Think of all the torture we inflict upon our hair; we scrub it, bleach it, and color it. We attack it with tools of the trade – hot rollers, blow dryers, curling irons, brushes, and combs. We saturate it with chlorine and subject it to the sun’s rays. And then we feel let down when it starts to fall apart at the seams?!
Instead of constantly running to the salon to fix the damage you’ve inflicted, prevent it! Follow these tips and you can stop split ends before they start.
Understanding the Basics of Hair Science
First, let’s take a look at hair science. If you know a little about the structure of a hair, it’s easier to avoid split ends.
Each individual hair shaft (the part that is visible above the scalp) is made up of two parts. The cortex, or center, makes up the main part of the hair shaft. It consists of strands of a soft protein called keratin. Keratin gives the hair shaft its special qualities such as elasticity and curl. This inner layer is covered by the cuticle. The cuticle is a series of overlapping, dead cells, very similar to the bark of a tree. When the cuticle is stripped away, the keratin strands begin to unravel. The result is a split end.
Preventing Split Ends
It makes sense that if we protect the cuticle, we’ll avoid split ends. Here are a few tips on how to do just that.
- Frequently washing your hair strips it of natural oils that keep it looking healthy. For best hair health, only shampoo your hair every two to three days. When you do lather the suds, don’t for get to follow up with conditioner. A good conditioner restores the natural oils to your hair, improves hair strength, and increases shine.
- Don’t be rough with your hair! Give it a gentle touch! Vigorously rubbing your hair with a towel causes friction. This unwanted friction removes the cuticle. For best results, simply let your hair air-dry.
- Your hair is incredibly vulnerable when it is wet. When possible, wait until your hair is completely dry and tame it with a wide-tooth comb. Never attack your wet hair with a brush since this process will stretch and break the hair.
- If you absolutely must use heat-producing tools of the trade, use them sparingly. Wait until your hair is about 90% dry before grabbing the hair dryer. Blow cool air in the general direction of your hair from several inches away; avoid close contact with hot air. Also, try not to let your curling iron linger in any one spot for too long. After a few seconds, move on. The best way to show love to your locks is to use no-heat styling procedures.
- Hair treatments (like coloring, straightening and perming) cause trauma, resulting in a head full of split ends. Try to limit severe treatments to just one major procedure at a time. For an additional safeguard, don’t wash your hair for at least 48 hours afterward a treatment.
After seeking the advice a Tampa hair transplantation specialist, blogger Linda Anderegg learned there was a way to restore her thinning hair. Now she takes extra precautions with the hair she is grateful to have!