Have the ends of your hair strands started to split apart and do they look like fragile, tiny branches that have become brittle? That’s split ends you are dealing with and you’re not alone in facing this issue. In the sea of the many hair problems, split ends are perhaps the most common concern everyone has. Be it short or long hair, thin or thick hair, straight or wavy hair – every hair type experiences split ends and eventually finds themselves on the internet to look for answers and remedies on how to get rid of split ends.
First and foremost, it is essential to understand the basics of what causes split ends, so here goes...
- What is split ends
- What causes split ends
- How to remove split ends
- How to hide split ends
- How do I stop getting split ends?
What is split ends
Scientifically called Trichoptilosis or Schizotrichia, split ends are an evident sign that your hair is damaged. The damage is not done overnight, but over months and sometimes, years, and in cases when you don’t trim or cut your hair at regular intervals. Because your hair grows out from the roots, the oldest part is the ends of your hair. Just think about how much damage, pollution, chemical products and constant friction the ends experience throughout their lifetime.
Our hair structure consists of many layers. The outermost layer is called the cuticle which shields the inner cortex. Split ends first strike the cuticle towards the ends of hair and then affect the cortex, making the overall health of the hair shaft weak and worn out.
What causes split ends
Hair styling –
Overuse of products that release direct heat onto your tresses is one of the most prevalent causes of split ends. This includes application of straightener, curler, crimper, blow dryer and so on.
Parabens, alcohol, SLS and other harsh chemical-laden shampoos gradually make your tresses rough and dull. Plus, chemical treatments on the hair also break down the ends of your cuticle, resulting in severe split ends.
From towels and pillow cases to combs, some harsher fabrics and synthetic materials can cause slow, but eventual fraying of hair through rubbing and friction.
Environmental factors –
Hair is massively exposed to city pollution, dust, UV rays, and of course, the humidity levels that can really downgrade the health of your hair. Weather conditions like dry winters, hot summers and humid monsoons can really take a toll on your tresses, leading to wear and tear aka split ends.
Irregular or no hair trims –
Not getting the ends of your hair trimmed regularly can aggravate your existing split ends drastically.
How to remove split ends
Now that you know what mainly causes split ends in your hair, let’s dive into the many ways of infusing your damaged, wispy hair with life again. Here are some ways on how to get rid of split ends.
To make it clear, split ends cannot be reversed to its original, unsplit form. So, the only way to remove split ends is by cutting it. The general rule to keep your hair ends groomed is by trimming it every 4-6 months. Trimming ensures split ends and cuticle damage at the ends is dealt with before it spreads and worsens. It is an instant and accessible way to get split ends out of your hair.
If you are planning to take up the task of trimming your split ends at home, then remember to use sharp-edged shears (hair scissors) and not blunt ones. Sharp blades ensure a clean and precise trim, while blunt shears can result in unnecessary friction with the hair as well as an uneven trim.
How to hide split ends
If your next trimming schedule is days away, but you want to anyway hide your split ends for an event or a hairstyle, then these tips will help you conceal the splits perfectly. No one will have to know!
1. Use Vaseline
This one magical skincare ingredient that we just can’t get enough of, Vaseline, is a great hair care remedy too! Vaseline can be used to conceal split ends.
Yes! Take some petroleum jelly, rub it lightly between your fingers and apply it on to the ends of hair to hide visible split ends. Vaseline will also make the rough texture of your hair look smooth and shiny.
2. Hair mask treatments
Hair masks are deep conditioners that repair the overall health and look of your hair, infusing moisture, hydration and ingredient-led nutrients in your tresses. They also strengthen the strands and make the lengths of hair smoother and manageable.
After applying the hair mask, let it work on your hair for 20-30 minutes and rinse it off with water, and your hair will appear visibly stronger and the ends will look healthier.
3. Apply argan oil
If you don’t already know, argan oil is a wonderful ingredient to smooth out your rough, dull hair and revive it in a jiffy. Argan oil is easily available in the market and is a favourite of many haircare buffs for its moisturising and softening benefits.
Applying argan oil on the hair lengths, focussing more on the ends, will smooth out split ends and excessive frizz temporarily.
4. Leave-in conditioner works
Leave-in conditioners, as opposed to regular conditioners, are not meant to be rinsed out. After shampooing your hair, using leave-in conditioners on the lengths and ends of hair will seal your ragged hair cuticles for the time being and make it look softer and sleeker.
5. Whip up a DIY hair mask
When talking about remedies, how can we forget our good old DIY recipes? Here’s an easy 3-ingredient DIY hair mask that will improve the health of your dry, brittle tresses and also conceal split ends for the time being. Bananas are known to make hair healthier, shinier and strengthen cuticles, while olive oil is a superb moisturiser and gives lasting softness to your hair.
- Grab a ripe banana and some olive oil.
- In a small bowl, mash the banana into a smooth paste and add 1-2 tbsp of olive oil (according to your hair length).
- Mix it well and apply this mask on your scalp and the lengths of the hair.
- Let it sit for about 15-20 minutes and then wash it off with lukewarm or cold water.
- Next, shampoo and condition as usual.
How do I stop getting split ends?
1. Say no to harsh ingredients
We say, it is wise to avoid using shampoos and conditioners made of harsh ingredients. They can worsen your hair’s health and make it prone to breakage and split ends. Instead, use a clean and natural ingredients-laden formula like Love Beauty and Planet Argan Oil and Lavender Shampoo and Conditioner to calm your dry and frizzy hair and prevent getting severe split ends.
2. Post-shampoo hair care
Avoid towel-drying your hair at all costs. Instead, use an old t-shirt to dry your hair and if you’re not in a hurry, ditch your blow dryer and let your tresses air dry. Don’t forget to use a leave-in conditioner or a serum on your damp hair to lock in moisture.
3. Timely hair trims
Since split ends can’t be repaired completely, the only guaranteed way to remove split ends is by trimming your hair regularly.
4. Avoid excess heat styling
While we understand that avoiding hair straighteners and blow dryers entirely may not be possible, you must ensure to not overdo it. Keep heat styling minimal and always use a heat-protectant serum or spray before using heated tools on hair.