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FEATURES Jul 1 2012 6:10PM

How To Prevent Split Ends

by Laquita Thomas Banks All Naptural Blogspot

Trichoptilosis is the scientific name for split ends. Split ends occur when the hair’s protective cuticle has been stripped away from the ends, causing the hair shaft to split and give it a feathery appearance. Excessive brushing, heat, elastic bands, hair extensions, towel drying and even having a dry scalp are all causes of split ends. There is no “cure” for split ends, the only way to get rid of them is to cut them off.

To protect your ends, get in the routine of moisturizing them during the week. Use oils such as shea butter, castor oil, olive oil or almond oil to protect your ends. Get a spray bottle and fill it with water to moisturize your hair and ends during the week, and then follow with an oil to seal in the moisture.Try using Lisa’s Hair Elixir, which is a great oil containing peppermint and sage essential oils and sweet almond oil. This multi-use oil can be used to seal in moisture after spritzing, as a hot-oil treatment and can also be added to your conditioner for added moisture.

Conditioning after shampooing (rinse with cool water to close your hair cuticle), detangling with conditioner versus on dry hair, and adding a monthly deep conditioner to your hair-care routine all help prevent split ends. Carol’s Daughter’s Olive Oil Infusion Kit is great for keeping your hair moisturized and easy to detangle, thereby preventing split ends. Also both the Black Vanilla and Tui Moisturizing Smoothies add tons of moisture to dry, brittle hair strands.

Likewise, avoid high heat appliances such as high temperature flat irons and blow dryers, which cause dry, brittle hair. Air drying, whenever possible, will also keep your hair/ends moisturized. Wearing “protective” styles, such as braids, cornrows or twists are also helpful in protecting your ends.

Another way to prevent split ends, along with keeping your hair moisturized, is “dusting” your hair ends. I would describe dusting as cutting off less than an inch of your ends. When your ends start to feel crunchy, or you hear popping when you detangle, or start to see tiny hairs in the sink that are not old shedded hairs (with white bulbs at the tips), these are signs that you may need to “dust” your ends. The easiest way to trim/dust your own ends is when your hair is in box braids or twists. Simply cut a little (about a half inch or less) off the ends of each twist or braid. If you are uncomfortable cutting your own hair, by all means seek a professional stylist to do it for you. Be sure to let them know exactly what you want done.

Also, for those with longer hair, in colder seasons protect your ends by wearing silk or satin scarves around your shoulders to keep your ends from rubbing against wool coats and cotton sweaters, or wear protective styles like updos or buns. Make sure that the hats you wear have a silk or satin lining or wear a silk/satin scarf underneath them. Cotton absorbs moisture and also snags your hair, therefore, at night use a silk/satin scarf, bonnet or pillow case.

All in all, the ends of your hair are very important. Dry, split ends cause breakage, while moisturized ends are more pliable and retain length. Some people shy away from trimming their ends because they do not want to lose length. But keep in mind that split ends cause the hair to split all the way up to the scalp, which will result in you having to get a major cut. Split ends should be cut at least 1 inch above the split. Therefore, if you want to avoid having to do a major cut and retain length, follow the methods above to prevent getting split ends.


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