Split ends happen when the ends of your hair become dry, brittle, and frayed. There are many reasons for split ends and these days they are quite common. Almost everyone will deal with them at some point. Split ends cannot be repaired, only removed or prevented with proper care.
What Causes Split Ends?
- Mechanical damage such as brushing excessively, drying the hair too roughly, and allowing your hair to rub against rough fabrics.
- Chemical treatments perms and relaxers (especially when not done correctly)
- Excessive exposure to heated styling tools.
All these things damage the cuticle on the hair shaft as you lose more cuticle layers the hair becomes weak, splits and frays.
How To Prevent Split Ends
- Get regular haircuts and trims, preferably every six weeks.
- Don’t wash your hair daily. When you do wash, consider only using conditioner and skipping shampoo.
- Choose all-natural shampoos that contain no harsh ingredients.
- Use a conditioner after shampooing or use a leave-in conditioner.
- Do regular mask treatments.
- Use a wide tooth comb to detangle wet hair. You don’t need to add pressure or brush vigorously, especially if you start at the bottom and work your way up.
- Do not rub your hair dry, instead apply pressure by gently squeezing the excess water out of the hair.
- Limit services that damage hair, such as coloring and chemical straightening.
- Use a heat-protective spray when using heated styling tools.
- Allow your hair to air dry as much as possible before blow drying and never touch the blow dryer directly to the hair.
- Take supplements that strengthen the hair, such as biotin and folic acid.
- Some hairstyles, like ponytails and hair twists, can cause split ends. Limiting how often you wear these hairstyles and using softer hair ties may help prevent damage.
- Consider a silk pillowcase or silk hair wrap for when you sleep.
Ways To Remove Split Ends:
The only real way to get rid of split ends is to cut them off. Because once a hair is split, there’s nothing that can magically fuse the pieces back together again forever. But if you’re super anti-haircut, especially if you’ve been trying to grow your hair out, ask your stylist to try hair dusting or candle cutting.
Candle cutting requires twisting a section of your hair and burning it halfway through with a lighted candle. It’s thought that burning off your split ends can create a seal to help protect the ends from splitting again. Still, some hair care experts worry it may actually cause split ends and damage hair follicles.
After splitting your hair into small sections, the hair stylists twists them around before running a flaming candle along it, without getting too close to the scalp. Candle hair burning has been promoted as an alternative to trimming away split ends and keeping them away for up to 3 months, but it also promises to deliver other benefits.
The most obvious drawback of this hair treatment is the fact that hair is flammable. Even with an experienced hair stylist, there’s always the risk of one wrong move that could set your hair on fire and cause plenty of damage, and in the worst-case scenario, you’ll walk out of the salon with your hair a lot shorter. If you want to try candle cutting, definitely do your research and seek the help of an experienced professional. Doing the method on your own may result in burned hair or skin.
Hair dusting is a technique in which you don’t get rid of any hair length, but only the damaged hair tips. This can be done by snipping the very bottom of each hair strand. Think of it in terms of removing fuzz from clothes. So, if you’re trying to grow out your locks for summer or simply to rid damage from color treatment or heat styling, hair dusting will get you there with zero hassle, but a whole lot of flair.
The technique works on any hair type or texture, but for ladies with very wavy or curly hair, the stylist will need to smooth it out to see the damaged ends that need to be dusted. It won’t thin out your hair either—in fact, in the long run, it does quite the opposite. By removing split ends regularly, you keep the damage from creeping up your strands. That’s incredibly important for those who color treat or style their hair with heat tools regularly.
Not all stylists are masters of hair dusting though, so make sure to verify that your hairdresser can do the job properly. It goes without saying, dusting needs to be up to snuff for the outcome to be hair that looks and feels enviably healthy.