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View Full Version : Mid Shaft Splits and Secret Sources of Damage?



lilliemer
January 31st, 2014, 03:35 PM
I've been noticing a lot of mid shaft/incomplete splits and white dots in my hair. Mostly in the last 1-2 inches. I have been heat free for over 2 years, am just above bsl in length, and think that these splits are residual heat and mechanical damage (from elastics, which I have also given up) but I just wanted to ask for some input as to whether there could be other secret sources of damage that I am missing? I do brush with a tangle teezer but cannot really envision how this would cause mid shaft splits.

I am 2c, use low sulfate shampoo every 2-3 days, heavy condition, oil regularly, and wear it up most of the time. (This is because it generally looks terrible down.) The person who cuts my hair basically told me that I have fine hair and just have to live with it...but quite honestly when I type my own hair it is not really fine at all at least according to the definitions here (i.e., easily visible on a flat surface, makes noise when I roll a strand in my fingers, etc.). I think it is just easily damaged. I would like to get it longer, but am worried that it is too weak for whatever reason. Advice is as ever welcome!

cathair
January 31st, 2014, 04:01 PM
I am gonna pull up a chair a listen :popcorn: Midshaft splits/white dots are 95% of the damage I have too. Mostly in the last few inches as you say and sometimes 2 or 3 next to each other on the same strand. Hope you find some answers :)

ravenreed
January 31st, 2014, 06:38 PM
I get splits all up and down my hair. If it makes you feel any better, I reached fingertip and I still get them (I am currently back at classic). They are not a barrier to growing long hair, but they do make it a little tougher. The best way for me to avoid splits is to avoid tangles. I have had great results with catnip rinses as a leave in. I also stopped using oils for the most part because oil attracts lint to my hair, leading to tangles, which lead to splits. I also brush my hair with a TT quite a bit throughout the day to keep the tangles at bay, basically anytime I redo an updo as well as in the morning and before bed. I don't know how I can wear my hair in braid or bun and undo it at night and find more tangles, but that is just how my hair is. I S&D often (less so now than previously though), and I am an aggressive trimmer. Fresh ends make for less splits in the long run for me. It took me longer to grow, but my hair always looks great so eh.

Firefox7275
January 31st, 2014, 08:00 PM
Tangle Teezer type brushes absolutely can damage hair, see the Long Hair Care forum for a copy and pasted study on a similar brush and the general discussion. Some curlies report their hair being absolutely trashed by the TT.

Another series of studies found grooming (brushing or combing) causes breakage by individual hairs wrapping around a bristle/ tooth: wet and dry grooming causes breaks at different points on the hair shaft, bleaching increases breakage, effective conditioning reduces it. Not surprising findings perhaps but properly studied.

I don't see why your mechanical and heat damaged hair wouldn't be at higher risk, just as bleached hair is since all can lead to higher porosity, lower elasticity, permanently raised cuticles at risk of being ripped off.

ravenreed
January 31st, 2014, 08:40 PM
Are you referring to this study (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3129123/)? Because I can find no reference to Tangle Teezers in that study. The brush mentioned is most definitely not a Tangle Teezer. My dad used to use a similar brush-like thing and they are just awful. I really, really wish that if you are going to reference a study that you provide a link.



Tangle Teezer type brushes absolutely can damage hair, see the Long Hair Care forum for a copy and pasted study on a similar brush and the general discussion. Some curlies report their hair being absolutely trashed by the TT.

Another series of studies found grooming (brushing or combing) causes breakage by individual hairs wrapping around a bristle/ tooth: wet and dry grooming causes breaks at different points on the hair shaft, bleaching increases breakage, effective conditioning reduces it. Not surprising findings perhaps but properly studied.

I don't see why your mechanical and heat damaged hair wouldn't be at higher risk, just as bleached hair is since all can lead to higher porosity, lower elasticity, permanently raised cuticles at risk of being ripped off.

Firefox7275
January 31st, 2014, 09:37 PM
Are you referring to this study (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3129123/)? Because I can find no reference to Tangle Teezers in that study. The brush mentioned is most definitely not a Tangle Teezer. My dad used to use a similar brush-like thing and they are just awful. I really, really wish that if you are going to reference a study that you provide a link.

As I clearly stated Tangle Teezer TYPE/ similar brushes, I really really wish YOU would read my posts properly. I'm on my mobile phone and not linked to broadband: its a royal PITA to search and link ... and ramps up my bill if I am not super careful. Your finances may be peachy but I am on a low income in a recession.

