Way too many people faced with split ends have no idea where to start to get rid of them.
Or they’re naïve about how long it’s going to take or how much effort they need to put in to put a stop to fried, dead ends.
What’s worse they have no clue how to prevent them in the first place.
That said, prevention may be way easier than you could ever imagine.
You just need to know a few hacks. Master them and you’ll be on your way to fewer split ends before you know it. Even if it seems your split ends have split ends.
Look. I know splits are a nightmare for some and at least a problem for most. So this is part one of a two part series. Rather than leave some great ideas out they’re spread out over two articles to make them easier to consume. Okay?
This one covers the four smart moves to make to get you most of the way to relatively split free.
So if you are time constrained in your morning routine these are the ones for you.
The second one, Split End Help: Escaping The Endless Cycle of Split Ends, has six more ways that can elevate you to a frayed ends fighting ninja.
Obviously you can go through this first half from start to finish. Or you can jump directly to the hack to stop split ends in their tracks that you most need help with.
Stylist’s 4 Most Recommended Split End Avoidance Hacks
- Is Your Shampooing Routine Making Your Split Ends Worse?
- Simple Tricks For Detangling Safely
- Genius Post Shower Hacks (Including Blow Drying Smarter)
- Beware That Hot Styling Tool Addiction
Oh and before we get into these let me quickly mention one TLC technique that can rescue you if you are plagued with endless frayed ends. That would be dusting.
Heard of it? This technique is a split ends assassin.
Our recently updated article tells you how to dust your hair and what else you should know about this often misunderstood approach to healthier hair.
Otherwise let’s dig in.
So let me ask you…
Is Your Shampooing Routine Making Your Split Ends Worse?
When it comes to the ways to prevent split ends and breakage shutting down overwashing is a good place to start.
Admittedly it’s an easy habit to get into. But a hard one to break.
Still if you …
Want Fewer Split Ends – Wash Less Often
Truth is you really want to do all you can to avoid washing your hair daily.
Cause that’s just asking for splits.
Not to mention dry hair otherwise.
Besides washing less, like two maybe three times a week at most, also cuts down the friction you’re exposing your hair to. Which in turn will slow down the unwanted unraveling of the ends.
So while you may be a member of the wash hair daily club, please, just stop it.
And I know. Some with oily hair may have limited choices. That aside lathering up daily is generally not a good idea for those looking to keep their hair healthy and split free.
If nothing else learn about the benefits of co washing. Our quick refresher makes doing so easy.
Use Hair Friendly Shampoo
When you do wash use one with a gentle formula. What that means is you want to skip any shampoos listing sulfates and parabens on the label.
The closer to the first item they are on the ingredient list the worse they are for you. Because these oil strippers will eventually leave you with dried out, fried and lifeless locks. Which makes your susceptible ends all the worse.
Need an awesome shampoo suggestion? Garnier Pure Clean shampoo is both silicone free, paraben free and super affordable.
Know What You’re Washing
The idea is to cleanse your scalp. So you want to use your fingers to do just that. Giving the entire scalp some love.
You do not want to be rubbing your strands together. Doing so is just another source of treacherous friction.
Along the same lines …
Stop Shampooing Your Ends
The shampoo running down your hair will cleanse them. You don’t need to specifically worry about washing your ends.
Limit Exposure to Hot Water
It’s best to only use luke warm water on your hair. That’s because hot water opens up the hair cuticle and can suck the life outta your tresses.
Don’t Forget the Cold Water Rinse
Finish up with a cold water rinse at the end to shut down the cuticles tight. This seals in the moisture. Plus cuticles that lie flat also leave you with shinier, smoother looking hair.
Unfortunately another unwelcome side effect of shampooing is tangles and snarls. So you’ll need some …
Simple Tricks For Detangling Safely
Anyone with longer hair who wants to skip the trip down pitiful hair lane needs to know how to detangle like a pro.
Even without using a detangler.
And without ripping your hair out in the process no matter how knotted it is.
Here’s some ways to accomplish that.
Invest In A Wide Tooth Detangling Comb
If endless stubborn snarls have you on the verge of tears here’s all you need to know.
- Detangle wet hair.
- In the shower.
- With a wide tooth comb.
Honestly this is a small investment. One that can make it possible to get through your shower routine with minimal damage and tears.
Okay. I lied. That’s not all you need to know. There’s a little more.
Now when it comes to the best ways to detangle your hair the key is to be gentle and patient.
Don’t get frustrated.
Don’t brute force your comb or brush through your strands regardless of resistance met.
Don’t be in a hurry.
Tip: Now if you get a particularly tough knot try putting a little conditioner on it. Then patiently untangle it without pulling.
The key again is to BE GENTLE.
Next promise me you’ll STOP working through your freshly washed hair from the roots to the ends.
Instead resolve to start at the ends and detangle your way up to the roots.
Tip: Some find conditioner applied in the shower helps to deal with next to impossible snarls in the most hair friendly way.
Know When To Stop
Once your hair is detangled – STOP! The more your work it the more friction you’re exposing it to. And friction is the enemy you want to minimize if you want to avoid splits.
You may have noticed the repeated mentions of friction. Basically it’s what causes split ends on hair. If you’d love to know more click that link to our Q&A article about this healthy hair killer.
Now that you’ve rid your hair of the snarls it’s time to get to dry. Which is another huge way people sabotage their hair by doing it wrong.
Genius Post Shower Hacks (Including Blow Drying Smarter)
At this point you should be getting the big idea – split ends are not a one solution type of problem.
Fact is there are several things you need to do right to keep them check.
And what do you do right after you are finished showering is one them.
Done right it can make a huge difference.
Which means you can’t sleep walk through any ole post shower routine. You want to have a plan for what you do with wet hair when to maximize its health and well being. Because hot, sexy hair doesn’t happen by accident.
The One Technique About Towel Drying You’d Never Guess
Look, you know when your hair is wet that’s when it’s most prone to breakage, right?
So towel drying right with the right kind of towel goes a long way to protecting the health of your hair.
Squeeze the excess water out of your locks into either a micro fiber towel or an old t-shirt. This will skip exposing them to the destructive loops that are terry cloth. And who’d guess that?
But that’s just the first step to drying smart.
To Air Dry Or Blow Dry – Is That The Question?
Suffering from excessive blow dryer abuse remorse?
That’s possible if damage is an issue.
In that case you may be better off air drying as much as possible. But not always.
Surprisingly researchers at Yonsei University in Korea concluded “using a hair dryer at a distance of 15 cm (six inches) with continuous motion causes less damage than drying hair naturally”.
So the take away is a dryer on lower setting (heat and hair flow) kept six inches away from your head in constant motion may be healthier than air drying. Who knew?
Obviously your mileage may vary.
How Dry to Air Dry First?
Usually the closer to dry you let your hair get before firing up the blow dryer the better. As the less heat you subject it, if you have a choice, the less apt you are to fast track your hair to splitsville .
Yeah, nowhere is it written you have to hit your hair with heat the second you step out of the shower.
The sweet spot is to wait until it’s over halfway to dry. With proper toweling (pressing your hair into the towel not rubbing) that should be about 10 to 15 minutes after emerging from the shower.
Heat Protectant Is Not Optional
This one is simple. And I hope obvious.
Never unleash any heat on your tresses without first applying a heat protectant.
That’s right, you want to ALWAYS have your heat shields up when doing any kind of heat styling including blow drying.
Now if you want to know pretty much everything there is to know about heat protection do this. Click over to our guided tour “Heat Protectants: Hot Tool Addiction Without Damage”.
Now there are lots of serviceable heat protectants. Yet you almost can’t go wrong with a standout like Chi 44 Iron Guard. It’s both affordable and flat out works for most who try it.
Knowing Where To Focus the Heat Matters?
Since the goal is to be careful with the heat watch where you focus it.
Think roots and mid shaft.
Avoiding if at all possible the ends.
Tip: To get an easy volume boost blow dry in the opposite direction you typically wear your hair. Lifting with your brush and blasting from the roots out.
One last related topic is next.
Beware That Hot Styling Tool Addiction
Washing, styling, applying product all the time works against the health of your hair.
Besides washing frequently means styling frequently. Often with hot tools. And the more heat you put on your hair the more problems is it susceptible to.
So Is It Time To Back Off Your Hot Tool Habit?
It might be if you love how your hair looks after a hot tool styling sesh but hate how it feels?
It’s (almost) enough to make you want to break up with your fav hot styler.
And while these handy heat blasters can quickly glam up your hair, overuse puts you on the road to fried, crispy ends. Or a sizzling hair disaster that is anything but glam.
This is why stylists like Chris Wenzel suggest you give your hair a three day breather from the hot stuff. As overdoing it can make the cuticle brittle and more apt to crack and fray.
Still I get it!
I know declaring a heat moratorium is easier said than done.
And since you’re going to do it anyway you need to make heat protectants your BFF.
That and tone down to the lowest heat setting needed to do the job.
Another thing? Swear to give your hair a break from the heat as often as you can.
Sure your curling iron, straightener and blow dryer may seem to be modern day magic wands. But the magic only happens without damage if you use them in moderation.
Now when it comes to hair care easy is good. And many of the friction fighters shared here are. If you’d like more easy tricks, tips and tutorials that make your hair care life easier then be sure to follow our Pinterest boards.