Even the healthiest hair develops split ends, although how fast this happens depends not just on your hair type, but also on your hair care routine.
There’s even a medical term for split ends, Trichoptilosis, and it means the splitting or fraying of the hair shaft from mechanical, chemical or thermal stress.
How Do Split Ends Happen?
Like I said above, there are three types of stress that can affect your hair and cause it to split. Mechanical can be anything from brushing the hair (using cheap combs and brushes as well as improper brushing techniques) to friction with your clothes.
Chemical stress means the array of substances that come in contact with your hair, from shampoos, conditioners and other hair styling products to water. Hard water, salty sea or ocean water and chlorine water from swimming pools and SPAs can be particularly damaging to the hair. UV rays can also deteriorate the condition of your hair, leading to split ends faster.
In the case of thermal stress we usually think of heat, caused by hot weather or hot styling tools such as blow dryers, straightening irons, curling irons….etc. However, excessive cold can also damage the hair so during the cold season it’s best to keep your hair covered while outside.
No matter what you do, at some point your hair will develop split ends unless you trim it. Nevertheless, you can follow some good practices to significantly delay split ends from occurring. This is especially useful if you are trying to grow or maintain long hair and avoid trimming too often.
Speaking of, there is no way to repair split ends, although many shampoos, conditioners and other such products have this claim on their label. Once you have them, the only way to get rid of split ends is to cut them off.
Here are some tips on how to prevent split ends from forming:
– Use a mild shampoo with moisturizing ingredients and try not to wash your hair more than 3 times a week.
– Always use a rinse out conditioner on the ends of your hair after shampooing.
– Rinse your hair with cool water after washing it. It will close your scalp pores and seal your hair cuticles, preventing split ends and hair loss.
– You can optionally use a leave in conditioner (whichever works best for your hair).
– Never brush your hair while it’s wet, because that is the time when it’s most fragile.
– Avoid using hot styling tools and cheap styling products as much as possible.
Home Remedies for Split Ends
If you already have split ends and don’t want to trim your hair just yet, you can improve its appearance with a few cheap and handy home remedies. These remedies moisturize and condition your hair so they’ll also prevent split ends from occurring.
Hot oil is one of the easiest but effective treatments for split ends, but you’ll be getting some extra benefits since it moisturizes the hair from roots to ends. You can use coconut oil, olive oil or castor oil (as well as other oils that are good for your hair).
All you have to do is slightly heat the oil in a microwave, massage it well on your hair and scalp and leave it on for 30-60 minutes. You can also add a few drops of an essential oil such as daphne or lavender essential oils to soothe sensitive/itchy scalp, rosemary or tea tree oil to reduce dandruff, ylang ylang essential oil which regulates sebum production and gives the hair strength and shine, as well as other essential oils. Then you can shampoo your hair as you normally do. You can use hot oil to condition your hair every week or more often.
This fruit is often used in home-made facial and hair masks because it is rich in essential fatty acids, protein, magnesium and vitamins A, D and E, but also other nutrients needed by the hair.
You can apply a mashed ripe avocado on the entire length of your hair (optionally mixed with 2 tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil) and leave it on for 30-60 minutes than rinse it off and wash your hair with shampoo. You can do this every week.
Egg yolks contain a richness of essential fatty acids and protein that strengthen your hair and reduce the appearance of split ends. They will also soften your hair and make it more manageable.
To prepare an egg mask mix one egg yolk with one tablespoon of honey and two tablespoons of olive oil. Apply it evenly on your hair and leave it on for half an hour. Rinse it off with warm water then wash your hair with shampoo.
Bananas contains all sorts of hair-friendly nutrients such as vitamins A, C and E, oils, iron, zinc and potassium. All of them make your hair less prone to breakage and restore its natural elasticity.
Mash one ripe banana and mix it with two tablespoons of plain yoghurt. Apply this mask on your hair, leave it on for about 1 hour and wash it off.
Mayonnaise is basically an emulsion made from egg yolks and oil, with both ingredients being good for moisturizing and strengthening your hair. The only problem with using mayonnaise on your hair is if you buy it from a store. Store-bought mayo usually has other ingredients in it, to prolong shelf life which you might not want on your hair.
If you want to apply mayonnaise on your hair, make your own from fresh egg yolks and an oil that’s good for the hair such as olive oil. One you’ve distributed the mayonnaise evenly through your hair, leave it on for 15-20 minutes. To get rid of it easily apply some shampoo on your hair (without adding water yet), massage it thoroughly for 2-3 minutes than use water to rinse the mayonnaise off.