Up there with visible roots as one of the worst hair disasters, split ends not only ruin your sleek, shiny look that you've just spent 45 minutes straightening, but they can also ruin your overall hair health if left un-treated. Usually a result of colouring, heat damage or environmental stress on the follicle, split ends are when the strand separates which can lead to further breakage higher up. Although the usual treatment for split ends is simply to cut them off with regular trims (which we advise leaving to the pros!), there are ways to prevent these annoying little breaks from happening to keep your hair as healthy as possible whilst we are all stuck inside.
Redken Extreme Lengths
Damaged hair, but more specifically split ends, are a nightmare if you’re trying to grow your hair. Right now, there’s no cure for split ends which means they have to be cut off and the bigger the split ends (the further up the hair shaft they go) the shorter the cut will need to be. So how do you tackle damaged strands and split ends with shampoo and conditioner? Look for a shampoo that will strengthen your hair. The Redken Extreme Length Shampoo and Conditioner will prevent the onset of pesky split ends, keep your hair looking healthy and allow you to grow your strands if that’s your hair goal. Even if you’re not after length, this shampoo keeps your hair in tip-top condition. Designed specifically to target and combat breakage, the duo are a cocktail of Biotin, a form of Vitamin B used in the metabolism of fatty acids, glucose, and amino acids in the body and people. Topically applied biotin can strengthen the weak strands to help them grow longer and stronger. See up to 6 inches of growth in 1 year and prevent split ends by 78% to finally overcome that annoying 'length limit' you just couldn't get past before.
Redken's top tips:
Keep Your Cool: Very hot water can strip your strands of naturally-occurring and nourishing oils. Extreme Lengths Shampoo gently cleanses without stripping, so give it a helping hand by turning the temperature to warm (or cool if you're feeling brave). It’s not as dehydrating on your skin too, bonus!
Rinse for Shine: After applying your conditioner, rinse with cold water this forces the hair’s cuticles to close. By closing the cuticles they lie flat which means your strands are instantly smoother and can reflect light more easily which means your hair will look shinier.
System Professional Hydrate Shampoo
Keeping hair healthy is all about Hydration. The System Professional Hydrate Shampoo keeps locks nourished and moisturised to prevent breakage. The Shampoo combines an Active Moisture Complex with Pro Vitamin B5 to soften and fortify strands from the inside, improving flexibility and strength. Hair looks frizz-free and smoother.
Philip Kingsley Bond Builder Split End Remedy
Despite split ends previously being thought of as an irreversible eventuality, this one of a kind treatment from the cult hair brand Philip Kingsley not only works on the surface of the hair but also below it to repair broken hair bonds and seal the fibres. Filled with scientific lead ingredients such as Crodabond CSA which seals together damaged cuticles, the treatment also strengthens the hair and offers heat protection up to 220 degrees to prevent further damage. For the best results, use the Bond Builder every third wash, applying a pea sized amount to damp hair and working it into the strands; don't be afraid to add a little more to particularly damaged or dry areas.
You can probably hear your mother's voice yelling at you when you see those two words, but as usual, she's right. When it comes to most beauty concerns, whether it be a spot, the skin around your nails or yes, your split ends you really are best just leaving it alone to avoid doing more damage than good. Instead try smooth any existing split ends down with an oil to make them look less visible (and tempting to pull at) and prevent any further breakage.
One of the main causes of split ends is dry, damaged hair from too much heat or colouring. Therefore one of the best ways to avoid them is to keep your hair as moisturised and healthy as possible by using a nourishing conditioner every time you wash, and giving your locks a little TLC with a moisturising mask once a week. Specifically designed for hair breakage, the Kerastase Genesis range uses Edelweiss Native Cells, Ginger Root and Aminexil to strengthen the hair and keep it hydrated to keep it from fraying. Use the Shampoo and Conditioner to keep hair growing strong and healthy to protect against damage and breakage.
Mask & Treat
A hair mask or leave on treatment is a great way to intensely moisturise the hair whilst indulging in a little TLC. It also allows the targeted ingredients to get to work for a little longer than Shampoo or conditioner is able to. The industry loved Moroccanoil Treatment is a revolutionary conditioning formula that nourishes each strand to restore, strength, softness and shine. The product is perfect for use before styling as it helps control frizz and fly aways as well as detangling knotty locks.
The L’Oréal Elvive Dream Lengths Saviour Mask is specifically designed for damaged hair, to smooth the appearance of split ends. The Mask is enriched with a blend of Vitamins, Castor Oil and Keratin that repairs the hair fibres and promotes stronger growth to help minimise any further damage. Apply the Mask to damp hair, working it in with your fingers from root to tip, leave it on for 2-3 minutes and then rinse out to reveal your inner Rapunzel.
Too many of us are guilty of being too hard on ourselves, literally. Though it's quicker to frantically rub your hair and then drag a brush through it, yanking out any knots that stand in your way, it's a recipe for split ends (and a sore scalp). Your hair is at it's most delicate when wet, meaning it's more vulnerable to split ends so you'll want to take care. Treat your hair the same way you would if you were doing a child's and carefully squeeze any moisture out of your strands, trying not to pull. Try and let the hair dry a little bit before brushing, and then split it into sections before gently brushing out any knots without pulling down on the follicles.
Turn down the heat
Hair is at its most supple and moulable at 180 degrees Celsius so anything hotter than that won't make any difference to your styling routine, but will eventually burn and permanently damage your hair. Temperatures above this damage the hair's keratin, the protein that keeps it strong, long and glossy. Although you may be thinking that cooler must be better and may have already adjusted your straighteners to their lowest setting possible, this also isn't the wisest idea. As heat dries out the hair, styling at a temperature too low could lead to applying heat for longer which can cause just as much damage so stick the the happy medium and keep it 180 with a styler fitted with an optimum temperature gauge. When you do style using heat, douse your hair in a protective product like the L'Oreal Elvive Dream Lengths No Haircut Cream, that works to protect hair from heat up to 180°C and specifically targets split ends and damage.
Use a heat protector
As mentioned earlier, hair is at it's weakest when wet, so make sure it is completely dry before straightening or curling and if you can, let it air dry a little before you blow dry. More importantly, before you apply any heat, add a protector! The same way you would apply sun cream before going out in hot weather, you need to protect your hair from the extreme temperatures you are exposing it to. Spray all over the hair before you start to prevent burning and drying. When blow drying, opt for a cooler temperature and make sure to leave a bit of space between your dryer and your hair - never let it touch!
Choose your dye wisely
Chemical damage is caused by bleaching, dyeing or perming your hair. Bleaching and perming can wreak havoc on the hair, as they force open the cuticles. Similarly, dying works by making your hair more porous, so colour can be easily absorbed. Although this can help achieve better colour, it can severely damage your hair's health. To prevent this, make sure you choose a formula that contains conditioning agents, like the L'Oreal Paris Colorista or L'Oreal Paris Preference Infinia.
Shop all split end treatments here.