As a long-haired gal, I'm no stranger to split ends. The frayed hairs leave my tresses looking unkempt and frizzy, which just isn't pretty. So, I've learned how to prevent split ends by making my hair care intentional. After all, if you're letting your hair grow out, you need to help keep it healthy and, in turn, looking beautiful!
Natural Remedies for Split Ends
First of all, what exactly are split ends? They are broken and damaged hairs caused by excessive chemical treatments, poor grooming habits, and environmental exposure, according to an article in the International Journal of Trichology (IJT). To prevent hair dryness, tangling, frizz, and hair fiber breaks, the secret is to make the hair resistant to damage by strengthening it through gentle hair care.
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) explains that making a few simple shifts to how we routinely cleanse and style our hair can help us prevent damaged hair and flaunt smooth, silky locks. Here are a six tips to tame split ends naturally.
1. Shampoo Your Scalp, Not Your Hair
Focus on massaging the shampoo into the skin of your scalp. I try to go slow and focus on my whole head, including behind my ears and the back of my neck for a bit of self-pampering. There's no need to actively lather and rub the longer lengths of hair. This can cause unnecessary friction on the hair, leading to split ends, according to the IJT article. The process of simply rinsing the shampoo from your scalp will more gently cleanse the strands.
2. Don't Skip Conditioning
Sure, it's another step, but conditioner features ingredients to hydrate and strengthen our hair. The IJT article explains that conditioners help to seal hair cuticles, which minimizes frizzing. Gently comb the conditioner through the ends of your hair with your fingertips. Regularly applying oil—such as coconut oil—may also help to reduce breakage.
3. Let Your Hair Dry Naturally
After shampooing and conditioning, wrap your hair in a towel to wick away moisture. Then, remove the towel and let your hair air dry. If you have straight hair, the AAD recommends waiting for it to be partially dry before styling with a wide-tooth comb. If you have textured, curly hair, it's okay to comb it when it's damp. Go slow and don't tug.
4. Reduce the Use of Heat-Styling Tools
Yes, this means the blow dryer, curling iron, and straighteners. Since giving up my blow-drying habit, I've noticed my hair is much more manageable, less puffy, and has fewer split ends. If you need tools to create your go-to hairstyle, use them on the lowest heat settings (cool air on the dryer, lower number on the temperature dial on irons), and apply the tools to your hair for a shorter period of time.
5. Choose Loose Hairstyles
I've been a tight, smooth ballet bun and high ponytail girl for so many years, but as soon as I learned to do looser styles (think messy bun, low ponytails and simple braids), my hair has become healthier. Although our hair can stretch, pulling it too much often leads to breakage, per the IJT article.
6. Be Mindful of Hair Services
Do you perm, color, or use relaxer in your hair routinely? Try going a bit longer between services, or skipping them altogether. A girlfriend of mine is allowing her natural gray to show through, and it's a beautiful silver tone that looks stunning with her complexion. She reports her hair texture is much better sans color.
A routine hair trim every few months (yes, I go months, not weeks) keeps my hair feeling soft and looking less frizzy on the ends. When I get home from the salon, one of my natural remedies for split ends it to use a leave-in conditioner or apply coconut oil to my hair for an extra boost of hydration to those fresh-cut ends.
Looking for more ways to take better care of you? Visit the @tomsofmaine Naturally Inspired Solutions board on Pinterest.
Image Sources: Unsplash | Angela Tague | Angela Tague
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Why It's Good
Better hair days are ahead! By tweaking your current hair care routine in a few subtle ways, you can curb split ends and increase the shine of your locks. When you look good, you feel good, and that creates happier moments in our lives!