Last Updated on March 13, 2021 by Rei Ramos
Ever notice those white dots at the ends of your hair whenever you play with it? No! not the one from the roots.
The one on the tips on your hair.
When I first noticed mine I scoured the internet looking for answers. And to my surprise, it’s more common than I usually thought.
Trichorrhexis nodosa is the term used to describe the irreversible damage to the hair structure which is usually caused by friction, harsh brushing, excessive shampoo relaxers, swimming in salt water, and the most common of all — Chemical over-treatment.
In this article, I would be discussing what exactly is trichorrhexis nodosa and its most common causes. I would also touch on what can you do once you already have it.
So without further ado, lets get started.
What are Trichorrhexis Nodosa/white tips on hair?
White tips on your hair usually indicate that your hair strand is damaged and broken. Trichorrhexis nodosa is caused by excessive use of heat styling tools or chemical treatments.
It could also happen due to friction or excessive hand brushing or lack of moisture. Trichorrhexis nodosa is the precursor to split ends and can only be “fixed” by snapping/removing the affected area.
What are the most common causes of trichorrhexis nodosa/white tips on hair?
Hairstylists suggest avoiding friction because it could damage the strands of your hair and cause split ends or white tips on your hair.
The usual culprit is your pillowcase. Cotton sheets cause friction and damage your hair shafts.
We recommend using a silk or satin pillowcase.
Excessive brushing could also damage the roots and strands of your hair due to friction. Make sure that you’re brushing slowly and avoid brushing your hair when wet.
Finally, when brushing your hair, always start at the tips and work your way up in sections. Use wild boar bristle for best results.
Swimming in saltwater/pool with harsh chemicals
Swimming in saltwater or pools with harsh chemicals could dry and damage your hair. This in turn leads to those white tips on your hair and eventually to split ends.
Not to mention that when swimming in saltwater or pool, your hair is in the sun for an extended period of time. Always use leave-in SPF treatments to protect your hair from UV rays and avoid swimming for an extended period.
Chemical treatments should also be avoided if your hair is prone to damage and split ends. Talk to your hairstylist for alternatives when your hair is not agreeing with your products.
There are tons of alternatives out there for damaged hair.
What can you do once you already have trichorrhexis nodosa/white tips on hair?
Sadly, the only way to deal with trichorrhexis nodosa is to just trim the ends and figure out the cause.
Luckily, the most common causes of white tips on your hair are due to external factors like perming, harsh brushing, high heat treatments, exposure to ultraviolet light, and chemical treatments.
If the reason for your trichorrhexis nodosa/white tips on hair is due to heat or heat styling tools, consider using heat protectant sprays before using one and moisturize your hair as much as possible.
For chemical cause, talk to your hairstylist for different options, there are less harsh products out there that cater to easily damaged hair.
How to prevent trichorrhexis nodosa/white tips on hair?
To prevent trichorrhexis nodosa or white tips on the ends of your hair, you need to be more gentle and careful when doing anything harsh to your hair.
- Using hairdryers or heat styling tools
- Chemical treatments
- Prolonged sun exposure
- Harsh brushing
- Swimming in saltwater or pools with harsh chemicals
For hair dryers and heat styling tools, the best way to prevent damage is to use heat protection sprays before using and moisturize after using one.
This would ensure that your hair is properly protected because most people underestimate the damage heat styling tools do to their hair.
White tips on hair usually mean cosmetic and chemical over-treatment of the hair, which is called trichorrhexis nodosa.
This condition can be caused by a variety of factors like friction, harsh brushing, excessive shampoo relaxers, swimming in salt water, and the most common of all — Chemical over-treatment.
Sadly, trichorrhexis nodosa is irreversible damage to the hair structure and the only way to deal with it is to trim your hair.