Split EndsAs your hair grows longer and for those of you who are rocking straight styles during the cooler temperatures, be ware that split ends play a major role in retaining length. Don't be fooled by the new growth, be more concerned with moisturizing, proper hair care and diet which yields long hair! Last week, I became obsessed with looking at my ends because they were constantly snagging on my sweater and as I ran my fingers through my hair got caught in my nails. I noticed that I had little knots at the ends of my strands and a few fork-in-the-road like follicles. I ran to the bathroom and spot checked with the quickness. I searched and destroyed as many split ends I could find!
Currently, I am seeking to retain length in my bang area and in that case I have to pay close attention to the way in which I manage and treat my hair. Sadly, the only solution to split ends is to cut them off! This isn't a major issue for me as I'm doing a 1/4 front, 1/2 back cut. But for those of you who are seeking to retain length, here are a few things that can help you to counteract a haircut the next time you go to visit the hairdresser:
Know the Causes:
I know it's a major deal that you look fly when you leave the house, but be cautious that daily styling has the harshest affect on your hair. The constant brushing, parting, separating and simply put, manipulating your hair, causes it to stretch and expand against it's will! Add to this chemical processing and the use of curling irons and you end up with dry, brittle hair.
If you must manipulate your hair everyday, begin to handle your hair as if it were a baby! Be extremely gentle, don't force combs or brushes through the hair as this causes those strands to break. And when they break they are uneven and the slightest snag causes a split to form. In fact, instead of using a brush, trying using the palms of your hands in order to smooth your edges. I've found that the palms of my hands and the skin on my fingers can be abrasive, therefore I always moisturize my hands with oils prior to manipulating my hair. If you must detangle dry hair, apply a moisturizer to provide a "slipping" affect and start with the last inch of your hair, brushing in one direction and working your way to the roots of your hair.
As previously stated the only cure to split ends is to cut them off!! The second part to this cure is to ensure you don't accrue more split ends. According to Livestrong there are several options you have to help ensure split ends don't occur. I especially approve the use of mayonnaise as a hair mask. My next adventure would be to make an avocado mixed with yogurt and honey mask! They also recommend using jojoba, sweet almond, olive and castor oils to moisturize split ends and reduce friction. Just about all of those are in my cabinet! And my new found favorite, apply shea butter to the ends and a swipe of water to seal in the moisture!
A Few Things to Remember...
-Keep those ends protected as much as possible to include protective styling and securing your ends at night
-When you do turn in for bed, please sleep with a satin/silk pillowcase and/or scarf/bonnet
-Make use of a wide-toothed comb and a denman brush when washing
(If you have a bobble-ended brush, get rid of it! I'll be shopping for a new one myself)
-When washing, focus on the roots and less on strands. As the soap runs down, your ends will naturally become saturated. The over manipulation is unnecessary.
-Shampoo can be drying, avoid as much as possible. Instead use your favorite conditioner and once a month you a clarifying shampoo
-Blow dry your entire head on cool and then only apply heat to the first 3 inches of your roots
-Use henna instead of permanent color which can be the ultimate moisture sucker!
-Opt for sitting under the hair dryer rather than heated curling tools
What methods are you using in your regimen to prevent split ends?