People can Google for themselves if they wish, sufficient information was given. I specifically referred to - and would have linked to - a forum thread because the discussion is relevant, again as I clearly stated.

cathair
January 31st, 2014, 09:54 PM
I guess you mean this study on the Long Hair Care forum?

http://www.longhaircareforum.com/showthread.php?t=679723 - "Hair Study Shows Breakage Caused by Tangle Teezer-like brush "

So you don't have to click it, they do appear to be the same study. The brush in the study to me looks like one of those brushes for massaging shampoo in... I couldn't really comment about the tangle teezer because I have never used one.

Totally un-hair related... Had no idea you were using mobile phone. Now wondering how much data you use. I have broadband, but couldn't afford internet on my mobile phone until I found OVIVO. You have to buy the SIM up front for 20, but it is totally free to use after that. You can either have 500mb or data and free calls, of 1GB of data a month without calls for nothing a month:

http://www.ovivomobile.com/offer/ovivo-for-data/

I don't know if that helps any, but it's working out very well for me on a limited budget.

neko_kawaii
January 31st, 2014, 09:57 PM
I was also going to post that they appear to be the same study.

spidermom
January 31st, 2014, 10:05 PM
had lots of those splits, never found a solution, now wear shorter hair and don't care

Firefox7275
January 31st, 2014, 10:16 PM
I guess you mean this study on the Long Hair Care forum?

http://www.longhaircareforum.com/showthread.php?t=679723 - "Hair Study Shows Breakage Caused by Tangle Teezer-like brush "

So you don't have to click it, they do appear to be the same study. The brush in the study to me looks like one of those brushes for massaging shampoo in... I couldn't really comment about the tangle teezer because I have never used one.

Totally un-hair related... Had no idea you were using mobile phone. Now wondering how much data you use. I have broadband, but couldn't afford internet on my mobile phone until I found OVIVO. You have to buy the SIM up front for 20, but it is totally free to use after that. You can either have 500mb or data and free calls, of 1GB of data a month without calls for nothing a month:

http://www.ovivomobile.com/offer/ovivo-for-data/

I don't know if that helps any, but it's working out very well for me on a limited budget.

Thanks! It's the entire thread that I was referring to, study AND general discussion on Tangle Teezer and other brushes of the genre. Plus a series of four(?) studies on grooming and breakage.

I used to be on my laptop and broadband ... But laptop is currently dead and I'm not at home much anyway. My last two mobile bills were crippling so I have switched to a plan that is basic and cheap. Note to self: don't take your eye off the ball when life gets complicated!!

cathair
January 31st, 2014, 10:55 PM
I can see 3 examples in that study of Indian men. The microscope pictures definitely look like midshaft splits. But from the description of the way they use the brush, I would kind of expect damage from any brush to be honest.


(The comb was run over the scalp as vigorous strokes from the frontal aspect, brushed across the vertex and temporal aspects and ended at the occipital region, around 8-10 times a day

etc.

I can see in the discussion thread and the various discussions threads linked within it there are many people saying the TT has caused them breakage and also a good number of people saying they have had no problems. So I couldn't really draw any conclusion from that, unless I am missing something?

I know that OP does use a TT, but I do not (or use any brush or comb for that matter) and have the same problem. [sorry OP not trying to hijack your thread, just theorising]

I can see perhaps tangles could cause midshaft splits where hair is un-recoverably bent an breaks. Or perhaps trying to release hairs from tangles and them being pulled in the process. Perhaps giving ends more slip somehow would help, but I am not sure how one could detangle more gently than finger combing. Or if this could account for all of white dots when hair is being treated carefully.

That sounds rough, nothing worse than a computer dying :( Hope life is well on the way to being less complicated.

spidermom
January 31st, 2014, 11:01 PM
I used nothing but a wide-tooth comb for a year, and I still got those mid-shaft splits. Lots of them. Thousands.

About the only thing I didn't try was catnip rinses. Oh, I did it once or twice, but it seemed a lot of trouble with little reward, so I didn't continue. Pretty much everything else LHC suggested, I tried. I finally decided that my hair is just going to split more the longer it gets no matter what.

cathair
January 31st, 2014, 11:15 PM
I finally decided that my hair is just going to split more the longer it gets no matter what.

Seem quite likely that mine is going to behave the same way and I can accept that. It might even be that I am just plain clumsy. I am willing to keep an open mind to new ideas though :)

lunalocks
January 31st, 2014, 11:29 PM
I began to notice horrible splits when I reached waist. I gained almost no length for year, trimming them off. Catnip tea as a rinse and leave in has been great for my hair. My splits are much fewer, but I still get them. At BCL now. 39 inches.

