DIY Hair: How to Prevent Split Ends
I know just about every girl wants to go full-Rapunzel... Hair so long you can throw it out of your window, so strong that a random guy can climb it. And then you'll fall in love and stuff. However, a word of caution to this tale: Should the split ends fight, you will fail!!! (That's a Hercules quote.)
Enough Disney, let's get down to business. Split ends are gross. They look bad, they feel bad, they tangle up your hair, and they can be detrimental to your overall hair-health.
See, hair has layers. Three things will cause the layers to break down: mechanical stress, thermal stress, and chemical stress. When you stress your hair out, it starts to weaken and split. If you don't get rid of the splits, they get bigger - your hair can split all the way up to the roots.
Regardless of what "miracle" products claim, there is no way to permanently seal split ends. The only way to deal with them is to cut them off, and prevent them in the future.
So back to the mechanical, thermal, and chemical stress. Mechanical stress is basically you beating up your hair. Yanking a brush through tangles, tugging on it until it snaps, etc. Thermal, obviously, is applying excessive heat to your hair - curling irons, blow dryers, flat irons, you get the idea. Chemical stress is using tons of products or dye on your locks. All three of these things can end up ruining your hair, if you don't take proper care of it!
Naturally, the best way to prevent split ends is to minimize your use of heat and chemicals on your hair, and just be gentle with it. Here are several other excellent ways to ensure you'll have healthy, split-end-free hair.
1. Apply a Hair Mask
Hair masks are the bomb. Not only do they keep your head fluff looking shiny and smooth, they moisturize and nutritize. No, you're not crazy, I did just make that word up.
What I mean is, certain products pump your hair's guts full of nutrients and healthy stuff, giving you strong and split-free strands.
Avocado, honey, coconut oil, olive oil, and beer (bro!) are all incredible for your hair. You can create hair masks using combinations of these ingredients, or just use one on its own. For your convenience, I've gathered a few "recipes" for simple hair masks.
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp vitamin E oil
3 tbsp olive oil
Basically, for each of these three simple recipes, all you need to do is mix them up and spread them on your hair. You can do whole-head, or just focus on your ends. I suggest putting your hair up in a shower cap (so you don't get oil everywhere) and letting it sit for at least an hour. Once you're ready, go ahead and wash the gunk off in the shower. You should immediately notice a difference in the look and feel of your hair.
If you don't have time for that, just do a beer rinse after shampooing in the shower. Grab a flat beer and lather up, letting it sit for a few minutes before rinsing it off.
Another thing - condition nightly. I use a coconut oil spray lightly on my ends every night before bed. Just spritz and massage it in!
2. Don't Towel Dry
This relates to the mechanical stress thing. Towel drying your hair roughs it up when it's feeling vulnerable, causing it to stretch, snap, and split. Then, you still have to comb out the mess you just made - which causes even more stress on your hair.
As an alternative, use a towel or t-shirt to squeeze water out of your hair section by section.
Curly haired girls: you may find it beneficial to grab a t-shirt to dry instead of a towel. The little bristley things on the towel split up your curls and make your hair go crazy. Try using a t-shirt and just plopping your hair on top of your head to dry!
3. Shampoo Roots, Condition Ends
I actually subscribe to the no-poo method of hairwashing, but if you're a shampoo user you should try to keep it to a minimum. Shampoo contains sulfates that dry out your hair, which can be detrimental to already weakened ends. Try shampooing your roots and conditioning your ends, making sure to leave the conditioner in for several minutes before rinsing.
4. Nip It In the Bud
If you see a split end, cut it off. Simple as that! It's only going to get worse. If you can manage your splits this way, you can spare yourself a few trips to the salon.
Luckily, my hair is layered, and I cut it myself. The layers make it pretty difficult to see if I've gotten hair rage and chopped pieces off here and there. Hair rage usually happens if I'm trying to run my fingers through my hair and I come to a tangley dry spot. I'll check out what those ends look like, and if it's bad, I just cut them off. I've been managing my hair this way for about a year now... An entire year of not doing a full-blown trim! Just cut off split bits as needed.
More Hair DIYs
It's really pretty simple: minimize the mechanical, chemical, and thermal stress you put on your hair, and make sure to keep it healthy and moisturized. If you see splits, get rid of them before they get worse!