If your trips to the hairdresser are often driven by a desire to banish your split ends, we’re here to help with some tips and tricks to keep your hair healthier longer between trims and touchups.
When it comes to split ends the key is prevention. There’s no way to repair them once they make an appearance, there are easy and inexpensive ways to prevent them. Why? Hair, like our nails, isn’t alive. Cells in the hair follicle create the hair, but once it moves beyond that point it’s on its own and needs our assistance to stay healthy and shiny. The cuticle, the outermost protective layer of the hair, is very sensitive to environmental changes and specific styling processes. Split ends are one way in which the damage manifests itself.
But not to worry! Here’s the inside scoop on split ends and how to prevent them so you can give your strands all the love they need.
What Causes Split Ends?
The end of a hair shaft is the oldest and weakest part of the strand. When the area suffers a lot of damage, it frays and separates into two or multiple fragments, which we know as split ends.
There are multiple factors that can harm your locks, and they include:
- Chemical treatments, like coloring and perms
- Mechanical damage, such as vigorous brushing or drying with a towel
- Heating tools, like straighteners, curlers, or blow driers
Long-term use of all these styling techniques can harm your hair’s cuticle, causing it to become brittle and dry.
Unfortunately, once the damage is done, there’s no way to fix it other than by getting a trim. And in case you’re wondering, no shampoo, conditioner, or hair mask can actually repair your split ends—those things are all preventative and simply help keep the hair cuticle healthier for longer.
But before you start throwing away your straighteners and cutting ties with your favorite hairstylist, you should know that preventing the damage is simple.
5 Easy Ways to Prevent Split Ends
Split ends are very common, even among those who prefer to go au naturel most of the time. However, preventing their appearance is easy and, although it involves a little bit of extra effort, it can be an easy and cost-effective way of maintaining healthy locks.
Here are a few minor changes you can make to your hair care routine to keep split ends away.
Avoid Towel Drying
What’s one of the first things you do when you come out of the shower? Chances are you use a towel to wrap your hair momentarily before rubbing it all over your head to dry your mane.
Although convenient, the simple act of rubbing the rough and porous material against your wet hair can be too much for your vulnerable strands to handle, causing the cuticles on the surface to open up and expose them to environmental damage and frizz.
A simple alternative is to use a quick-drying towel or even an old cotton t-shirt to squeeze the excess water out of your hair before moving on to blow-drying—but unless your hair is super thick and it’s a chilly and damp day, letting your hair air dry is a great way to avoid heat damage. Another option is to buy a hair turban like this one by Aquis made of microfibers to help maintain hair shine and cut down on hair drying time.
Swap Your Paddle Brush for a Wide-Tooth Comb
Yes, the feeling won’t be the same if you’re used to a paddle brush but it will make a huge difference in hair health. This is especially the case when it comes to brushing them while wet, which is when your hair is at its most vulnerable state.
Using a wide-tooth comb to gently brush your hair starting from the bottom and working your way up is a gentler way to go about it, detangling knots while preventing breakage. This comb by Hyoujin will do the trick.
Consider Getting A Silk Pillowcase
There are several advantages to sleeping on a silk pillowcase—shiny hair is one of them. The ultra-soft material doesn’t cause any friction against your hair while you sleep, keeping the cuticles on the hair strands sealed and minimizing the chances of getting freezy hair once you wake up.
If you’re interested, check out this silk pillowcase by Ravmix.
Avoid Regular Use of Heat (And Protect When You Do)
Sometimes, whether you’re in a rush or it’s the middle of winter, leaving your hair to air dry is not an option, and that’s okay. However, it’s good to practice it whenever you can to reduce the amount of heat your strands have to endure.
Blow-drying on medium heat can help, especially if you apply a leave-in conditioner or heat protectant beforehand. You can cut down on your prep time by opting to use a combination conditioner and protectant like Redken’s One United spray.
Redken One United All-In-One Leave In Conditioner
Dry hair? Unruly curls? Heat damage? This spray does it all.
In addition, using curlers instead of a curling iron is also another simple way to avoid damaging your hair. Curlers are still hot, but nowhere near as hot as a curling iron, and your hair will thank you.
Moisturize More Often
Nourishing your hair is just as important as using the right techniques to style it. Those with curly locks will know, as curly hair tends to require extra hydration compared to other hair types.
Using hair masks, hydrating treatments, oils, and lotions with safe and nutritious ingredients can help boost your hair health and shine, preventing regular or costly trips to the hairdresser.
Also, don’t forget to drink up! Staying hydrated can benefit your overall well-being, including your hair. Healthy roots, healthy hair, after all.
Split ends are no fun, but whether you choose to try one or a few of the above tips, you can rest assured you’ll see a difference in your hair in very little time.