Invisible to the naked eye, micro-breakage causes your hair to snap and break off at the ends.
Among the many challenges we face in trying to care for our hair in the best way possible (tackling damage and stress, unlearning bad habits and making time for regular treatments), there’s something to be said for the role our hair plays in the journey too. Because sometimes it just won’t grow past a certain length – no way, no how.
Whether it stops short of a bob or extends past your shoulders, there’s an understandable frustration in the cycle of cut-grow-stop, cut-grow-stop. According to leading hairstylist and Evo international creative director Tom Smith, this can be largely put down to something called ‘micro-breakage’.
“Micro-breakage is the invisible damage that happens to your hair without you noticing. This can mean even if your hair is growing from the roots, it might seem like it isn’t getting longer because of breakage at the ends,” Smith explains.
Surprisingly, micro-breakage can occur even if your ends appear healthy and aren’t otherwise damaged by heat, chemicals or mechanical processing, which makes sound hair care a necessity.
“Be careful with your hair; style the ends gently, layer on serums and oils to keep them supple and use strengthening treatments regularly,” says Smith. “Always make sure you are keeping the hair on your head as healthy as possible by minimising heat styling, having regular trims and using science-led haircare such as Olaplex and K18.”
Olaplex and K18 are bond-building treatments, designed to repair damage within the hair’s structure. At a very simple level, each one brings broken bonds (protein links) back together, leading to stronger, more supple, healthier hair.
Originally an in-salon treatment only, Olaplex has a wide range of products stretching from pre-shampoo treatments to serums and oils, containing a gamut of shampoos, conditioners and masks in between. K18, on the other hand, champions one product – a leave-in repairing hair mask loved by celebrities including Hailey Bieber.
So, if you’re trying to grow your hair but find it just won’t extend past that pre-determined limit, take Smith’s advice – less heat, more nourishment and regular cuts. It might feel counter-intuitive but will serve you (and your hair) far better in the long run.
Main image: Getty