K so in today’s IG post, we went over how split ends cannot be repaired.
To better understand what’s going on, let’s talk about how a split end actually happens.
When the protective outer layer of your hair (aka the hair cuticle) is damaged either from chemical stress (like color or bleach) or mechanical stress (ie. heat from styling tools), the inner core of the proteins that make up the hair, is left exposed; making it vulnerable to breakage and splitting.
A “split” it’s rarely clean or even. When placed under a microscope, it’s been seen that the strands looks more like a piece of splintered wood, with many rough ridges and edges.
Whilst the only way to get rid of split ends is to get regular hair trims, we can absolutely conceal their appearance and prevent the formation of future ones.
Moral of the story is this:
Setting the right expectation is key – hair masks and treatments can NOT “get rid” of split ends, but they are none the less very important for the future health of your hair.
Some helpful ingredients in your kitchen are:
Sweet almond oil
Vitamin B-5 (Panthenol).
In the latest hair DIY for this, I mixed the following:
¼ cup sweet almond oil
¼ cup vegetable glycerin
1 capsule pantothenic acid
¼ cup Argan oil
Measurements can be adjusted to fit your hair length, but the ratios should remain the same.
Sweet almond oil is hydrating and won’t weigh hair down.
Vegetable glycerin helps strengthen the hair, making it less prone to breakage.
Pantothenic acid helps strengthen hair, retain moisture and improve texture.
Argan oil is rich in fatty acids and vitamin E & deeply moisturizing.
Remember to always patch test 1st and make sure you don’t have any allergies to ingredients.
Now let’s talk about some lifestyle choices you can make, to ensure the integrity of your hair:
- Check for nutritional deficiencies. Yearly.
- Limit excessive sun exposure. Yes, the sun not only impacts your skin, but your hair as well.
You could wear a cute hat or scarf over the hair to protect it and (or) use a UV protection spray.
- Limit contact with chlorinated water.
If going swimming, apply some petroleum jelly (Vaseline) over the hair areas that will come in contact with the chlorinated water, to limit potential damage.
- Avoid excessive hair washing. Ideally limit that to max twice per week.
- Comb don’t brush. And never brush hair while wet.
If tangling is a common issue you’re faced with, while conditioning the hair in the shower, gently brush with a wide-tooth comb. This will help detangle the hair in a way that prevents the typical breakage seen from brushing towel-dried hair.
You can also brush hair before washing it, to help minimize post-shower breakage.
- Avoid harsh hair products – ie. products containing SLS.
- Don’t rub the hair dry with a regular towel, as that will promote breakage. Try going for a microfiber towel if you must and apply pressure by gently squeezing the excess water out of the hair with it.
- Limit the use of styling products and tools.
Practice blow-drying the right way – allow hair to dry naturally to where it’s at least 80% dry FIRST, and if you need to blow-dry, do so on the last 20% stretch and use a nozzle to control the direction of the air. Dry in a downward motion and don’t let the nozzle come in direct contact with the hair. Let the ends dry from the secondary heat and keep the nozzle moving constantly for an even distribution of heat. Also, try your best to dry on the cold air setting.
Lower the heat setting on the hot tools if you must use them. It’s a myth that the hotter the tool, the better and more long lasting the style will be.
I read a while back that the “hair reaches optimum mouldability at 180 degrees, so anything higher is overheating and damaging the hair”.
In all honesty for me personally, this setting doesn’t work very well, so my hair guru advised to keep the setting at 225F max; which is what I’m doing. This way, I don’t generate too much damage from excessive heat, but the setting is not too low either, to where I have to go over the same strand twice or 3 times (which can also lead to damage).
- Sleep on a satin pillow case. Not only is it more gentle on the hair, but the skin as well. And don’t forget to change it at least twice a week.
- Wear a silk hair wrap. This has been one of my “secrets” over the past 7 months.
- Get regular trims.
- Skip The Topknots. I love me a messy top bun just as the next girl, but styling hair like that creates too much tension – especially on fragile/processed hair. Instead, pull the hair back in a low pony and go for soft scrunchies.
That’s it for today!