If one style is never on-trend, it’s split ends. Make them a thing of your past by learning more about what they are, where they come from and how you can treat and prevent them – for good.
What exactly are split ends?
The scientific word for split ends is trichoptlosis. Technically, a split end is when the cuticle of hair tears away from the hair fiber. To put it in easier terms, split ends are when the end of a piece of hair splits into two or three different strands while still connected to a single strand.
How did I get split ends?
There are many causes of split ends, from too much heat styling, aging hair (producing less sebum) and overexposure to sun, to infrequent trims and vigorous towel drying – but the top two causes are actually related to water.
Washing hair with hard water. Washing hair with hard water can leave traces of copper on your strands. And even if it’s just a small amount of copper, over time, it can start to build up and weaken your hair. Once it’s fragile, your hair is unable to stand up to regular heated styling, and, thus, starts to split.
Washing hair in hot water. Super hot water isn’t good for your skin or your hair. Water that’s too hot immediately dries up your hair, resulting in weakened follicles – which can cause split ends. If you insist on taking hot showers, turn down the temperature when you wash and condition your hair. The cooler water will help seal in moisture and shine.
Treating those pesky split ends
The good news is, there’s something you can do to treat your split ends…get a trim! Head to your favorite stylist and ask for a trim, letting them know you think you have split ends that need taken care of. Your stylist will be able to take a quick look at your hair and see how far up the shaft your hair is split, which will determine how much you need to cut off.
To ensure you keep your locks trimmed on a regular schedule, always pre-book your next appointment before leaving the salon. Depending on your hair length and type (and your stylist’s recommendation), you should get a trim every 4-8 weeks.
Preventing split ends from ever happening again
The more you concentrate on the health of your hair, the less likely you’ll be to have to deal with split ends or damaged strands. Keep your locks shiny and healthy with these easy tips:
- Install a water softener in your overall water system or one that’s built into your shower head
- Get rid of product build-up with a clarifying shampoo like Paul Mitchell Clarifying Shampoo Two
- Only use a wide tooth comb with wet hair – never a brush or fine tooth comb
- Pack your diet with protein
- Take a regular “hair-cation”
- Rinse hair with cool water
- Turn down the heat on heated styling tools
- Prior to heat styling, use a theraml protectant spray like Paul Mitchell Hot Off the Press