Hair cutting / growing question

Hope this won’t seem too garbled … :slight_smile:

During some of the SDMBs “slow time” earlier today, I skipped over to Snopes and happened upon this article , which includes the statement:

*“Another reason for the belief [that short hair is tougher than longer hair] resides with the naturally finer ends of uncut hair: compare the end of a long-lived hair with that of a hair recently cut or shaved, and you’ll see the one is thicker than the other. That could lead the less-than-careful to conclude that the whole of the hair’s shaft became thicker as a result of the hair’s being cut (which it didn’t) rather than to realize that shaving or cutting results in a blunt termination, whereas natural outgrowth concludes in a tapering.” *

Now, I can understand how this would be true with short hair, where natural outgrowth could replace hair which had been previously cut fairly quickly … but what about hair which is always long? My hair is always below shoulder length and blunt-cut every few months. But if I let it go too long between cuts it seems to thin out at the ends and become wispy - as if each individual hair shaft has gone from blunt to tapered.

How does this happen?


My WAG would be that normal “wear and tear” accounts for the blunting. Constant washing, drying and brushing would tend to fray and wear away the ends. Over time the blunt cut is worn down to a tapered end.

Two words - split ends. I have very long hair also. I do not follow common wisdom and use a brush on it when it is wet to remove tangles. This damages the hair follicle. A strand of hair is put together kind of like string cheese. When I am due for a hair cut, I can find single hairs that look like an upside down tree with branches from where sections have split off but not been removed yet. The branches tend to fall off, leaving a thinner “trunk”. As the trunk gets thinner, it is more likely to break off itself, causing wispy sections where the hair is not all the same length.

Like Doctor Jackson said, wear and tear can fray the strands of hairs resulting in split ends .

Here are images for chrisk72’s explanation.

Thanks to all of you who replied. :slight_smile:

I was completely overlooking split ends - and obviously if part of the split breaks off, the hair ends will look/be thinner. :smack:

Very interesting pics there, Zhora … who’d have thought there could be so many varieties of split end? :eek: