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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
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
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
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
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
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 endsat 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.