Chapter 11 of the textbook on the chemistry of hair was written: The average hair grows approximately half an inch per month. Now, over the past 20 years, I have rarely seen hair grow more than that in a four- to five-week calendar month, give or take a few clients who were taking vitamins, getting lucky or just telling a bald-faced untruth.
If the hair is cut every four weeks, and assuming at least a half inch is removed or why bother, then y'all can do the math. That bob might get bigger, but it isn't getting longer. To further understand, let's define a split end. The best illustration I have ever been given is to think of each individual hair strand as a rope braided together tightly in its healthy, natural state. Next, think of that rope coming unraveled at the end. It's that frayed separation that gives the hair strand the name "split end."
The causes can range from harsh products, chemical damage from coloring, perming or straightening, to heat abuse from appliances. Sometimes it's just a mystery. Although there are many things on the market that will soothe, nurture and even camouflage a split end, cutting is truly the only surefire remedy. It's best to avoid them altogether, but when the inevitable happens and is ignored, that "rope" keeps unraveling as the hair continues to grow longer.
What was once a split end becomes split ends that multiply like rabbits, so my recommendation is to love your hair the best you can with some TLC and get a trim about every eight to twelve weeks for length, more often for routine maintenance. Overnight hot oil treatments are a waste of time. All those silicone oils masked in fragrance are only temporary fixes and overpriced potions with promises in pretty bottles. They just don't make the cut, literally!
As for those two darlings chatting in the salon, well, I hope I cut right to the chase, but when it comes to being right, it ain't nothing to split hairs over.
Former Columbus resident David Creel owns Beautiful With David Salon in Jackson. Contact him at [email protected]
Former Columbus resident David Creel owns Beautiful With David salon in Jackson and has 20 years experience in the beauty industry. Contact him at [email protected]