6. Wide-tooth combs with wet hair
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-tooth 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.
7. Blow drying: Know your purpose
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.
Franchi says, “Make sure your hot tools (flat irons, curling irons, blow dryers, etc.) aren’t too hot! Most quality irons will come with an adjustable heat setting. Unless you have really coarse hair, there is no need to use a high setting. Set tools to the lowest possible temperature that will still give you the results you are looking for.”
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.
And if there’s any chance you can go without, skip the straightener when you can. “Try and avoid the flat iron at all costs, this is the worst thing for split ends,” says Sheenon Olson, Celebrity Hairstylist and Creative Director at Atma Beauty.
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 end 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. Again, Olson reminds us that less is more when you want to minimize split ends. He says, “If you can, I recommend taking a break from heat styling altogether for as long as you can.”
McKellar and Hills add, “Stop over-styling. Give your hair a break. Say hello to that beautiful curl or lovely wave. 2016 is the year of embracing your natural texture. It’s all over the runway and magazines.”
Even when the ends of your hair are splitting left and right, all hope isn’t lost completely. “Part of preventing split ends is managing the split ends that are already there,” Olson explains. “Often, I recommend that my clients take Nutrafol, a supplement that aids in hair growth so that they can continuously go into the salon for micro-trims to remove the split ends while retaining length. My clients have had a ton of success with this product.”
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. To prevent the split, this regular maintenance is key, says Franchi. “Get your hair cut regularly! This one may seem a little obvious, but the real trick to keeping your hair looking healthy is to cut the ends off before they become split. Every head of hair in unique, so consult with your stylist about how often you should be coming in for trims. I can tell you this though — you should be getting your hair cut at least four times a year.”
Updated by Bethany Ramos on 3/28/2016