Uggh! Damn them split ends

Me, after chopping off 25 cms/7years due to split ends 😦

I have watched plenty commercials of hair care products claiming to have solutions for split ends. I always thought split ends didn’t really exist in reality and was just paranoia birthed by greedy beauty industry giants. But after being absolutely careless about my hair for a good 2 years, it pains my heart to admit something. The abominable snowman/yeti may be mythical, but split ends …they’re as real as you and me! On an average, hair grows at the rate of 6 inches per year. My hair had grown to about 43 inches in length. Disregarding other attributes, the tips of my hair have been with me in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health…till my haircut did us apart πŸ˜‰ Basically, entwined with my hair were the mysteries of my life….the last 7 years of them. And why did I snip off 25 cms of my crowning glory? Well, I finally got them – split ends 😦

shocked!

After the initial shock, I started to do some research. I realized that it was not too late for me because I didn’t really have many split ends and they didn’t really split all the way right up – just a wee bit. So kudos on the observation, Rue πŸ™‚ I contacted a bezzie. Dewlyn is a sweetheart and has been a hairdresser for years. If she told me to dip my hair in a jar of molten tar, I’d trust her instincts. So, I frantically contacted her and she graciously shared her secret.

Let’s do the aftermath now. What caused them? Absolute negligence and refusal to chop off my strands for a good 2 years…. maybe even more.Well, I lost count until all I had left was a disheveled broom. You see, once a hair strand splits at the bottom tip, the damage will continue to progress. Gradually, that little split end will make its way upward all the way to the hair shaft, destroying the entire strand. Yikes! This calls for immediate action! Split ends already have compromised rough ends, hence they naturally chafe and tug on each other and healthy ends too. That’s bad news because this constant chafing creates more split ends and hastens the splitting process, splitting your hair right up to the roots at times. It gives the appearance of frizzy, tangled, unkempt hair.

haircut ?

The only real solution is to cut the split ends. You see, once a hair strand splits, unless you have access to Aladdin’s magic lamp and his genie at your disposal nothing can mysteriously bond the severed hair back together again. There is no patch-up for this break-up! You see, just like nails, hair is just a bunch of dead cells. Even if you eat a ton of protein, minerals and vitamins, your hair does not really benefit from any internal nourishment anymore. It is already dead. Unlike live tissues like skin, hair cannot be healed. But your balanced diet will most certainly help you grow newer healthy strands that have not yet departed from the follicles. All you can do is external work now. By that I mean, do not dry them, fry them or bake them…. Instead oil them, never heat style with product on, and minimize heat damage from the sun and styling.

Moisturize your hair : hair oils

Coconut oil is one of the best moisturizers. It contains medium-chain fatty acids that enable it to penetrate the hair shaft. It prevents dryness and is great for preventing split ends.

Castor oil has a low molecular weight and penetrates the hair shaft. Many claim it helps with hair growth. I have sheepishly fallen for this many times but never really grown any new hair that I’d like to thank ye old castor for! Its consistency is extremely dense and thick. If you haven’t used it before, sure, give it a whirl. But maybe, mix it up with some coconut oil to make it easier to spread….and remove too!

Almond oil, Olive oil, Sesame oil, Oils enriched with hibiscus all work well. Remember, your’e just trying to moisturize, not repair/heal your dead hair. Nothing possibly can repair dead cells. You don’t need to splurge on extravagant products.

You can probably get some deep conditioning treatments done; use a moisturizing hair mask every now and then, although regular oiling is more than enough. The idea is to prevent dryness, making hair less susceptible to breakage, friction and splitting.

do not heat style

Prevention:

  1. Painfully, trim your hair every 4-6 months.
  2. Keep your hair moisturized. Oil your hair regularly.
  3. Minimize the use of heat you subject your hair to. Use lower temperature settings, if you simply must heat-style. Protect your hair with a scarf if you commute a lot in the afternoons.
  4. Minimize the use of chemicals on your hair. They only dry out your tresses.
  5. Be gentle (while combing, washing, drying, detangling). Friction can cause hair to split and break. If your’e really committed to this cause, you can probably use satin/silk pillow covers as cotton and other fabrics can cause friction too.
  6. Follow a healthy, nutritious diet plan. Think ahead. If you are malnourished, protein-deficient and/or dehydrated, your new hair will be the same.
  7. Stay hydrated. Dry hair is prone to breakage, friction and split ends.
avoid using chemicals on your hair

Psst: I’ll let you in on Dewlyn’s secret – dusting!

Hair dusting is a unique technique where you don’t really chop off length, just the damaged hair ends. There are two ways to achieve this. In the first method, you bunch up a section of hair, twist it and when the splits pop up like a frizzy mess, annihilate them with a pair of sharp shears. In the second method, a horizontal section is taken {just like when you’re getting a haircut} and the emerging frizzy split ends are snipped off beginning from the bottom to the top of that section. This second method can be really time consuming, depending on how many splits your’e harbouring. This is the only way you can have your cake and eat it too. Ideally, about half an inch is snipped away at the bottom of each hair. It resembles dust, which is why this technique is called dusting πŸ™‚ Thank you so much Dew. If any of you is in Mumbai and needs anything hair-related, I’ll be happy to share her details with you. She is awesome and has years of experience to her credit.

Please don’t attempt outdated practices like candle cutting. It is extremely dangerous and serves no good. It involves twisting sections of hair and burning away the split ends with a candle!

Split ends no more,

Ruelha

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