Kate199023
February 1st, 2014, 01:07 AM
I have shoulder blade or a bit longer hair and get them as well. It sucks but I refuse to get it cut to fix it.

ravenreed
February 1st, 2014, 07:15 AM
I read what you posted. I was expecting the study to actually reference a Tangle Teezer knockoff but those are entirely different. It is disingenuous to mis-reference studies and then not even provide links so people can confirm or refute the info for themselves. Very poor scholarship!



As I clearly stated Tangle Teezer TYPE/ similar brushes, I really really wish YOU would read my posts properly. I'm on my mobile phone and not linked to broadband: its a royal PITA to search and link ... and ramps up my bill if I am not super careful. Your finances may be peachy but I am on a low income in a recession.

People can Google for themselves if they wish, sufficient information was given. I specifically referred to - and would have linked to - a forum thread because the discussion is relevant, again as I clearly stated.

Panth
February 1st, 2014, 10:58 AM
To get back to the original topic... potential overlooked sources of damage:

- BBBs (some peoples' hair just hates them)
- tangle teasers (again, some peoples' hair hates them)
- improper moisture/protein balance
- excessive washing (hygral fatigue)
- part of the hair being weaker / more damage prone from poor health / diet at the time it was grown
- excessive manual handling (brushing, combing, styling)
- wearing hair loose (causes tangles, which causes damage)
- length-specific wear, e.g. from car seatbelt, top of your chair, bag strap, coat collar, etc. (a common reason for stalls at about collarbone length (collars), BSL (chair backs) and just before classic (sitting on the hair))
- use of humectants when the humidity of the air is incorrect
- gradual damage from swimming in chlorinated water
- style-specific damage, e.g. from ponytail hairband, from hairband at the end of a plait
- sleep-based damage, e.g. temple hairs being worn away

And, of course, you could have old damage which is making hair from a particular point downwards more vulnerable to splitting/breaking.

Yozhik
February 1st, 2014, 11:38 AM
:applause

Panth, that's an excellent list - I've rarely seen all of the possible damage sources listed so succinctly. I'm tempted to save this for myself as a roadmap for identifying damage.

Quasiquixotic
February 1st, 2014, 04:07 PM
To get back to the original topic... potential overlooked sources of damage:

- BBBs (some peoples' hair just hates them)
- tangle teasers (again, some peoples' hair hates them)
- improper moisture/protein balance
- excessive washing (hygral fatigue)
- part of the hair being weaker / more damage prone from poor health / diet at the time it was grown
- excessive manual handling (brushing, combing, styling)
- wearing hair loose (causes tangles, which causes damage)
- length-specific wear, e.g. from car seatbelt, top of your chair, bag strap, coat collar, etc. (a common reason for stalls at about collarbone length (collars), BSL (chair backs) and just before classic (sitting on the hair))
- use of humectants when the humidity of the air is incorrect
- gradual damage from swimming in chlorinated water
- style-specific damage, e.g. from ponytail hairband, from hairband at the end of a plait
- sleep-based damage, e.g. temple hairs being worn away

And, of course, you could have old damage which is making hair from a particular point downwards more vulnerable to splitting/breaking.

Thank you. I found this really helpful information.

lapushka
February 1st, 2014, 05:21 PM
Heat free for about 2 years, that means your virgin outgrowth is going to be about chin to shoulder length (layered). So there is still going to be lots of damage in your hair when it's BSL.

Neptune
February 1st, 2014, 06:10 PM
Thanks for this list, Panth! SUPER helpful. I've also been trying to figure out why my hair is getting sooo many splits, even though I wear it up, use a BBB, wash 1x a week and deep condition, & oil the ends. In my case, it might just be old damage... or possibly the Rainbow Henna I used a couple of times last year. :( I stopped the henna and am waiting to see if it gets any healthier...


To get back to the original topic... potential overlooked sources of damage:

- BBBs (some peoples' hair just hates them)
- tangle teasers (again, some peoples' hair hates them)
- improper moisture/protein balance
- excessive washing (hygral fatigue)
- part of the hair being weaker / more damage prone from poor health / diet at the time it was grown
- excessive manual handling (brushing, combing, styling)
- wearing hair loose (causes tangles, which causes damage)
- length-specific wear, e.g. from car seatbelt, top of your chair, bag strap, coat collar, etc. (a common reason for stalls at about collarbone length (collars), BSL (chair backs) and just before classic (sitting on the hair))
- use of humectants when the humidity of the air is incorrect
- gradual damage from swimming in chlorinated water
- style-specific damage, e.g. from ponytail hairband, from hairband at the end of a plait
- sleep-based damage, e.g. temple hairs being worn away

And, of course, you could have old damage which is making hair from a particular point downwards more vulnerable to splitting/breaking.

swearnsue
February 1st, 2014, 07:42 PM
In the article about those scalp massage brushes causing breakage, they said that the users were rapidly brushing their hair. Now that is different from how we use our TT isn't it? When we gently and slowly use the TT to untangle hair, we aren't causing breakage I hope.

