Split ends and breakage are two peas in a pod. Dryness is usually a culprit for both. No matter what type of hair you have, it will eventually dry out. Aside from cutting off your dried ends, you may feel like there’s not much you can do to avoid it. Whether dryness is a natural condition like with our curly haired friends or if it is caused by outside elements, you can give your hair what it needs. Here are nine ways to prevent split ends and breakage so your tresses remain moisturized and growing to new lengths.
Stop Manipulating Your Hair
Less is best when it comes to your hair. Marcia Brady was wrong. Brushing your hair 100 times a day will likely cause more damage than benefits to your delicate strands. Use gentle tools or your fingers to help untangle your tresses. Protective hairstyles also help to keep your hair up and out of the way.
Keep Your Ends Conditioned
We can’t say this enough. Keeping your hair conditioned will keep it healthy and hydrated. Apply conditioner evenly throughout your hair. If your hair tends to get oily easily, then focus on the ends. When showering, you can apply the conditioner and treat your hair to some steam while you wash the rest of your body.
To some people the thought of using oil is daunting. Using oil for hair grooming has been around for centuries. Pour a pea sized amount of oil into your hands, rub your hands together and smooth the oil into your ends. Then style your hair for bed (i.e. braid, bun, etc.). Like conditioning your ends, the oil will keep your ends supple and moisturized. Just don’t over do it!
Avoid Overheating Your Hair
Reduce your heat usage. Avoid using blow dryers and flat irons as much as possible. Try hairstyles that require minimal heat or air drying to keep your ends from drying out. If you must use heat, use a lower setting.
Only Shampoo Your Scalp
When you wash your hair, gently work the shampoo in your scalp. Don’t focus on the ends too much. As the shampoo rinses down the hair shaft it will cleanse the ends. Too much focus on the ends can cause dryness due to the detergents in shampoo.
Stop Overwashing Your Hair
Never wash your hair two days in a row. Your hair is full of natural oils that keep it hydrated and healthy. Overwashing your hair removes them.
Be Cautious of Hair Color
Most salons recommend avoiding color when the weather is driest (in the winter months especially). Also, opt for a semi-permanent and avoid bleach and other harsh ingredients associated with hair color.
Toss Out Old, Abrasive Towels
Use gentle fibers like terry cloth for drying your hair or let your hair hang to dry. It’s less damaging than an old towel.
Protect Your Hair with Silk or Satin
Be leery of fabrics coming into contact with your hair. Fabrics can cause dryness over time. For example, at night we toss and turn while sleeping. Eight hours of tossing and turning on a pillowcase made with the wrong fabric will not only cause “bed hair” but dryness. Switch your pillowcases to satin or silk so you hair strands will glide over the fabric. Or, you can wrap your hair with a silk or satin scarf (or bonnet).