HOW TO AVOID SPLIT ENDS
There’s no hair enemy as fierce and unyielding as the much-dreaded split end. Everyone gets them and nobody ever wants them. Split ends are the splits or frays of the hair-shaft due to excessive heat and mechanical stress. For example, the use of curling irons and other heat treatments may cause split ends. Excessive application of hair products such as perms and hair colouring may strip protective layering off the outside of the hair’s shaft and weaken the hair, making the hair prone to split ends. Mechanical stresses include pulling a comb forcefully through tangled hair and repeated combing. Split ends occur when the protective outer layer of the hair cuticle wears away and the internal structure of the hair is exposed. Once it gets exposed, it becomes weakened, dehydrated and damaged, causing split ends. Here is what you may be doing wrong and how to change up your hair routine to avoid the hair epidemic that is split ends for as long as possible:
- Trim your hair: We all know that getting regular trims every 6 to 8 weeks is the best way to maintain healthy hair, but many of us don’t have the time or budget for that. So, if you notice a split end in between trips to the hair salon, don’t wait until your next visit and just trim the strand yourself.
- Don’t over-wash your hair: Washing your hair every other day allows your hair to repair itself with its own natural oils, leaving your hair smoother and better protected. If you wash your hair every day, you are stripping your hair of these oils which can make your hair more susceptible to breakage and split ends.
- How you shampoo and condition makes a difference: Shampooing your scalp and conditioning your ends is the best way to do it. Don’t pile your hair on the top of your head and start scrubbing away; that will lead to split ends. Also, when conditioning the ends of your hair, make sure you give the conditioner some time to really soak into the strands before rinsing it out.
- Treat hair repair products with caution. There are conditioners and other commercial treatments that claim to “heal” split ends. These seal the split ends shut to hide them from view, but the damage is still there. You can use these as a temporary fix, but relying on them long-term may lead to worse damage.
- Seal with cold water: Rinsing your hair with colder water will not only help seal the hair’s cuticles and ends, but also add some glossy shine to your luscious locks.
- Use a wide-tooth comb. After you apply conditioner in the shower, slowly run a wide-tooth comb through hair until all the tangles are out.
- Blow-dry the right way. Always use a nozzle on your dryer to control and direct the flow of air, and dry hair in a downward direction before sectioning off and drying completely with a round brush. This way, you spend far less time with intense heat straight on the hair.
- Get regular cuts. Although a haircut is the only way to get rid of split ends, regular trims are your best protection against them. The longer you wait to trim, the greater the chance you have of split ends worsening and traveling up the shaft.