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How to Trim Split Ends at Home

 

 

 

 

 

By Tiffany Moore

 

I hate split ends. I always get frustrated just when my hair starts to get a little longer past shoulder length and there they appear – I can literally tear them apart. Have you ever wondered what causes split ends? Well, one thing for sure, they don’t appear overnight.

 

 

Split ends happen when the protective cuticle of the hair has been stripped away from the ends of hair fibers. Typically the hair splits into two or three strands, and can be as long as two to three centimeters, leaving your locks a frayed broken mess.

 

 

Split ends are more likely to develop in dry or brittle hair, and common causes of damage include vigorous hair brushing, excessive sun and wind exposure, and “rubbing” wet hair with towel. Also watch out if you are a frequent hair-color-changer, or a serial hair abuser who can’t go a day without using hair straightener. Too much heat and harsh chemicals rob your locks off its moisture and can take a severe toll on hair health in the long run.

 

 

The undeniably best way to tackle this common hair problem is to cut off the split ends completely, no matter how much you want to grow your hair long. While some people choose to go to salons for snips, I honestly don’t see the need to spend money for a small job. To a budget-conscious girl like me, it just does not make any economic sense. Unless you are looking for a complete makeover, why not cut split ends at home?

 

 

Supermodels like Natasha Vojnovic, Giselle Bundchen, and Liya Kebed all do it themselves at home in between salon visits. Even Sam McKnight, a well known stylist to celebrities, is all for it. All you need is a pair of really sharp scissors and very confident hands to do the job.

 

 

It may sound like a scary task but it’s really not. It’s basically trimming off a few centimeters, and if you accidentally made a blunder, you can always turn to your stylist for rescue. However, I don’t recommend you cutting more than what you are comfortable with.

 

 

And if you are a huge fan of fancy gadgets, consider investing in a split end cutter, which is available at most beauty stores locally as well as online. But make sure you buy the best, high quality split end cutter you can afford. Those devices made of poor quality blades can actually harm your hair.

 

 

How to Trim Split Ends Yourself

 

1. Make sure that your mane is clean and dry (hair is longer when wet), take small sections of hair and carefully twist them in a gentle downward motion. You will see split ends straying out.

 

 

2. Carefully trim into the twist with scissors but don’t cut right through. Otherwise you will loose the original shape and end up looking really silly, so just cut into the thickness to remove the damaged cuticles while giving a natural soft, layered look.

 

 

3. Be very careful to cut about the same amount from each twist and from both sides of your head.

 

 

If your hair damage is not severe and you have much leisure time at hand, you can always cut the split ends at home strand by strand, which I find to be highly addictive!

 

 

Having said all that, here are a bunch of things to keep in mind when it comes to preventing spilt ends from happening.

 

1. Always brush through your hair with a wide tooth comb before washing. The reason for this is, it will remove tangles and knots that can result in unnecessary hair breakage when you brush your locks after showering. And be very gentle when brushing wet hair as it is at its weakest and most delicate, and hence more prone to wear and tear – splitting.

 

 

2. Apply just enough shampoo (a coin-sized amount diluted with some water) towards the crown area of your head, gently lathering downwards by making zig-zag movements and avoid washing the dried out ends, if possible. Very importantly, make sure to keep your hair straight without bunching too much during shampooing as this creates opportunities for spilt ends.

 

 

3. Use a good quality ultra-nourishing protein-based conditioner (keratin) to help smooth the hair shaft and repair strands from the inside out. A leave-in conditioner is also a great option for giving maximum lubrication and protection to dry brittle ends which are prone to splitting. Try Tresemme Vitamin B12 & Gelatin Anti-Breakage Conditioner or Herbal Essences Long Term Relationship Leave-In Spilt-End Protector for Long Hair.

 

 

Bumble and Bumble Seaweed Conditioner and Neutrogena Triple Moisture Healing Shine Serum are two of my personal favorites. Both work remarkably well for my fine hair that tends to be dry on the ends, leaving strands feeling as smooth as silk. The best thing about these products is, they won’t weigh down your hair.

 

 

4. Avoid using heat styling tools such as blow dryers, curling irons, and straighteners as much as possible. Why? Heat is extremely damaging as it can permanently alter and weaken the protein bonds in your locks, drying them out and cause breakage as well as split ends.

 

 

5. Oiling on a regular basis goes a long way in growing more luxuriant locks while keep the split ends from splitting up the hair shaft. Place 1-2 drops of Vitamin E-rich extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil in your palms. Rub your hands together and lightly coat the ends.

 

 

Other than oils from coconut and olive, there are actually many oil extracts that are also great for this purpose – almond oil, argan oil, rosemary oil, moroccan oil and castor oil.

 

 

6. If you have fine, curly or frizzy locks, say a big “no thank you” the next time your stylist whips out the razor. Although great for adding texture, compared to cutting with scissors (blunt cutting), razor cutting actually thins your ends out. That means it makes your ends more likely to split at a faster rate and also get damaged when you style with heat or use chemicals to treat it – coloring, bleaching, rebonding and permanent waves.

 

 

 

 

how to trim split ends yourself

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