Split ends are the bane of anyone’s existence who’s desperately trying to grow out a haircut or aspires to have the princess-hair of her dreams. Unfortunately, unless you’re visiting your salon for a trim every month, split ends will happen. That doesn’t mean there isn’t anything you can do about them—or to prevent them. Some general TLC and mindfulness about how your treat your tresses definitely affects the state of their ends. Split ends may not bother you at all, but they are the first sign of hair breakage that if not dealt with swiftly, will climb up the shaft of your hair to cause breakage higher up, giving you a sort of uneven layered cut, whether you wanted it or not. The reason your ends split in the first place has mostly to do with the amount of physical stress on that most delicate part of your hair. Everything from how your style your hair and even how you brush it causes split ends. But what’s the fun of even having hair if you can’t style it as you wish? Call this a compromise, but here are some helpful tips on what you can do to help prevent your ends from splitting.
Less Than 100 Strokes. The whole adage about brushing your hair 100 strokes a night is really not the best idea if you want to keep that hair on your head. Brushing in general gets out tangles and loose hair, but think about petting a cat 100 times—eventually its hair sheds all over you. Your hair does the same thing. You can brush as much as you need to detangle and style but then stop. If you’re doing it for scalp benefits, a simple scalp massage with your fingers will do the trick.
Heat Style Wisely. Okay, you’ve definitely heard this one before. Heat is just BAD for your hair, no matter what way you spin it. A little heat works to style and set your hair, but blow-drying every day or heat styling frequently will tear up those ends like no other. Do what you must to dry your hair, but always be mindful to not subject your hair to more heat stress than necessary. When you blow dry, make sure to free-dry with your hands first to get rid of 90% of moisture and dampness in your hair and THEN go in with a brush and style. Use ceramic or ion-enhanced heat tools, which are less damaging for hair than plain metal. If you’re a frequently blow-dryer, invest in a good hair dryer—using one with a fast high-heat setting will dry your hair quicker, subjecting it to less heat in the long run.
Use The Right Products. If your hair is always split, it might be dry to begin with. Use moisturizing sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners. A weekly hair mask will also do wonders to quench thirsty strands. When you start to see baby splits beginning to happen, use protective hair serums and oils to literally seal the tips of your hair with a conditioning agent.
Be Gentle, Especially To Wet Hair. Hair is weakest when it’s wet, but all the extra tugging from hairbrush bristles will break more strands. After you shower you’re best using a wide-tooth comb to detangle. Also NEVER rub your hair with a towel when towel-drying. That’s pretty much the equivalent of sandpapering your hair. Blot gently, rather than rubbing or wringing water out from your hair. It helps to do a final rinse with cold water after you shower to close your hair’s cuticle as well for a smoother appearance.
Use Only Hair-Friendly Accessories. You might reach for whatever’s closest when you need to tie your hair back but if you’re using un-coated rubber bands to tie your hair together, the friction from rubber against your hair isn’t only painful, it’s damaging. We’re sure you’ve noticed that you find way more strands wrapped around a rubber band than an elastic hair tie when taking it out. Consider that evidence enough of damage.
Sleeping Beauty. Sleeping on a silk or satin pillowcase will do wonders to cut the friction your pillowcase wreaks on your hair, roughing up the shaft and leading to breakage and split ends. If that’s not your style, wrapping your hair up in a silk scarf and sleeping in that will also do the trick.
Get Regular Trims. Honestly, split ends are fairly unavoidable unless you’re into some serious lifestyle accommodations. Getting them trimmed every four to six weeks, even the teeniest bit, will prevent them from crawling up the shaft of your hair and making your hair look more haggard, leading to breakage.