I just bought a TT a few months ago and I really like it. I haven't noticed any broken hairs in the "teeth" but of course I don't check every hair for a root bulb.

If it really isn't good for my hair I don't want to use it. My cat is sitting here right now saying, "give ME the TT!"

Panth
February 2nd, 2014, 05:04 AM
In the article about those scalp massage brushes causing breakage, they said that the users were rapidly brushing their hair. Now that is different from how we use our TT isn't it? When we gently and slowly use the TT to untangle hair, we aren't causing breakage I hope.

I just bought a TT a few months ago and I really like it. I haven't noticed any broken hairs in the "teeth" but of course I don't check every hair for a root bulb.

If it really isn't good for my hair I don't want to use it. My cat is sitting here right now saying, "give ME the TT!"

To give an example from the threads, here's an LHC member and I'd personally call this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIqM9BjoQMA&feature=youtu.be) rapid brushing. (I hasten to add, that her hair seems fine with it, plus the tutorial is lovely.) *shrug* But then that's not much worse than I see other LHC members doing on their youtube videos, e.g. Torrin Paige and her paddle brushes! A lot of youtube videos seem to be quite rough when detangling, even those made by LHC members.

Panth
February 2nd, 2014, 05:10 AM
:applause

Panth, that's an excellent list - I've rarely seen all of the possible damage sources listed so succinctly. I'm tempted to save this for myself as a roadmap for identifying damage.


Thank you. I found this really helpful information.


Thanks for this list, Panth! SUPER helpful. I've also been trying to figure out why my hair is getting sooo many splits, even though I wear it up, use a BBB, wash 1x a week and deep condition, & oil the ends. In my case, it might just be old damage... or possibly the Rainbow Henna I used a couple of times last year. :( I stopped the henna and am waiting to see if it gets any healthier...

Thanks all!

(I didn't put on the list bleach, dye, flat irons, hot blow drying, chemical straightening, perms, keratin treatments, etc. as I figured those are probably not 'secret' sources of damage. ;) )

For the OP: I agree with lapushka. It's most likely that the bottom half of your hair is from before you stopped using heat and thus is far more damage-prone than the hair above it. You'll just have to baby it and (at some point, no rush!) make a decision about what to do - e.g. leave it and let it slowly disappear by wear & tear, trim off a certain % of your growth each month or two so that it is gradually removed, maintain at a certain length until you've removed it all, or (and I wouldn't recommend this unless it is so damaged that you are being driven mad by tangling, etc.) chop off all the old damaged stuff, leaving just the hair that's never been heat treated.

bunzfan
February 2nd, 2014, 07:53 AM
I get these too and I've noticed a huge reduction since I switched to a bamboo brush I mean I get them but no way as many, I used to brush with the tt wet but now I don't ,it Was other curlies that made me think possible there were damaging my hair lots less with my wide toothed wooden comb and bamboo brush.

lilliemer
February 2nd, 2014, 10:59 PM
lots of good thoughts here, thanks everyone! It's also encouraging to hear from everyone who has similar tendencies to split but nevertheless managed to get long...thanks...

Also, it is shocking (but true!) to think that despite the 2 years of LHC TLC, I still am living with probably close to 50% old damage on my hair. Sigh.

I am going to start by hiding the tangle teezer, I just got a trim so the splits are down to a dull roar for the moment. The TT didn't really do much for my hair anyway, it just feels really good on the scalp. Maybe I will replace it with one of those "spider" scalp massagers instead. Will update periodically if it is making a difference...if not, then on to catnip...

browneyedsusan
February 3rd, 2014, 08:58 AM
I used nothing but a wide-tooth comb for a year, and I still got those mid-shaft splits. Lots of them. Thousands.

About the only thing I didn't try was catnip rinses. Oh, I did it once or twice, but it seemed a lot of trouble with little reward, so I didn't continue. Pretty much everything else LHC suggested, I tried. I finally decided that my hair is just going to split more the longer it gets no matter what.

I've found a few splits and wonder it it's even worth avoiding. I'm happy with the length I have, because I can put it up if I want to, but the idea of wearing it up 24/7 just for the sake of having long hair doesn't sound like fun to me. (Others can do as they please. Enjoy the hair however you like!) If mine never gets to "jaw-dropping", I'll survive! :)

Still, lurking on the thread to see if there is anything simple I can do to keep my hair nice. :couch: