One of the worst occurrences to witness is a divorce of any kind. When dealing with one’s hair, this comes in the form of split ends. This is almost as unkind on the eyes as it is on the hair.
Split ends (or its proper name, trichoptilosis, means the splitting of hair fiber) occur when the protective portion of the hair (called the cuticle) becomes damaged. Although split ends may occur anywhere along the hair shaft, they mostly appear on the ends of the hair.
No matter what some hair care products may tell you, it is impossible to repair split ends. You may however purchase products that will “seal" the split ends, but trust me. . . this will only be a short term solution. So, no matter what these hair care products promise they can do for you, they CAN NOT repair split ends. The only way to fix the problem is to cut the split ends off. If you choose to ignore your split ends, they will only get worse. The hair will continue to split up the shaft (sometimes all the way up until it reaches the roots) until it breaks off.
Over processing the hair with chemicals, or even brushing the hair too harshly can cause the ends to split. Combing the hair with uneven teeth in combs, or uneven bristles in brushes will cause damage as well. If at all possible avoid using nylon bristles and cut back on heat directly applied to the hair. . . like blow dryers, flat irons, curling irons, and hot curlers. If you must apply direct heat, make sure you apply some sort of heat/thermal protective spray or conditioner to the hair first, to help prevent direct heat damage.
How it happens Step by Step
-First your hair gets weak.
-Then, your cuticle begins to break down.
-Next, your cuticle disappears, layer by layer. Now, the cortex, the next layer of the hair is exposed.
-Soon after, split ends appear.
-Finally your hair breaks.
One of the easiest ways to damage the hair is to comb it or treat it harshly, while it is wet. While hair is wet it is in its most fragile state. To correct this, and to prevent split ends, after washing and conditioning your hair, gently comb out any tangles with a wide toothcomb. If your hair is difficult to comb thru, use a leave in conditioner, and comb your hair from the ends to the root with either a wide toothcomb or your fingers.
If you treat your hair like it is fragile, by not brushing, scrubbing, or combing too harshly, deep condition your hair (as often as needed) applying some form of a heat protective spray or conditioner and frequently trimming your ends, then you should have minimum to no split ends.
Dwayne Pressley is a licensed cosmetologist, hair care consultant, (found at http://www.askdwayne.com ) public speaker and author of the internet's scorching hot e-book on the subject of hair “What Your Hair stylist Doesn't Want You To Know" for more information join the group and/or visit him at http://www.askdwayne.com