We stand up to our straighteners and curling irons by shielding our hair with thermal protectant products, religiously deep condition our thirsty ends, and even apply additional leave-in conditioners and creams to our damp hair before drying. But somehow, those ratty split ends still manage to nuzzle their way in.
If you are frustrated that your expensive product is seemingly not doing the trick, instead take a closer look at how you handle your hair during your daily styling routine. Don't actively work against your protectant products by falling victim to these 10 easily fixable mistakes! Avoiding split ends just might become the easiest practice incorporated into your styling habits.
I am 100 percent positive that the importance of hygiene can go unsaid. Of course we want you to shower! But, sometimes tossing your hair in a bun on top of your head and just hopping in for a quick body shower is perfectly fine and actually very healthy! Washing hair every other day allows the body to repair hair with its own natural oils — leaving your hair silky, smooth and protected. You might even be surprised to find that some styles will work better with second or even third day hair.
First, pick the type of brush you use wisely — for daily brushing, choose a cushioned paddle brush with flexible bristles. This will work with your hair to detangle with ease. Be careful — hard plastic brushes and bristles will tug and rip your hair apart if used for normal daily brushing on knotted hair. Next, use it correctly — absolutely do NOT pick up your brush and tug it down your hair from root to tip on your first pass through! Doing this will instantly push every nominal crisscross down into a tangled clump at the ends of your hair! Now your delicate ends are forced to take on the heat of a brush yanking through thick, concentrated knots. This is an incredibly easy way to damage hair! Instead, work from end to root. Carefully brush through your ends first, then slowly work up to the midsection. In a final stroke, you can pull your brush through the entire length of your hair.
Do NOT clump all of your hair into a big pile on top of your head and begin to scrub! This unnatural bending and rubbing of your hair will aid the development of split ends. Instead, let hair hang down normally and simply lather shampoo onto your scalp, then let the ends of your hair experience the “second hand suds” as you rinse the shampoo through your hair and away down the drain.
ALWAYS use conditioner! Be sure to apply conditioner directly to the ends of your hair, and then give it a couple of minutes to soak in. When you rinse your hair, don't completely rinse it dry of the conditioner. (Of course rinse most of it out — we don't want so much left that hair has a greasy feel.)
Do not scrub and rub a towel every which way on and through your hair! Those wet and vulnerable hairs are then forced to crease and twist in many unnatural directions, thus promoting more breakage. Instead, wrap a towel around hair and simply squeeze different areas to draw moisture out.
As we know from tip five, wet hair is very vulnerable to damage. Unfortunately, brushing it is usually inevitable if you plan to incorporate any styling. To pay the highest kindness to your sensitive locks, invest in a wide toothed comb for use on your shower-fresh hair. As opposed to a normal brush with a thick head of bristles, the wide tooth comb will lightly glide through hair and loosely manage your locks without causing as much breakage.
Purpose: Blow drying to achieve an end result and style.
If your blow dryer is to be the only heat styling tool used, do your best to avoid placing direct heat on hair ends until absolutely necessary. Once the roots and upper lengths of your hair are dry, then lead the blow dryer through your ends with a brush.
Purpose: Blow drying as just one step in the styling process.
If another form of heat styling will follow your blow drying efforts, do your best to avoid direct contact with your ends altogether. Instead, concentrate most drying around the roots and upper lengths of hair, allowing ends to catch the “second hand heat” of the air blowing through them.
While straightening hair, ALWAYS use a brush or comb to guide! Pick up the portion you are ready to straighten, run a brush down your hair, and follow with your straightener placed directly behind the brush. This aligns hair in one direction and reduces the risk of straightening a strand of hair in a creased or bent position, which could instantly break it off or cause damage and split ends.
Instead of beginning the curl at the ends of your hair and winding all of the way up, begin at your roots and guide hair through the curling iron as you twist up. Starting at the very ends makes the most intense heat sit on them for the longest amount of time. However, beginning from the root and twisting hair through constantly shifts the portion of hair receiving direct heat, and roots are last to experience the heat. This way, ends will only take in as much heat as needed to hold the style.
Inevitably, a trim will be needed at some point to regulate split ends. If handled with care, you won't have to get these as often. Proper care will allow you to stretch trim appointments to every six to eight weeks — maybe longer! Just keep watch. If you notice a random split end along the way, grab a pair of scissors and take care of it right then! If you don't, it could potentially split all the way up to your root, causing even further damage.
We can all admit that healthy hair is difficult to maintain. Split end-proof your daily routine by incorporating these easy tips. Your hair will absolutely love you, and better yet, it will let its love shine bright for everyone else to see!
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