They say only two things in life are inevitable; death and taxes, but we’re adding split ends into that list too.
Unless, of course, you get a haircut every four weeks, never heat style, blow dry or even brush your hair, you’ve probably got a split end or hundred, much like the rest of us.
You’ll notice them clearly, as they look exactly as you’d expect – hairs that ‘fork’ at the bottom, split, fray or feather along the lengths.
You’ll probably need a magnifying glass or strong pair of glasses to spot the extent of the damage, but safe to say we’ve all got it to some extent, and not only do they look a bit unkempt and unattractive, they leave your hair vulnerable to even more damage.
It’s a sad little cycle all right, but never fear. We’re not going to pretend there’s some magical instant cure (apart from the obvious, more on that in tip 1) but there are plenty of things you can do to help the situation, read on to discover my top 5 ways to tackle split ends.
1. Get a haircut
Yes, it’s obvious, but the only way to actually get rid of split ends is to chop them off. Even if you’re growing your hair, or don’t fancy a new style, the tiniest trim will make your hair look so much healthier, thicker and bouncier. Every 8 weeks perfect, although many of us leave it longer.
Haircuts are a bit like cutting your garden lawn, you put it off and make excuses, when you finally get down to it the process is actually quite satisfying, everything looks so lovely afterwards and you wonder why you didn’t do it ages before,
2. Seal with a serum
Hair serums have been side-lined a bit by oils in recent years, and while both do a good job of adding shine, only serums contain the blend of silicones and polymers that adhere to strands, creating a soft coating that temporarily seals splits back together.
John Frieda Frizz Ease Extra Strength 6 Effects+ Serum, R115,99 for 50ml is one of our faves when it comes to sealing in wiry split ends.
3. Brush well
Even the most innocent brushing habits can be trouble and end up, pulling and breaking weak strands. When hair is wet, only use specific detangling brushes, working from end to root to gently dislodge knots.
In fact, use detanglers on dry hair too (unless you’re doing something specific like backcombing, but that’s a whole other damage story).
The absolute best, so comfy you won’t ever want to ever use another brush again, is The Wet Brush Classic, R131, which glides through hair so silkily you’ll wonder if it’s brushing at all (it is). No pain, no damage, it’s great for kids who hate having their hair brushed too.
4. Make a mask
Hair that’s well treated and in good condition is far less likely to split in the first place. Not only are DIY masks cost-effective and fun to make, taking you back to teen years, they also strengthen hair long-term and gloss it up short term so nobody spots those splits.
Once a fortnight, grab a tablespoon of coconut oil from your kitchen Nature’s Choice Bio-Friendly Coconut Oil, R89,99 for 1l is pretty much our cost-effective go for this.
If you’re feeling a little more fancy, then try this Marc Anthony Hair & Body Coconut Oil + Extra Virgin, R135 for 295ml, and work it into the mid- length to ends of clean, damp hair, wrap up in plastic cling wrap and then wait 30 minutes before double shampooing it out to get rid of any build-up, leaving softer shinier hair behind.
5. Take a supplement
Nutritional problems can play a part in hair breakage and splitting, most commonly a stored iron deficiency.
Trichologist Annabel Kingsley suggests “take a supplement containing Iron, Vitamin C, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin B6 and increasing the amount of protein you eat – hair is made of protein and adequate intake is key to healthy hair growth.”
You don’t have much to lose taking one little sup every day, in fact your skin and nails will probably benefit too – winner!
Try Sh’zen Hair Vitality, R269 for 60 vegicaps, at the lower end of the price scale as supplements go but packed with proteins, amino acids and nutrients. You should see a difference in 3 months.
And finally remember, beauty really does come from within! Make sure you’re snacking on plenty of oily fish, nuts and green veggies for shiny, healthy hair.
Digital Editor at woman&home magazine, F1 Fan, Chocoholic.