Split ends start slowly, and rob you of your peace gradually with frizz, dryness and damage. Isn’t it? But the good news is that you don't have to live with them forever. While getting a trim is one of the easiest solutions, this article is more than that. Let us first understand the origin of split ends and its causes before jumping to the treatments and preventive measures.
What Are Split Ends?
Split ends occur when a single strand of hair splits into two. Medically called trichoptilosis, split ends can occur anywhere on the strand, but are common on the ends. Split ends in large numbers deserve attention. If left untreated, they can lead to overall damage and brittleness of the hair.
Can You Actually Repair Split Ends?
Yes, split ends can be repaired and hair health can be restored. While trimming off hair is the best solution, there are other effective methods to get rid of split ends. Before we get into that, let’s look at the main causes of split ends first.
What Causes Split Ends?
- Hot water showers
- Harsh brushing of hair
- Wrapping hair in towel
- Sleeping in tight hairstyles
- Heat styling like straighteners, curlers, blow dryers
- Chemical treatments like dying, perming, straightening
- Poor diet
- Hair care products containing alcohol
- Sun exposure
- Lack of humidity
Different Types Of Split Ends And What They Mean
1. The Basic Split
This is the most common and beginning stage of split ends. Though cortical cells are packed tightly, large sections begin to separate. This kind of split end can be treated and should not be delayed.
2. The Mini Split
Similar to the basic one, it is common and occurs in the early stage. It is not beyond repair. All you need is proper nourishment.
3. Fork In The Road
These are not very common and are signs of larger damage. They will need deep conditioning treatments.
4. The Tree
The tree signifies larger damage on one side due to split ends that appear like tree branches. You may need a haircut in this case.
5. The Candle
Candle refers to loss of the outer cuticle without any split end. Nourishing oils can fix it.
6. The Knot
Single strand knots is a common sight in curly and damaged hair. The curl tangles itself to form a knot and can lead to breakage. If you have curly hair, be extra gentle while brushing your hair.
How To Remove Split Ends?
1. Best Split Ends Repair Treatments
A. Candle Burning
One of the latest methods to get rid of split ends is candle cutting or velaterapia, which is done at a professional salon. It comprises twisting sections of hair and burning it with a lighted candle half way through. This ensures that the split ends are sealed and do not split again.
Word Of Caution:
If you want to go for this treatment, seek professional help. Doing it on your own might burn your hair and skin.
B. Hair Dusting
Don’t want to let go of your hair length? We feel you. Hair dusting has become popular for a reason. It is a technique in which a professional slides the scissors and comb patiently across the length of your hair to chop off tiny ends, while retaining your overall hair length.
C. Hide With A Serum
You don’t want to visit a salon for the next few days? No worries. Though serums may not actually treat your split ends, you can cover them up with a shine serum.
D. Hydrate Your Hair
Dry hair can end up in split ends. Look for shampoos, hair masks and conditioners with hydrating ingredients that suit your hair type. There are tons of reparative sprays containing amino acids to fix the damage.
Back To Science:
Amino acids, proteins and peptides are the structural units of your hair.
E. Turn To Deep Conditioners
Deep conditioning treatments have stronger moisturizing ingredients and longer leave-on time, making your hair supple after use. Also, look for coconut oil masks or simply use argan oil or sweet almond oil.
2. Natural Remedies For Split Ends
A. Egg Yolk
Egg yolk has proteins required for healthy hair. Make egg yolk hair mask with olive oil, apply for half an hour and wash with regular shampoo.
Honey acts as a humectant by attracting moisture and sealing it in your hair. Apply a pack of honey, olive oil and curd and leave it on your hair for 30 minutes before washing your hair.
Applying beer on your hair can supply sugars and proteins to your hair. After shampooing, wash hair with beer, leave it on for two minutes and rinse off.
Papaya contains folic acid, which is helpful in blood circulation in your scalp and hair. Blend papaya and curd and apply it on your hair. Wash after 30 minutes.
E. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is moisturizing and anti-microbial in nature. Simply use the gel obtained from cutting the stem of aloe plant to apply on your hair. Shampoo your hair after half an hour.
How To Prevent Split Ends?
Brush Your Hair Gently
Brushing your hair harshly can cause split ends. If you can hear a sound while brushing your hair, stop! To get rid of the tangles, start from the bottom.
Heat Tools? Keep Them Down
If you are already having split ends, remember that straightening irons and blow dryers can cause further damage due to the heat. Try to keep the temperature low while you style your hair.
Keep Your Hair Clean
Never leave even the last bit of the conditioner on your hair. Rinse completely. Also make sure you wash your hair thoroughly to remove all the oil. Use heat styling machines only when your hair is clean and is protected by a heat protection spray.
Do Not Pick At Your Split Ends
Don't be tempted to pick, peel or tear your split ends. You are only causing friction at the cuticle and inviting more split ends.
Switch To Satin Pillowcases
Cotton pillowcases cause a lot of friction in the hair leading to split ends and breakage. Satin or silk pillowcases are gentle on your hair.
If your split ends are new and in the initial stages, it is ideal to opt for treatment options immediately before it gets worse. Split ends, when left untreated can damage your entire hair. Good hair care is a preventive measure besides all the treatment options listed above. So avoid excessive use of harsh chemicals and heat styling techniques to keep split ends at bay.
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