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Split Ends – Causes and Treatments

Could your last haircut be giving you split ends? The answer is yes…especially if you are the one cutting your own hair.

I can remember, before I started doing hair professionally, being fascinated…maybe even obsessed with split ends. I would sit at my desk when I was supposed to be doing my home work, getting lost in a section of hair. I would hold the strand of hair carefully fanning it out between my fingers to expose as many hairs as possible. What would I find? A single split, double split, or multiple splits? On the multiple splits, which were too exciting for words, I would curl the end around and isolate that one hair and fully expose all the “feathers”. My next move would be to find the highest point of the split and pull it right off. Then back to the search for another. Oh the hours I spent….

Little did I know at the time, I was actually preventing my hair from getting longer. Every time I pulled the split end off, thinking it was now gone, I was actually creating a new set of splits that would eventually cause hair to get shorter and shorter. It wasn’t just my pulling that created these splits,  every time I combed the tangles out of my hair I caused more damage. When you have a lot of “feathers” on the ends, the hair can really get tangled when shampooing and conditioning. That’s the first warning sign that you need a haircut! Before I understood how cutting my hair could help it get longer, I opted to just let it grow and every time I combed through all those tangles I was putting mechanical stress on each strand of hair and the pulling and snapping back from the combing and brushing was causing that many more damaged areas where a split end could start.

Still in the days before becoming a hairdresser, I thought I had the solution to the split end-long hair dilemma. I would twist a section of hair and let all the ends pop out from the twist. With my best pair of office scissors, I would delicately and precisely cut those bad ends. Oh if only I knew then, what I know now.

Today, as a hairdresser my shears cost upwards of $2,000.00. Think of the Samurai…and yes my shears are Japanese Hikari’s to be exact. Why so much, well because these shears cut the wet hair so cleanly that the ends are left perfectly blunt with no trace of fraying. Back in the day, when I was cutting my hairs with my office scissors, I really wasn’t cutting the hair but I was smashing each hair between two blades of metal and after that every end had the beginnings of a new split from being torn off and not really cut.

So once you decide to take the big plunge and get a professional haircut to remove all the split ends from your hair. Do inquire about the type of shears the stylist is using and how sharp they are. How often should you cut your hair to prevent split end and grow the length at the same time. A good rule of thumb is to get a haircut every three months and then cut half of what is has grown. The average person grows 1.5 inches of length in three months. To cut half is to cut 3/4 of an inch.

Then keep those ends smooth and tangle free by investing in and using a high quality treatment oil such as Intelligent Nutrients Certified Organic Hair and Scalp Treatment Oil. Apply it to the ends of the hair prior to shampooing and leave it in for 3-5 minutes, then shampoo. This will help to buffer the ends from the cleansing qualities of the shampoo.

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