The very phrase sends shivers up the spines of women with various hair textures.
Whether you’re straight, curly, kinky or a mix of all three, you’ve probably experienced split ends at some point.
Splits cause increased levels of breakage, they make combing your hair more difficult and they contrary to popular belief, they’re unfixable.
What are split ends?
Split ends refer to the splitting of the hair-shaft. If you take a look at several strands of hair, you’ll usually spot signs of fraying at the tips or ends of your hair. Those frays are probably splits.
What causes them?
A few things. In fact, many of the causes are things we don’t pay much attention to.
Most causes of split ends are caused by various forms of stress – either stress to yourself, stress to your hair or both!
Stress to your hair.
One minute your hair is up, then it’s down, then it needs shampooing, then you apply heat to it etc. Many of us follow crazy hair routines that simply result in us placing too much stress on your hair. If your hair is constantly being poked, pricked, combed and ‘untangled’ it’s likely to be experiencing damage through wear and tear. If you want to significantly reduce your chances of getting split ends, stop over-handling your hair and try to simplify your hair regime.
Another big cause of split ends is heat! Applying heat to your hair is potentially quite damaging. You should therefore apply heat with caution and be conscious of how often you use heat. For instance, if you’re using it daily or once a week- then it’s no surprise that your hair is suffering from split ends as a result.
Reducing your heat application to twice a month or once a month will make a difference. As a former heat addict, I totally understand that straightening your hair is tempting but it’s also unhealthy. Lay low on heat and your hair will thank you for it.
In a bid to prevent your hair from looking dry, many of us assume that applying any hair product will improve the condition of our hair. In actual fact, many hair products contain unhealthy ingredients that actually block moisture and prevent it from entering the hair shaft.
A common example is silicones and synthetic oils- both are very common ingredients that are found in most commercial or high street hair products.
These ingredients simply coat your hair and make it look shiny but in actual fact they do not allow moisture to enter your hair shaft. In turn, your hair ends up dry, tangled and filled with split ends. It’s therefore essential that you look out for the ingredients in the products you’re using and avoid using products that contain ‘cone’ at the end. For example, cetearyl methicone, amodimethicone and cetyl dimethicone.
You’re busy. Life seems to fly by and each day is swallowed up by the next. You’re tired and you feel as if you just don’t have the time to dedicate to looking after your hair or any other part of yourself. Your diet is far from healthy. You never exercise and your hair hasn’t been looked after in weeks. The idea of conditioning it seems like too much effort and you feel too drained to bother.
You’re not alone.
So many women (and men) experience this. It’s normal and you shouldn’t beat yourself up about it. However, you do have to remember that when you ignore things, are negligent and ignore them, they suffer and you suffer too.
That very principle applies to your hair. If you continue to ignore the damage, it’ll get worse. Making changes doesn’t need to be tiresome- start with taking 5 minutes a day to pamper yourself. I call this ‘me time.’ Use those 5 minutes to trim your ends, moisturise your hair or give yourself a scalp massage. Taking just a bit of time to look after yourself will make a big difference to not just your hair’s condition, but to how you feel.
Your next steps.
To make sure you put the tips in this article to good use, I want you to complete the following action steps.
1. Find alternatives to heat. Try twist-outs, braid-outs and up-do’s rather than straighteners and flat irons.
2. Moisturise your hair with products that contain healthy, moisturising ingredients. Our curl smoothie is a great option and it’s silicone free!
3. Take 5 minutes a day for some ‘me time’. Use this time to give your hair some treatment.