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Prevent & Heal Split Ends

May 6, 2012

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woman trying to prevent split ends        Split ends can be a girl’s worst nightmare. Split ends can be caused by a normal everyday hair care routine that includes blow drying, flat ironing, or curling ironing hair, but coloring, perming, or professionally treating your hair can also cause them. Even the weather can cause hair to frizz up allowing hair to split at the ends. Split ends describe the feathering, splitting or fraying of the hair shaft due to excessive heat or mechanical stress. When the hairs protective layer, the cuticle is raised due to heat, harsh chemicals, and stress the hair is more susceptible to splitting. The only way to cure split ends is to trim your hair, however there are ways to prevent and temporarily heal your split ends.

            To prevent split ends from occurring re-examine your hair care routine. Look at how you brush, dry and pull back your hair. Putting extra stress and excessive heat on your hair can lead to split ends. Start by examining how you brush your hair. Normally people start at the peak of their head when brushing their hair. They start brushing from the root to tip in large bundles. This puts added stress on the shaft of your hair. Rather start mid shaft or at the tips, reducing tangles and pressure put on the rest of the hair. Also section out small areas of hair, gently brushing through from tip then moving up all the way to the root. This reduces the pressure on the hair shaft reducing the likelihood of splitting.

            Heat is a major factor in frizzy hair and the risk of split ends. Heat from the sun, blow dryers, fat irons and curling irons raise the cuticle on the hair shaft. The cuticle protects the hair by locking in moisture and nutrients. When the cuticle is raised hair loses moisture-causing hair to look frizzy, messy and dull. Although most women use a blow dryer on a daily basis its best to try to limit the amount of heat exposed to your hair. When you must use a heating application apply a heat-protecting product such as Aussie’s silicone split-end protector or Garnier Fructis’ Flat iron perfector straightening mist with argan oil, before blow-drying. Heat protecting products should help to keep the cuticle lying flat also blow dry hair at a downward angle to avoid pushing up the cuticle. If your blow dryer has a cool setting, finish blow-drying with a cold blast of air to seal the cuticle closed.

            Hydrate your hair with a leave in conditioner before pulling back your hair making it less likely to split. Determining how you do your hair is usually based on how you feel that day. However pulling your hair back into a ponytail or on top of your head is the easiest way to keep your hair off your face. Keeping your hair pulled back in a ponytail can put stress on the hair strands. The clasp or hair tie used to pull back your hair can also damage hair strands. Fabric hair ties or wrapped elastic band without a metal closure are the bet hair ties to use because they decrease damage and pressure put on the hair when pulled back.

            By taking care of your hair you can prevent damage, split ends and frizzy hair. Limit touching your hair excessively, which can raise cuticles and transfer dirt, oil and bacteria to the hair shaft. This will reduce the number of split ends you get without having to cut your hair every time.