We’ve all be there – the point where you look at your locks and wonder why it just looks so dry and dull. More often than not, if you take a closer look, the less than favourable appearance of your hair will come down to split ends.
Splits ends are caused when the outer layer of hair is worn away, leaving the internal structure exposed. Once exposed, the follicle is weakened and damaged, leading to it splitting. This deterioration of the outer cuticle can be caused by anything from physical trauma (heated tools, weather and harsh products) to hormonal or dietary imbalances.
Once a split end has formed, there is no product or technique that can ‘cure’ it. It simply has to be cut off to stop the split from spreading further up the shaft of the strand. Therefore, the very best form of prevention is to have a regular trim (every 6-8 weeks).
There are preventative measures that you can take to avoid getting to that point as well; we at TACB are passionate about our locks and thought we’d share our top tips on avoiding split ends all year round!
Put down the styling tools:
We all know this by now; heated tools suck the moisture from your locks. If you are regularly using a blow dryer, curling wand or straightener, you are constantly subjecting your hair to dehydration. This leads directly to dry, brittle hair and split ends. Start working with second day hair rather than restyling every morning and you will cut your use of heated tools by half.
Think before you brush:
While we don’t want knots in our hair, it’s important to brush properly, otherwise you can do more harm than good. Avoid brushing hair when it’s wet as this is when it can be more prone to breaking. Try using a wide tooth comb to smooth out kinks and knots on damp hair; use a leave-in conditioner, be gentle and don’t tug or pull at the strands.
It’s generally accepted that if you have hair more prone to being dry, the longer you leave it between washes, the better. However, the way you wash also makes a difference in the condition of your hair. When you shampoo, you should really only be applying product to the scalp; don’t bunch all of your locks up on the top of your head as this can lead to more tangles and knots than you started with, roughening the cuticle as you go. The ends of our hair are naturally drier than the roots so they don’t normally need any further washing. By focusing on shampooing the scalp (down to the ears and nape of neck) you are ensuring that the roots are cleansed of excess oil and the ends aren’t stripped of any moisture they’re hanging on to.
You are what you eat:
Your diet has a huge impact on the health of your hair. The right nutrition means your locks grow and remain strong, healthy and shiny. If you are lacking in any vitamins and minerals, it can lead to weak, brittle strands and even hair loss. To ensure your hair is steering well away from breakage and split ends, ensure your diet is on the right track. You might want to focus on B vitamins such as Biotin and folic acid. Biotin promotes stronger hair and nails while folic acid encourages red blood cell production which can, in turn, promote hair growth.
Know your hair ties:
It might seem like a funny tip, but the hair tie you use can literally make or break your hair! Rubber elastics are the worst offenders as they grip to and pull at the hair most. Thin elastic ties and ones with metal parts can also damage your locks; as a general rule, the wide and thicker the hair tie, the better it is for your hair. Go for something like these and avoid those that will snap, wrap and knot in your hair.
Image Credit: Natalie Bird