How To: Reduce, Negate & Prevent Hair Breakage!
Split ends and hair breakage are never fun. So here are some tips to prevent these nasties!
Thanks to our obsession with hair colouring, heat styling, and tight up-dos, if we’re not caring for our hair properly it may mean we’re left to deal with some unfortunate side effects… Hair breakage and split ends.
Hair breakage and split ends will put a dent in any of your hair growth plans and can leave you feeling self-conscious, low, and frustrated. So, how do you help prevent and fix your hair from breaking/splitting?
What Are Split Ends?
A split end is when your hair splinters into two or more pieces, due to damage to the oldest part of the hair shaft. You can visibly see the split, and they can leave your locks looking untamed, frizzy and lifeless. If left untreated, they can creep up the length and damage more of the strand.
They’re caused by three main things; stress on the hair follicle (from over-brushing wet hair, sleeping with your hair tied back, etc.), chemical stress (perms, colouring, etc.), or temperature stress (heat styling from hairdryers, curling tongs or UV exposure, etc.)
What’s Hair Breakage?
Hair is a remarkably strong fibre. But your hair’s strength and elasticity depend on its moisture content. Moisture allows the hair to swell and contract, but if it’s dry it won’t have any elasticity meaning the hair shaft will be prone to breaking whilst brushing or styling. This is when the strand breaks off midway down the shaft.
Breakage, like split ends, can be caused by extreme heat stress, excessive UV exposure, chemical treatments, colour processing, and tight up-dos secured with elastic bands.
What’s the fix?
Let’s be clear: the only way to completely fix split ends/broken hair is by cutting it. However, there are many ways you can improve the look and health of your hair, as well as slow down and prevent hair breakage and splits occurring.
So, how do you fix, treat, prevent, and manage hair breakage and split ends?
If you aren’t in the position to shell out much money on salon treatments, the best thing you can do for dry, damaged hair is an at-home hair mask. They are designed to nourish dry ends and replenish nutrients in your scalp, helping your hair to appear smoother and hydrated. Try Cel’s Microstem Hair Thickening Mask. It specifically strengthens each hair strand to prevent breakages and promotes hair growth.
If you dye your hair, make sure you’re using a mask before and after treatment. This helps to prepare and repair the disulphide bonds in the hair.
You can also mask your hair in 100% Coconut Oil or Argan Oil. Remember to wash your hair out completely before styling though, as hot oil will burn your hair and cause irreversible damage…
HAM UP HYDRATION
If you notice your ends splitting, it means they need a serious amount of hydrating, stat! Similar to how you need to moisturise your skin when it feels dry, your tresses tell you when they need the same via splitting. Try looking for a nourishing conditioner that contains biotin and keratin as this will help re-build the broken hair shaft, making it appear a lot smoother.
SCRUNCH IT LOW
Using tight elastic bands for piling your hair high in a bun can encourage breakage to occur. Invest in silk scrunchies, as they are much kinder to hair than elastic ties, and experiment with lower styles to take the pressure off your tresses.
If you’re against getting your split ends cut off because you’re looking to grow your locks long, then ask your hairdresser about Hair Dusting. This technique removes split ends without sacrificing any length, by cutting off only the fractured part of the hair that sticks out.
TURN DOWN THE HEAT
Your hairdryers and styling tools have temperature settings for a reason. The higher the heat, the more damage it will inflict, so make the most of the cooler settings on your heated iron or tongs to avoid singeing your locks beyond repair. A lower heat may mean it takes a bit longer to dry, but the damage you’ll prevent is priceless.
This goes without saying, but if you are going to style your hair with heat do not do so without using a heat protectant serum/spray first.
BRUSH IT RIGHT
Brushing our hair has been something we’ve done for as long as we can remember, but did you know that the way you brush and what tools you use can have a huge impact on your hair health? Most people brush far too aggressively, hacking away at any knots or tangles in order to achieve a smooth style.
The trick? Hair brushing should be silent! If you hear any scraping or ripping, it means you’re brushing too hard. Most hairdressers also recommend a wide-tooth comb, rather than a brush, and to be extremely gentle when combing through wet hair. Use a detangling spray/serum or a leave-in conditioner to prevent overstretching the hair when combing out after washing.
PAT AND SQUEEZE
Our hair is most vulnerable when wet, so the way you treat it after a wash is crucial for damage-control.
Most of us begin by rubbing our head with a towel to remove excess moisture, but this will only promote more damage. Instead, apply pressure with the towel and gently squeeze the moisture out, or better still, let your hair air dry.
KEEP UP WITH KERATIN
Although pricier than a hair-mask, keratin treatments at your salon are the ultimate split-end game-changer. If your hair is prone to frizz or breakage, this treatment will restore the proteins in the hair and deliver smoother, stronger locks. They also leave your hair super shiny and much easier to manage. Get enquiring!
READ THE LABEL
When looking to buy the right shampoo and conditioner to help fix hair breakage and split ends, you need to be mindful of the ingredients. Keep an eye out for natural oils, biotin, and keratin, and make sure that they are sulphate-free and paraben-free. Parabens and sulphates strip your hair of the vital oils and nutrients it needs to stay healthy.
SLEEP ON A SILK PILLOWCASE
Standard cotton cases tend to cause friction as we toss and turn in the night, snagging and breaking our hair. A silk pillowcase will act like a shield against any rough materials or stress-damage, leaving you with much smoother hair in the morning.