Split ends are the nightmare for every beautiful, long mane. But what is actually the reason for this? And can the right hair care help?
Split hair ends, make every hairstyle, no matter how beautiful and well-groomed, look frayed and unsightly. The longer the hair, the more vulnerable it is to split ends, but the length isn’t the real problem. The real cause of split ends is different and there can be different triggers for it. We’ll tell you what they are and how you can best prevent them. Because once the tips are split, there is unfortunately only one solution: cut off.
The ends of the hair are inevitably prone to split ends
According to the experts, the risk of split ends increases with the length of the hair. Your hair grows from your scalp, so the ends of your hair are the oldest part of your hair. They participated the most, they were washed and combed the most frequently, they were exposed to wind, weather, and, above all, solar radiation and are therefore the most sensitive.
Above all, the cuticle, the thin layer of horny scales around the hair stem, the cortex, can be particularly affected at the tips. If it comes off, that’s the first stage of split ends. If the cuticle has become detached, the cortex can also be attacked and split – and by then at the latest, there is actually nothing more to be done. But what exactly does the fraying cause?
Dryness and friction cause split ends
The longer the hair, the more the tips are exposed to mechanical stress – primarily through friction on the skin and clothing. With short hair, split ends occur much less often, the mechanical stress is much lower and the ends of the hair are younger and not yet as worn.
But even long hair does not necessarily have to fray at the ends. The real cause is namely the drying out of the tips. There can be many everyday reasons for this. The most common is the wrong shampoo or the sun. Aggressive hair coloring products also damage the cuticle and allow the tips to dry out – this can also affect short hair.
Once the split ends are there, in most cases there is not much that can be saved. You should use scissors at the first signs. Because the longer you wait, the further the tips will split and the more hair you will have to leave – it should be cut about half a centimeter above the split ends.
The right hair care against split ends
So the two main strategies against split ends are proper care and risk avoidance. Washing alone dries out the hair in the long term, so you should always use moisturizing care products such as oils or appropriate hair treatments. Hot air with a blow dryer, curling irons, or straightening irons are also poison for the hair, they damage the cuticle and dry it out – this also applies to vigorous rubbing dry with a rough towel, see “mechanical stress”.
You should also avoid aggressive dyes and bleaches, gentle tints have a much softer effect. And if you tie your hair up more often, you reduce harmful friction on clothing. But you should also pay attention to the hair tie and its fit. The rubber should be soft with no metal parts, and you shouldn’t pull it too tight. The right brush can also make a big difference – the best ones are those with natural bristles, for example from wild boar.
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