How to Seal Split Ends (and Prevent them!)
Nobody wants split ends. Not only do they stand in the way of achieving long, luscious lengths, they also look ugly. Yet most of us have them at some point or another. Thanks to daily heat styling, towel drying methods, and even what we sleep on at night, it's easy to accumulate split ends. Luckily, there are ways you can deal with the breakage and prevent it from happening in the first place.
To keep your mane from resembling a fluffy, unkempt mess, here are some useful tips for keeping the ends of your hair healthy. It's time to put an end to that damage once and for all.
What are Split Ends?
Before we show you how to establish a hair care routine that will banish breakage, let's first look at what split ends actually are.
Split ends are essentially the result of fraying of the hair strand into more than one fragment. It's hair breakage, in other words. This damage is caused by excessive stress on the hair shaft, follicle, and cuticle, often caused by perms, coloring, chemical treatments, or styling tools.
While the easiest way to get rid of split ends is by snipping them away, you do have other options if you don't want to lose your precious strands.
With the right tools and products, hair damage no longer needs to be a dilemma.
What Causes Split Ends?
A whole host of things can cause split ends. They include:
- Mechanical damage such as brushing wet hair, wearing tight ponytails, and excessively rubbing the hair.
- Chemical treatments like perms, keratin straightening, and relaxers.
- Coloring - especially bleaching.
- Hot tools - think straighteners, hairdryers, curling irons etc.
'All these factors damage the cuticle on the hair shaft which leads to splits and frays in the hair.
How to Seal Split Ends
First things first: hydration. Even if your ends are already splitting, you can recover your strands by slathering them with hydrating conditioners to promote healthy hair. Deep conditioning proactively works against further breakage, while sealing the existing breakage. Look for a conditioner that's packed with vitamins and essential oils to replenish lost moisture. You should never shampoo without following up with conditioner.
Deep Condition too
Besides your daily conditioner, invest in a nourishing hair mask or leave-in conditioner to smooth out those split ends. Daily blow drying and hair styling both contribute to damaged strands, which is why your hair needs plenty of moisture to stay healthy. Focus mostly on the bottom of your hair to make sure you're really targeting those split ends. Applying a hair mask all over your hair may lead to greasy roots.
Try Truly's Rainbows in Mirrors Split End treatment which mends and seals split ends while preventing them from forming in the first place. Packed with avocado and argan oil, this powerful treatment restores your hair color and reinforces damaged strands.
Apply Serum or Oil
Inject even more moisture into those strands of yours with a natural oil or oil-infused serum, like argan oil or coconut oil. These two oils are packed with essential fatty acids and nutrients that restore the hair and seal split ends. Only apply to the tips of your hair to prevent greasy strands.
How to Prevent Split Ends
Even better than fixing split ends is preventing them in the first place. Fortunately, it's easy enough to do with the right tricks and tools.
Combing your hair too aggressively is a major contributor to split ends. So instead of brushing your hair like you're scrubbing the floor, treat it delicately and with care. Hair is fragile and can break easily, which is why you need to improve your hair-brushing technique if you want healthy, happy strands.
For best results, start with a wide tooth comb. They glide through your hair easily and without causing breakage. Start at the bottom of your strands and work your way up to prevent fraying. If your hair is extra knotty when wet, use a detangling spray to help the process along. It will make combing much easier and far less painful.
Opt for Air Drying
As much as we love the humble blow dryer for delivering a beautiful, voluminous hairstyle, it's prone to causing frizz and split ends. Let your hair air dry instead. As long as you use a volumizing shampoo and styling product beforehand, your hair can still dry beautifully naturally.
Alternatively, let your hair dry as much as possible before blasting it with the hairdryer. Anywhere from 60% - 90% dry is perfect for styling your hair without causing major damage.
"Invest in a quality heat protectant and avoid placing heat directly on to the ends of the hair," says Sam Burnett, Owner and Creative Director of Hare & Bone. "Focus more on the roots and mid lengths - leave the ends to dry from the secondary heat and always keep the nozzle moving constantly for an even distribution of heat. Also try your best to dry on a cold air setting."
Go for Regular Trims
To keep your hair in optimum shape, visit your hairdresser every couple of months for a haircut. Don't want to lose your long hair? Relax. Just ask your hair stylist for a "dusting" - a technique that removes split ends without losing length. In fact, going for regular hair cuts is the best way to encourage healthy hair growth, regardless of your hair type.
Follow a Helpful Hair Care Routine
Lastly, make sure you're using the right hair products to maintain healthy, strong locks. From your shampoo to conditioner, it makes all the difference in keeping your mane looking magnificent and split end-free. Look for nourishing products formulated with natural oils and butters without parabens and fragrances. Avoid wearing your hair up in tight ponytails, turn down the straighteners, and pamper your locks with a weekly hair mask.