Did you know that technically, the hair growing on your head and every other part of your body is dead? Yes, it’s true, the moment your hair pushes out of the follicle and through the skin, the cells it contains are dead, which does explain why you don’t experience any pain during appointments with your hairdresser! However, while this does eliminate a degree of pain it also presents another problem – dead cells technically can’t repair themselves.
This can be an issue if you’re looking to mend split ends. Split ends usually occur when the cuticle, the out layer of your hair, is damaged or worn away. As I’ve mentioned, this can happen quite easily if you’re repeatedly exposing your hair to straighteners or curlers or even improper hair care products!
So, if split ends technically can’t be repaired, how can you tackle them without resorting to a pair of scissors?
How can you tackle split ends?
The most obvious way to deal with split ends is to book an appointment with your hairdresser to get them cut, however, if you’re not quite ready to take a pair of scissors to your hair just yet, there is still some good news. While split ends can never be fully repaired, it is possible to temporarily mend them to improve the appearance and quality of your hair.
The first thing that’s worth considering is a good, nourishing oil. In this instance, I’d recommend organic, virgin coconut oil. Coconut oil contains plenty of medium chain fatty acids that are able to penetrate your hair quicker, smoothing the split end and temporarily binding it back together. However, just be careful not to use too much coconut oil – quality is always more important than quantity in this case.
That’s why I’d suggest a high-quality brand like Lucy Bee’s Extra Virgin Organic Raw Fairtrade Coconut Oil. Unlike other coconut oils which can sometimes be processed, this particular oil doesn’t contain any destructive free-radicals and instead is a rich source of lauric acid, an important fatty acid that helps to support hormone health.
The other thing you can do is to choose your hair care products wisely. Hair sprays, serums, gels, shampoos and conditioners can all mask potentially abrasive chemicals like SLS and parabens, which will certainly not help your hair, especially if it’s already vulnerable. That’s why it can really make a difference if you go au naturale with your hair care products.
John Masters are one of our favourite hair care brands here at Jan de Vries, and they offer an extensive range of organic products, from hair sprays to shampoos and conditioners. I’d especially recommend their Honey & Hibiscus Reconstructor Conditioner which contains 18 organic ingredients, including aloe vera, calendula and chamomile, as well as amino acids to help nourish dry or damaged hair.
What can you do to prevent split ends?
Prevention is the best cure, which is why I’m going to go into a little bit of detail about how you can prevent split ends in the future so you don’t run into this problem as often!
1 – Rethink how you wash your hair
As I’ve already mentioned, most high street shampoos and conditioners are loaded with harsh chemicals, artificial fragrances and toxins which can easily contribute to hair damage and split ends. That’s why natural, organic hair care products are a must-have, but you may even want to rethink how you’re washing your hair!
For example, it really helps if you use a wide tooth comb in the shower to help distribute your conditioner and if you rinse with slightly cooler water! You could even try to incorporate a leave-in conditioner into your routine or a detangler if you suffer from frizzy hair. These can be really beneficial for providing deeper nourishment and makes sure your hair is getting all the nutrients it needs. I often recommend John Masters’ Organic Rosemary Detangler as it’s specifically formulated for fine, dry hair and is enriched with nourishing ingredients and anti-inflammatory properties!
2 – Watch how you dry your hair
Hair dryers might seem like a fast, easy option when it comes to drying your hair but it does make you more vulnerable to split ends. The concentrated heat can easily dry and damage your hair, which is why it’s so important to get into a good care routine. While your hair is wet, try to apply a heat protective spray or oil – argan oil can be really effective here, as my colleague Yvonne discusses in her blog, ‘Should you put argan oil on wet hair?’
If you are using a hair dryer, try to use a specialised diffuser attachment so the heat is spread across your whole head as opposed to being concentrated in just one area. It may also help to avoid towel drying your hair – you might end up squeezing your hair too hard which can result in split ends and further damage!
3 – Consider your hairbrush
It might seem trivial but the hairbrush you use can make a huge difference. Try to choose a brush that has flexible bristles as hard, static bristles can tug at your hair too harshly and result in hair loss. How you brush your hair also matters too – most of us are in the habit of simply dragging the brush from root to tip and calling it a day. This method can cause problems though so instead, rather than doing one big sweeping motion, instead carefully brush through the tips of your hair first and work your way up.
4 – Avoid over washing your hair
Good personal hygiene should be a priority for all of us, so I’m definitely not saying that you shouldn’t wash your body every day. Your hair on the other hand is different and if you wash it too much, you could end up with drier hair that’s more prone to breakages. How often you wash your hair can depend on the type of hair that you have but surprisingly, the fewer times you wash your hair, the less you need to wash it. Oily hair might require shampooing and conditioning every other day but, when it comes to more general hair types things can vary but I would say that anything more than three times a week is unnecessary and certainly don’t hop in the shower every day!