Women like to look their best… endlessly pampering and grooming themselves in attempt to reach a high standard of beauty, be it part due to unreal social standards and part personal standards, the desire is real… and the effects are real. Split ends are a visible effect. Here is all you need to know to keep your hair in its best shape.
Split ends are a problem that almost everyone faces and everyone is vulnerable to, in particular those with naturally brittle, dry, or thin hair. Split ends occur when the protective cuticle is destroyed at the end of the hair, giving a feathered look. Once ends have started to split, the split can extend all the way up the hair shaft. While there is no cure, and the only treatment is to cut them off, there are preventative measures that can be taken which are all the more effective when the causes of split ends are known.
Causes of split ends
Split ends are the result of normal hair wear and tear, but there are certain things that can accentuate the problem. The most common causes of split ends include the following…
- Blow dryers, curling irons, and flat irons all cause and worsen split ends, especially when they are not used properly and/or are over-used (more than three times a week). The intense heat causes strands of hair to crack at the tip and split vertically up the shaft.
- Using hot curling irons and flat irons on damp or wet hair. This is a big NO-NO… only use them on dry hair.
- Over conditioning and over washing rids your hair of its natural moisture, which is key to preventing split ends.
- Towel drying or brushing your hair too vigorously when it is wet.
- Excessive coloring, bleaching, or perming which weakens the hair.
- Sun exposure which dries the hair out; fine hair is especially prone to damage from the sun.
- Vigorous brushing, even on dry hair.
- Knots and tangles. Avoid knots by using suitable hair accessories that will not cause your hair to tangle. Most often, split ends occur from old or cheap hair accessories.
Preventing split ends
- Trim your hair every six to eight weeks.
- Use shampoos and conditioners containing hair thickeners.
- Squeeze the water from the hair with an absorbent towel. Rubbing the hair can cause wear to the cuticle as well as tangling.
- Gently comb tangles from wet hair with a large-toothed comb with soft tips, never a brush. Wet hair will stretch and snap easily. Never brush wet hair.
- If you have knots that just won’t give in, try a leave-in conditioner before you go at it with a brush.
- When blow drying, use a cooler setting whenever possible (i.e. when drying your hair, not styling) and keep the dryer at least six inches from your hair.
- After washing your hair, rinse well and then do a cool to cold rinse to seal the hair's cuticles and ends, adding instant sleekness and glossiness.
- Condition regularly and deep condition once a month.
- Massage your scalp and hair with some lukewarm olive oil at least twice a month to keep it moisturized, hydrated, and strong.
- Drink plenty of water.