"hairology : road to recovery"

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Split ends.
Everyone hates them but they happen anyways.

They happen for many reasons - dry and damaged hair get the top spots followed by other types of hair-handling that leads up to a whole bouquet of split ends. This is especially a big problem for people with long hair, like me. :(  There's even a whole chart made to classify split end types. I'm not kidding.

Not many girls bother about split ends. It's because they're small, insignificant - until it's too late. The thing about split ends is that they split, and split higher and higher leaving you with a head of dry hay-like hair. Split ends does damage as it climbs higher, depriving your hair of the nutrients it needs to remain healthy. Just like how a plant slowly browns when their roots gets damaged.

I never really bothered with split ends until my hair just got really bad and dry, and that's when I discovered the horrors of split ends. One strand even split 5-ways instead of the usual 2. Some of the splits went about 2 inches long and I had to yank the entire strand out just because it was so damaged, it sort of went all squiggly.

For all the ladies who feel my pain, no worries, I have a remedy for split ends. Or rather, a prevention for future split ends. Most important thing to know is that the only way to get rid of split ends is to CUT it off. Yes, it hurts but it has to be done. When that painful chapter's over, follow the home remedies below for your hair's road to recovery & prevention. Tried & tested.

*Before you try these remedies out, you need to STOP heat-styling your hair (or at least do so with a heat-protective serum.)

Like it says, to be used only after all split ends have been snipped off, before you wash your hair.
Mix a cup of plain yogurt with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. Apply mixture all over dry hair especially the ends (for oily hair, skip apply onto your crown) and leave in for 5 minutes. Then rinse and shampoo + conditioner as usual. Use a rinse-off hair treatment product on your ends for the best results. I use Schwarzkopf's Gliss Kur. Be careful not to rub your hair with the towel when you dry them, just a pat and squeeze will do - you don't need that additional friction ruining your efforts. Air dry your hair if possible, use minimal heat and always moisturize with a serum and a leave-in conditioner. You can try my alternative to a leave-in conditioner, since I don't use the regular store bought leave-in anymore.

You should do this once a week, along with your weekly treatment masks.
Mix a cup of plain yogurt with the juice of one lemon and a spoonful of aloe vera (optional). Just work it in the same way followed by shampoo + conditioner. Some people swear by the power of adding an egg to the mixture, which will leave your hair extra shiny. I've never tried that because I can't stand the smell of raw eggs, but feel free to if you can stomach it. But bottomline is - buy lots of yogurt.

There are many sorts of oils that can be used for your hair so feel free to mix them in with the hair concoctions. Here are some popularly used oils in hair-care and what they can do for your hair. I personally prefer olive oil because it doesn't leave a smell after rinsing and it leaves my hair soft and smooth. But to each her own.

Castor oil - Commonly used for hair growth. This oil is very sticky though, so it can also be used in combination with other hair oils like coconut oil or almond oil for best results.

Coconut oil - Coconut oil is commonly used here for dry and damaged hair as it provides appropriate lubricant. The different nutrients in coconut oil like calcium, iron, potassium and magnesium provide good nourishment for the hair. It is very oily if you use too much and it leaves a pretty strong smell.

Almond oil - Almond oil helps to repair and strengthen hair.

Olive oil - Olive oil when applied on regular basis helps to strengthen your hair and improve the hair quality. This is because it helps to reduce friction against hair and provides an extra elasticity to your hair.

Lavender oil - Not just an aromatherapeutic oil, it's popular for hair growth as well.

Despite using all these concoctions to pamper your hair, be sure to periodically check for split ends as they may reappear. The sooner you snip them off, the better. As for me, my hair's definitely on the road to recovery. I can only do this much to save the ends but otherwise, I have fresh and healthy hair from my roots to the mid-length. :)


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