If there is one problem that crops up with clients time and again, regardless of hair type, it is split ends. Those dreaded hair (and soul)-destroying ends that make it impossible to grow your hair properly or style it the way you would like to. Once the bane of our lives, these days a healthy dose of TLC, regular trims and choosing the right products to care for your hair mean that we can banish the nightmare that is split ends for good.
What are split ends and why do we get them?
Quite simply, when hair is damaged the outer layer (cuticle) cracks and exposes the inner structure of the hair strand, which then become weak and dry, causing the ends to split. Depending upon the level of damage, these splits can travel quite a way up the hair.
Using heat during styling, highlights, colouring, straightening and curling all put hair under pressure, taking their toll on healthy tresses. Keep split ends under control with a regular trim every 6-8 weeks, particularly if you are trying to grow your hair. Trimming it will keep any split ends from travelling up the hair shaft and help you on your way to longer, healthier locks.
And, in between cuts, there are a number of ways to treat your hair to minimise damage.
Choosing the right shampoo and conditioner
Using the right type of shampoo and conditioner is a good place to start. Look for descriptions such as ‘hydrating’ and ‘repairing’, you want to restore as much moisture, protein and vitamins to your hair as possible.
Kiehl’s Damage Repairing & Rehydrating Shampoo for Damaged Very Dry Hair is a good choice for weak, damaged hair, with the Conditioner formulated to rehydrate very dry hair without overloading it with product. Toni&Guy’s Cleanse Shampoo and Nourish Conditioner are also good options.
When you have washed your hair and applied conditioner, slowly comb through with a wide-tooth comb to ease any tangles out; brushing wet hair can easily break it, particularly hair that is already weak.
Leave-in conditioners are particularly good for damaged hair as they smooth and strengthen. Label.M Leave-in Conditioner features ginger, ginseng, bergamot and juniper and protects against damage from hairdryers and styling tools. Just massage into the ends of hair after shampooing, comb through and style as usual.
System Professional Repair Perfect Hair is a lightweight mist containing wheatgerm oil to nourish and soften, which is well-suited to chemically treated hair.
For a deeper hydrating treatment, conditioning masks work really well on very dry hair. Living Proof Restore Mask Treatment can be used once a week to help strengthen damaged hair. Shiseido’s Hair Care Aqua Intensive Mask for Damaged Hair is super-hydrating for dry or damaged hair.
To get the best results from your mask, wash your hair and gently squeeze out any excess water, before spreading the product evenly through your hair. Massage it in then cover your head with a warm towel or shower cap for the specified time.
Treat your hair gently
Take care when blowdrying hair and, when possible, leave your hair to dry naturally. Turn the heat setting down a notch, direct the nozzle downwards and use a protective hair serum. Bumble and Bumble’s Repair Blowdry Hair Serum is designed to protect hair against heat, breakage and UV damage.
Conditioning hair serums are also great weapons in the fight against dry hair and split ends. Rene Furterer Karite Repairing Serum For Very Dry Hair And Split Ends is just the sort of thing you want to add to the damaged ends.
Treat your hair kindly and gently, replace as much moisture and nourishment as you can, and remember to book in for those regular trims to keep hair looking as healthy as possible, and those old split end days will simply seem like a bad dream.