Once the tips start to split, it looks like nothing can stop split ends. But there are solutions.
Depressed split ends (and ugly hair)
Even if you buy the best products for your hair and double your care, the tips can still split, warns Mackenzie Day, stylist and owner of The Artist Haus in Philadelphia. According to hair gurus, some people are simply more predisposed than others to split ends.
But wind, sun, and dry weather can also contribute to the problem. You can also make it worse by the way you treat your hair. Watch out for these bad habits that favor split ends.
You always lift your hair.
Do you raise your hair every Day in a ponytail or a bun? Consider changing your style. “If you always wear your hair straight and tied the same way, it will put tension there,” says Day. Over time, this tension can break the hair, especially if your hair is damp or soaked with the steam from the shower when you lift it. Day recommends using non-pulling elastics and changing your ponytail or bun so that the tension is not always in the same place.
You wash your hair every day
The shampoo scours the natural oils of the hair. Used too often, it will make your hair dry. “The drier the hair, the more the knots form,” notes Paul Labrecque, master stylist, and colorist at Paul Labrecque Salon & Spa. And if you try to untangle these knots, you risk tearing your hair out and causing the tips to split.
You use too many clarifying products.
If you use right hair products, regular use of clarifiers doesn’t help, says Lorean Cairns, founder, and CEO of International Salon Group. These products can do more harm than good. “They remove the nutrients from the hair,” says Cairns. Their use will end up damaging your hair by tangling it and accentuating split ends. Sulfate shampoos also tend to dry out the hair and make it brittle, with split ends, she adds.
You rinse your hair with your hands.
To avoid split ends, avoid vigorously brewing your hair by applying shampoo and conditioner. “You may find it more difficult to untangle, smooth the frizz and remove the flyaways,” says Cairns.
Pass your wide-toothed comb once through the hair, then simply let the water run to rinse.
You rub your damp hair with a towel.
Although vigorous towel drying does not directly cause split ends, the process will create knots. And trying to untangle them, you’re going to pull your hair out, says Labrecque.
Avoid splitting spikes by wrapping your head in a towel immediately after showering. “Since the hair will be wrapped freely, the knots will not form,” he says.
You brush your hair still wet.
Hair is more fragile damp than dry, so brushing it thoroughly can damage it, says Cairns. “The elasticity of damp hair is different: it is more flexible, stretches more and can break,” she adds.
To avoid knots and split ends, use a wide-tooth comb in the shower before rinsing off the conditioner, she says. Day recommends using a detangler spray and a detangling brush with soft, hair-soft nylon bristles.
You comb your hair from the top of the head.
By reflex, you undoubtedly start to combat the root, progressing downwards. But that just makes the knots worse. “You force them to build up at the bottom of the hair,” says Cairns. “Not only is the hair tangled, but it’s also worse than before.” Start by combing at the tips of the hair, then work your way up to half the length, before passing the comb from the roots.
You are not using the accessories of your hairdryer.
The hairdryer gives off heat, which can damage your hair. You already know that. “People often put the device too close to the hair, which scorches it slightly,” said Day. To avoid damage, find the concentrator supplied with your dryer, she advises. This duckbill accessory not only has the effect of channeling the hot air but also of adding a few inches between your hair and the burning metal end of the dryer.
You keep the same hairdryer for years.
“Hair dryers have a limited useful life,” notes Cairns. “In many of my clients, I see areas where the hair is visibly damaged, as if it had melted. The explanation is always the same: they have had the same hairdryer for ten years, six years.”
An old device may appear to be working correctly, while it gives off heat such that it significantly damages the hair, she adds. With wear and tear, your old device less and less effectively overheats. Your hair will dry faster but at the expense of its health.
You are addicted to heating accessories.
It’s time to put an end to the daily use of your curling or straightening iron. Too high heat can kill hair proteins. “Hair is insensitive, so it can’t warn us of excessive heat, but that doesn’t mean the nutrients that gain it can resist it,” says Cairns. She recommends using a protective serum each time you use a heated styling tool to create a protective barrier between the accessory and the hair.
You use your flat iron in a hurry.
The flat iron should be handled slowly and evenly. “In general, we want to go too fast, passing and ironing in the same place, and fatally, the hair comes out damaged,” says Cairns.
Take a thin section of your hair and use a comb while sliding the iron over the lock. You will only have to pass once at the same place (or twice at most).
You don’t cut your hair regularly.
Prevention is the key, but when your hair starts to split, no product can fix it. The only solution is to cut the damaged part. “It is essential to have regular cuts because it eliminates split ends before they do more damage by going up the hair,” said Day.
According to her, a maintenance cut every six weeks is a good rule of thumb – which can vary depending on how you treat your hair. However, she says it is important not to space the cuts for more than four months, even with healthy hair.
You had a color without cutting.
The coloring changes the texture of the hair, especially if you go from dark to light. Don’t get your hair dyed without asking for a cut right away. “It is important to cut the ends after coloring to keep the hair healthy and improve its texture,” advises Day. Ready to let your gray hair show up?
You had an awkward razor cut.
Of course, the razor cut can give the hair a spectacular texture, but the stylist should only use it on well-supplied and very healthy hair, “says Labrecque. “At the ends, the razor cut is not straight, which can cause the points to split. If you have curly or curly hair, ask for a scissor cut instead.”