We have all come across the term split ends. This refers to hair breakage that starts from the tips (ends) and works its way into the roots of the hair. Scientifically, this refers to the damage that occurs on the hair cuticles leaving the cortex exposed.
The split ends usually happen in different ways.
Some hair strands split into two parts, others into three and in other cases, they split in multiple sections. If not handled well, these ends can cause a lot of damage and breakage especially when you are trying to retain length.
Split ends can occur for different reasons. They can come as a result of the products used on the hair daily, harsh chemicals and relaxers, constant hair manipulation or even excessive use of heat.
At the same time, split ends can’t really be avoided completely. Our hair cuticles sometimes undergo wear and tear no matter what we do. This is just part of a natural process sometimes. This, however, doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t do anything to prevent damage. There are certain measures you can put in place to prevent the split from travelling further to your roots.
Prevention and treatment
Like we said, there are many measures you can put in place to ensure that you minimize and treat split ends.
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- Proper moisturizing
Having dry hair always leads to a number of problems. Your scalp gets dry and flaky and your ends end up suffering and breaking. When you stay for too long without moisturizing and sealing your ends, you are prone to this type of breakage.
- Trimming ends
Hair trimming is an important part of your haircare routine. This will stop the breakage before it spreads to other sections of your hair and give room for proper growth. At the same time, you have to be careful with this one. Stretch out your trims to even twice a year to avoid going overboard.
- Heat protectors
At times, it can be hard to completely avoid using heat on your hair. The best way to keep your hair protected while doing so is by using some heat protector while blow-drying, flat ironing or even curling. This will reduce direct heat contact and keep your ends protected.
- Low manipulation
There are times when I’d have my hair open and constantly run combs through it to detangle. After a while, I noticed that my ends got bushy because of some damage to my hair cuticles. After a period of trimming and protective styling, my ends were able to recover. Take a break from combing and manipulating your hair by braiding or keeping your ends tucked in. This will ensure that you prevent the splits before they happen as well as giving your hair the much needed break to recover if it was already damaged.
- Protein and conditioning treatments
Your hair needs a balance between proteins and conditioning treatments. Doing too much of either won’t allow your hair to recover form split ends and may even cause breakage that you didn’t have before. Moisture overloaded hair will become too soft and weak while protein overloaded hair will cause your hair to stiffen and break. Find a balance between your treatments to prevent and treat damaged ends.
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