How to prevent and get rid of split ends

Split ends are a common occurrence in persons with long hair, especially in those who do not take special care to avoid getting them.

The scientific name for ‘split ends’ is Trichoptilosis – a longitudinal splitting of the hair fiber – and there are several types: The generic end split, splits occurring multiple times up the same strand of hair, a split occurring in the middle of the hair strand that will appear as a hole if the strand is bunched up. There are a number of ways to avoid getting split ends, however, the only way to effectively remove them once they occur, is to cut them out. Many treatments claim to be able to heal them, but they simply coat the hairs with a layer that binds the split parts together or fill the hole for a limited time

Always use hair shears if you are cutting your own hair, even if you are only cutting a strand. Regular paper scissors can fray your ends and cause more splits down the road. Get your hair cut regularly, meaning every six to eight weeks. All hair gets damaged after a while, and cutting it will remove split ends and keep your hair healthy and growing strong. Cut them yourself between haircuts using a pair of hair shears. If you don’t cut above the damage, the split will reappear.

Most kinds of chemicals are going to damage your hair to some extent. Chemicals from getting a perm, having your hair highlighted, colored, etc., or even chlorine in bath or pool water all count. Try to steer clear of chemicals. Natural hair is beautiful. If you absolutely must color your hair, search for the gentlest coloring agent you can find. If you are going to be using chemicals on your hair, be sure to condition your hair more often. Protect your hair before swimming in a pool, ocean, or lake. This could include: using a leave-in conditioner, oiling your hair, or using a swim cap. Rinsing your hair thoroughly before swimming will also help it absorb less chemicals. Be sure to rinse and shampoo your hair as soon as possible after swimming.

Stop teasing or back combing your hair. This is the most damaging type of brushing. It pulls up the scales of your hair and when you comb/brush that section again the scales break off. Find a hair friendly comb and/or brush. If you have thicker hair you may need to use a pick or wide-toothed comb. Combs in general are more gentle than your common brush. Your brush or comb should aid you in untangling your hair, not pulling it out. Comb the hair gently. Start at the bottom and work your way up. When you encounter a tangle, don’t rip the comb/brush through it, stop and untangle with your fingers and then proceed. You have to be extremely gentle while untangling wet hair. Curly hair types may require combing the hair when it is still wet.

split ends

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