There is no way to prevent split ends, especially when you are overdue your 6-weekly trim. However, there are ways you can manage them until that joyous day comes! Luckily for us, Colleen Stylist and creator of sustainable haircare brand Botaniq, Adelle Rodda, is here to tell us how we can deal with those out of control split ends.
Trichoptilosis. That's the official term for split ends and whether you have a classic split, the ‘y’ or a multi-branching mess, the result is the same - dull, dry, fluffy, spindly-looking hair.
Split ends happen when the outer protective layer of your hair, the cuticle, is worn away exposing the inner-core of coiled keratin fibres. Once exposed, these keratin fibres begin to unravel, causing the hair to split and break.
Blowdrying and hot tools, aggressive combing, colouring your hair, too much sun, swimming in the ocean or chlorinated pools and general weathering can cause damage to your cuticles, which results in the formation of split ends.
Some hair products can effectively “mend” splits by glueing them together using polymers. This effect will usually last until you next wash your hair and is a great way to temporarily get split ends under control until your next haircut.
The truth is once you have split ends, the ONLY thing that will get rid of them for good is a haircut, and trimming them at home with your nail scissors isn’t going to cut the mustard.
But, it’s not all bad news, with the right hair-care regime you can prevent split ends from forming in the first place by keeping your cuticle nourished and giving your hair protection against heat damage, wear and tear and chemical damage like chlorine.
• Turn down the heat! Limit your use of hot tools, use a low or medium setting on your hairdryer, and always, ALWAYS use a product that provides heat protection. Some great products are:
• Don’t skip the conditioner. Conditioner is vital in protecting and replenishing your cuticle. If you have very fine hair and find regular rinse-out conditioners too heavy, opt for a leave-in product that doubles as volume boosting styler too like:
• Treat yourself to a weekly mask to build up good condition. Especially if you regularly use hot tools, colour or chemically treat your hair. Some great masks that pack a punch are:
• Be gentle. Don’t rip through your hair with a nasty old hairbrush to get rid of knots. Use a detangling spray and a wide-tooth comb:
• Get regular haircuts. Even if you are growing hair. You can’t grow a split end, the split will keep travelling up the hair shaft until it breaks off or you cut it off.