Trichoptilosis is when the hair shaft splits or frays. Most of us have experienced or all too regularly experience this annoying beauty by-product. Unfortunately, other than cutting off the damaged tips there’s no way to fix the problem once it’s occurred, which makes prevention the key to keeping your hair smooth and healthy-looking. Here are 11 ways you can protect your locks from developing frizzy split ends.
Cut back on chemicals
A guaranteed way to get split ends is to overprocess your hair. Colour, perms and chemical straightening are all extremely harsh and drying. Go for highlights instead of a solid hair colour--they're more forgiving and will allow you to go longer between visits. You can also ask your colourist for products without ammonia or peroxide. If your salon doesn't have any such products, ask them to start stocking them.
Overshampooing strips your hair of its natural oils and dries it out making hair more susceptible to split ends. It’s best to wash your hair every couple of days or less if possible; two or three times a week should be your goal.
Be gentle when towel drying
When towel-drying, resist the urge to vigorously rub your hair–you’ll just end up with damaged cuticles and frizzy, tangled hair. Instead, use your towel to blot or squeeze water out. Microfibre towels are uber-absorbent and get the job done in half the time and with half the work. It's like a shammy for your tresses!
Get regular trims
Cutting at least ¼ inch of hair every four to six weeks will help to stop split ends in their tracks. By cutting off those dry, frizzy ends early, your hair will look shiny and healthy, and will be more manageable, too. Cutting off split ends is really the only cure.
Switch your pony position
Switch up your ponytail position. If you constantly wear your hair in the same pony position, you may be causing breakage in the same spot every day, resulting in short strands with split ends. Try wearing hair looser and varying the style. If you’re a high-ponytail wearer, make sure to put your hair in a low pony or bun a few times a week, or better yet, let your hair down.
Always guide hair with a comb when using flat iron. This will ensure you don’t catch and sizzle kinks or bends. Try not to pull too hard as this just stretches the hair, which over time, damages it and leads to, yep, split ends.
Get a wide-tooth comb
Hair is most vulnerable when it’s wet, so when detangling hair in the shower, only use a wide-tooth comb or paddle brush, and gently work from the ends up. Only once you've detangled from tip to root should you comb through your whole head of hair.
Avoid overheating ends
When using hot tools, like your beloved blow dryer, work quickly and try not to burn ends with super hot air from your dryer. Keep heat at medium and don’t hold heat in the same spot for too long or you run the risk of literally blistering your hair shaft (when viewed microscopically) which leaves it susceptible to breaking.
Always use a conditioner and focus on the ends. If you suffer from limp or fine hair, you may wish to condition the ends only. Conditioner helps to seal the hair shaft and prevent frizziness from lifting.
Use moisturizing shampoo
Use a shampoo that is specifically made to moisturize and prevent split ends. When washing your hair, it’s best to focus on your scalp and avoid the tips. Ends don’t really need much cleansing and will get a dose of shampoo when you rinse anyway.
Get yourself a silk pillowcase
Silk is a soft natural fibre that won’t rough up your hair as you toss and turn at night. Believe it or not, a silk pillowcase can help reduce frizz and damage and prevent matted morning hair. Because silk fibres are smoother than cotton your locks will avoid any unnecessary friction and lessen the chance of split ends.