With everyone working from home these days it’s no wonder your hair has taken a backseat (we know, you’re lucky if you manage a blow dry once a week!). Unfortunately, with fewer trips to the salon come more split ends and hair breakages. Luckily, we consulted the experts so you don’t have to: here are six ways to treat and prevent split ends before it’s too late.
1. SPEND TIME BRUSHING OUT YOUR TANGLES
If you, like us, jump into the shower and then towel dry wet hair before quickly brushing through it, you’re causing more split ends and hair breakages than you know. While we all may think the important part of doing our hair is the blow dry, as it turns out, the majority of breakages happen when brushing hair while wet. And if you’re wondering how to treat split ends, the best place to start is to avoid them in the first place!
That’s because wet hair is weaker than dry and so breaks more easily; even roughly towel drying wet hair is known to cause split end damage. The key is to be gentle with your post-shower locks. “Before blow drying, make sure you gently towel dry and brush through any tangles with a large toothed comb,” advises artistic consultant and international hair stylist Alessandro Calvio.
Time to throw out that paddle brush, ladies!
Try a leave-in serum or leave-in treatment for long-term restoration.
2. SHAMPOO YOUR HAIR WITH COLD WATER
Again, you would be forgiven in thinking the blow dry was the holy grail of taking care of your mane. But while it starts with brushing it doesn’t end there.
”When shampooing, people tend to be rougher on the hair and the ends in an attempt to really clean - but you should focus only on your scalp,” says Calvio. “Massage the scalp to reactivate the follicles - it helps improve the thickness of your hair (which defends against split ends and hair breakages). Use only the soft part of your fingers and never your nails.
”For your final rinse, switch to cold water on the hair only. This will close the cuticle and keep the hair healthy and shiny.”
3. USE A LEAVE-IN PRODUCT
Just like your skin needs the occasional hydration boost, so does your hair. Normal shampoos and conditioner are great to make hair smooth and prevent the worst split end damage, but, when it comes to preventing breakages, you need something more nourishing.
”Using a good conditioner will keep the hair looking smooth and shiny. Ingredients such as glycerine are particularly good at hydrating the hair and is found in a range of products,” says Eva Proudman, Consultant Trichologist & Chair of the Institute of Trichologists.
We recommend our Advanced Care Frizz Control Smoothing Conditioner.
4. LAY OFF THE HEAT TOOLS
Heat tools can be incredibly damaging for your hair, so try to use them as little as possible. ”Anything greater than between 160 and 180 degrees will damage the hair and this leads to breakage, fading of colour and dullness to the hair”, says Proudman.
Even your trusty hair dryer can cause a problem: “Try not to blow dry the hair too often and when you do use a low heat and don’t hold the dryer too close to the hair,” warns Calvio.
Ultimately, give your hair a break. ”Don’t put stress on the hair. Take a break from curling irons and straighteners every now and then and let your hair dry naturally,” suggests Calvio.
If you absolutely must blow dry, curl or straighten those locks, always shield your hair with a heat protection spray first.
5. SKIP THE COLOURING
One of the key culprits of damaged hair is chemical processing like colouring. “Chemical processing done too frequently causing the hair to become weakened and the outer protective layer, the cuticle, to become damaged, leading to split ends and breakage,” says Proudman.
We know it’s hard to hear, but it’s time to let your natural hair colour shine through. In fact, what better time than the present – when the majority of us have to work from home anyway?
6. TRY A HAIR OIL
Hair oils are great for very damaged hair - they penetrate the hair strands and nourish them from the inside out. Oriflame’s hair oils contain Argan and Rose Oils, Burdock and Vitamin F for a lightweight, non-greasy formula.
7. SAY NO TO ELASTICS
Wearing your hair tied back with elastic bands is a long-time insider no-no. “The elastic can really damage the hair causing breakage,” confirms Proudman, “so always use a soft tie or scrunchy that is smooth in the hair and won’t tangle or rub against the cuticle.” Lucky for us, the humble scrunchie has made a serious comeback and is now more popular than ever!