Split ends or 'Trichoptilosis' is caused by excessive dryness. It results when the outermost layer of the hair strand, known as cuticle gets damaged due to a lack of moisture and nourishment. The cuticle layer covers and protects the innermost layer of the hair strand, known as 'medula', and the middle layer, called 'cortex'. So, when the cuticle layer gets damaged, the inner layers of the hair strand get exposed. This causes the appearance of split ends.
There can be numerous factors that can cause split ends. More commonly, it is associated with dryness, a lack of proper hair care, frequent use of blow dryers and hair straighteners, and the excessive use of hair color and dyes that contain harsh chemicals. Even vigorous brushing and back combing, and the use of styling products containing alcohol or ethanol can make your hair dry and brittle. Apart from these, factors like the over-exposure to sunlight and wind, frequent hair treatments like perms and relaxers, and a poor diet can make your hair prone to splitting and breakage.
It is possible to prevent split ends and hair breakage. But once you get this hair problem, it is better to cut or trim your hair, and then follow the necessary measures that can help prevent its occurrence in the future.
Brush and Comb with Care
Frequent combing and vigorous brushing can cause hair breakage, and make your hair more prone to splitting. So, if you want to prevent this hair problem, brush and comb your hair carefully. Brushing and combing wet hair should be strictly avoided, as it can cause hair breakage. Always use a wide-toothed comb to untangle your hair. Be sure to comb hair in sections, starting from the bottom and then slowly working in the upward direction.
Shampoo and Condition Your Hair
Washing or shampooing your hair at regular intervals is important to keep the scalp clean. But if your hair is dry and prone to breakage, you should avoid daily shampooing. People having dry and brittle hair should always apply a good conditioner after shampooing their hair. This helps restore the required moisture level and prevent dryness.
Stay Away from the Heat
Avoid the regular use of blow dryers, and minimize the use of flat irons, hair straighteners, hot rollers, and curling irons as much as possible. The frequent use of such tools can make your hair brittle, dry, and prone to breakage and splitting. Whenever you need to use these tools, be sure to use them at the low heat setting, and apply a protective hair product before using them. It is also important to protect your hair from excessive sunlight, as this can also cause dryness. So, consider to wear a wide-brimmed hat, whenever you step out in the sun.
Minimize the Use of Chemicals
Many hair products, such as dyes, hair perms, hair color, and relaxers can contain some harsh chemicals. If you want to prevent dryness and hair breakage, then minimize the use of such products. After using a hair styling product, be sure to moisturize your hair deeply to reduce the risk of hair damage.
Trim Hair Regularly
This is perhaps one of the simplest remedies for split ends. Usually, the hair should be trimmed once in every six to eight weeks to promote the growth of healthy hair.
- Well-moisturized hair does not break and split easily. So, consider to give your hair a hot oil treatment. Just warm any hair oil (olive oil/almond oil/coconut oil/mustard oil), and massage your hair and the scalp with it for about 10 minutes. Now, cover the head with a hot towel for a few minutes. Leave the oil for a few hours or for the entire night, and then wash it off the next day with a gentle shampoo.
- You can also prepare a hair mask by mixing olive oil and egg. Apply this mixture on your hair, and let it stay for about an hour, after which wash it off with a gentle shampoo. This can be used once or twice in a month to deeply moisturize your hair, and keep split ends at bay.
- Mayonnaise is another product that can condition your hair deeply. Just massage your hair gently with mayonnaise, and let it stay for about an hour, after which wash it off.
- Mix a small amount of jojoba oil to your normal conditioner. This can help moisturize your hair deeply, and make the hair shiny and glossy.
- Blend banana and avocado together till the mixture becomes smooth in consistency. Put a tablespoon of olive oil while blending them. Apply this mixture to your hair, and allow it to stay for 15 to 20 minutes. Then wash it off with clean and slightly warm water.
- To prevent split ends, you can apply honey to your hair, especially to the hair ends. You can also add honey to your normal conditioner, or make a natural hair conditioner by mixing honey and olive oil.
To sum up, proper hair care is the key to prevent the problem splitting or fraying of the hair-shaft. Along with hair care, it is equally important to follow a healthy and balanced diet. If your diet fails to provide the essential vitamins and minerals, your hair may become more vulnerable to splitting or breakage.