Split Hair Ends - Prevention and Treatments

Split hair ends are a sign that your hair doesn't like the way it's being treated! Your hair will always tell a story, be it good or bad. If you aren't sure if you've got them, take a good look. If you see 'slits' in the ends, your hair is talking to you!

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You might also notice little white specs along the hair shaft. This is a sure sign that your hair is getting ready to either split or break off! Not good!

Light years ago back when I was in high school, I had them myself. I never trimmed my hair because long straggly hair was really the ‘in thing’ at that time! Of course, that was back in the hippie movement days when grunge was the new 'chic'. Everyday in study hall, I’d split them as far up as they would go. It was fun for a bored teenager who didn't want to do any school work but that’s not the proper way to treat them nor a good way to treat your hair! My how times have changed.

This is what a split end looks like under extreme magnification. You can see how the cuticle (outer layer) of the hair has been compromised and the fraying that ensues.

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What Causes Split Hair Ends?

Split hair ends happen for many reasons. Health issues can cause them to split, just as waiting too long between trims. Of course, other things can cause them as well.

Brushing your hair too often or with the wrong brush is sure way to get them. Brushing wet hair, perming too often or overlapping color can stir them up. The most common cause today however, is the overuse of hot appliances. The intense heat from their use over and over again, causes the hair ends to crack at the tip and then they split vertically up the hair shaft.

Unfortunately, once your ends start to split, the split can extend all the way up to the roots unless you take action. Once they split up too far, the only way to get rid of them is to cut your hair short and start over.

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How to Prevent and Treat Split Hair Ends

  • To help prevent and treat split ends, be as kind to your hair as you would a fine fabric. You must be gentle with your hair and handle it with respect. Once you have a good hair care regimen in place, stick with it! Daily maintenance is at least, part of the key!

  • Use moisturizing shampoos and conditioners that help build up the hair shaft and prevent your hair from becoming overly dry and brittle. Choose products carefully and invest in moisturizers. They will pay you back three fold! Plus, your hair won't succumb to breakage.

    Remember too, that during the coldest and warmest months of the year, your hair has many environmental enemies! Take extra good care of your hair during these seasons to ensure that your hair won't suffer needlessly.

  • Be gentle with your hair when you're drying it. In fact, rubbing your hair too much with your towel can wear down cuticles and cause them to become thin. Another idea is to let your hair air dry as much of the time as possible and don’t over-wash your hair, unless you are using high quality products.

    Always use products that help tame your hair, without the harsh ingredients.

  • Gently comb tangles from wet hair with a broad-toothed comb. Wet hair stretches and is prone to snap when you brush it wet.

  • If your hair is hard to comb out wet, use a detangler to assist you. It's frivolous to keep trying to drag a comb through your hair when it's full of knots.

  • Don't over-brush your hair even when it's dry. Its alright to brush you hair once or twice a day but that's really all you need to eliminate tangles, dust, and dirt. Remember too, to buy softer brushes that don't pull or tug on your hair and are less apt to cause problems. Paddle brushes are also a great way to pamper your hair.

  • Choose low maintenance styles. Hairstyles that require excessive blow drying, curling, or straightening can force you to use hot appliances more often than you ordinarily would. Instead, all hair appliances should be used intermittently to avoid damage.

    If you must use hot irons, remember that ceramic hair appliances are much more healthy for your hair. They negatively charge your positively charged hair, which helps lay down hair cuticles. When your cuticles are flat against the shaft, your hair is less prone to splitting.

    If you like to curl your hair a lot because of a high profile job, use steam rollers instead of hot irons. Steam adds moisture to your hair which helps deter split hair ends.

  • If you have long strands, every couple of months you need to deep condition your hair. That way you'll make sure that splits are not part of the equation.

  • Get a trim a couple times yearly to avoid split hair ends. If you can't afford to go to your hairdresser, you can easily trim your hair at home. That is, if your hair is at least shoulder length.

    Whatever you do, remember that your hair will only look as good as you treat it. You can turn scraggly hair into gorgeous locks, just by getting rid of split hair ends!

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