SparkPeople advertisers help keep the site free! Learn more
Is your hair looking a little worse for wear these days, no matter what you do to it? If so, you could be walking around with a head full of split ends. Split ends form when your hair's cuticles wear down and fray, which can occur if you color, curl, straighten or blow dry your hair often.
There is no way of fixing split ends for good–once the ends split, the only way you can really get rid of them is by cutting them off. If you can’t visit the hair salon right away, there are some treatments you can try, short of a trim, to help improve the appearance of your hair.
Since swearing off all chemical processes or heat styling is a sacrifice most women aren’t prepared to make, here are some tips to help prevent and treat split ends.
How to Prevent Split Ends
Your mom was right—hair is more fragile when it’s wet. Instead of brushing, gently comb your hair with a wide-toothed comb. Being too rough with your hair leaves it vulnerable to damage.
Blow dryers, curling irons and flat irons can damage your hair with their intense heat. Let your hair dry naturally as much as possible, and limit the use of heat by working with your hair’s natural texture instead of trying to change it.
Toss your cotton pillowcase and upgrade to a satin or silk one instead. The smooth fabric will help to minimize tangling, making it easier to brush in the morning and reducing the risk of split ends.
Chemical processes like coloring, highlighting or perming weaken the structure of your hair, leaving it vulnerable to damage. Lessen the risk by waiting a week or two between coloring and perming, and use products formulated especially for color-treated hair--these contain fewer harsh detergents that could further damage your hair.
Condition your hair every time you wash it, and use a deep conditioner at least once a month. Use a leave-in conditioner on the ends of your hair for added moisture and protection.
Get your hair trimmed regularly (every 6 to 8 weeks is ideal) to keep damage to a minimum.
If you can’t bear the thought of cutting off the damage and starting fresh, here are some simple remedies you can try to treat your existing frayed ends.
Deep condition your hair with mayonnaise once a month. The eggs and oil are a rich supply of protein and moisture for your hair. Saturate your dry hair with mayonnaise (real mayonnaise, not the tangy dressing style), pile it on top of your head and cover in plastic wrap–your body heat will help your hair absorb the mayonnaise. Wait 30 minutes, then shampoo.
Apply a small amount of shine-enhancing serum to the ends of your hair. Look for one with silicone for maximum smoothness.
Pure jojoba oil and shea butter are other natural conditioning options. Look for these at health food stores.
Regular olive oil from the grocery store is another great treatment option. Simply rub a few drops into the ends of your hair before bed and wash it out in the morning.
While you’re at the grocery store, buy a ripe avocado. Mash it up into a paste and apply to damp hair. Leave it on for up to 30 minutes and shampoo.
Mix one tablespoon of almond oil with one egg yolk and apply to your hair. Wash it out after 30 minutes.
For a quick fix, hide your damage by pulling hair up into a bun or a French twist style, or cover up completely with a fashionable hat or a scarf.
Split ends happen to everyone, but with a little preventative care and treatment, you can keep your hair as healthy as possible. Go easy on the styling, moisturize often and get regular trims to keep your locks in tip top shape.
SparkPeople, SparkCoach, SparkPages, SparkPoints, SparkTeams, SparkDiet, SparkAmerica, SparkRecipes, DailySpark, and other marks are trademarks of SparkPeople, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
SPARKPEOPLE is a registered trademark of SparkPeople, Inc. in the United States, European Union, Canada, and Australia. All rights reserved.