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Health Conditions


General Description

Our hair suffers from an incredible amount of physical and chemical abuse. The longer the hair, the greater the extent of this trauma. Those of us with hair two feet long have ends nearly three years old! Over this time period, just imagine the amount of brushing, combing, pulling, curling, setting, shampooing, hot-air drying and sun, salt, and chlorinated-water exposure this hair has been subjected to. Small wonder some of us have split ends!

Causes

Split ends (the frizzies) are the result of excessive trauma to hair. The problem is usually more severe in longer hair. When performed in moderation, combing, brushing, and blow-drying do not damage hair. When such activities are too frequently and vigorously undertaken, however, split ends are the inevitable result. (Researchers can manufacture split ends in clipped normal hair by utilizing a hair-rubbing apparatus.) Blow-drying is safe as long as it does not continue after the hair is dry to the touch; over-drying leads to fragile, easily damaged hair. Similarly, chemical treatments such as bleaching, waving or curling, and straightening may damage hair under certain circumstances.

Medical Treatments

Damage to hair may be lessened by use of conditioners and cream rinses. These compounds coat the hair surface and reduce combing friction. They may also guard against some of the deleterious effects on hair from blow-drying and sun exposure. The only cure for split ends once they occur is cutting them off; avoidance of excessive damage, coupled with the judicious use of conditioners and cream rinses, will minimize their occurrence.

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