All About Split Ends And Breaks:
At some time in our lives, all of us suffer from hair breakage or split ends. For women, hormonal factors do come into play – during pregnancy or menopause, for example, on the whole it is environmental damage, over-styling and using harsh products that are to blame. Breaks and splits can never be mended; your hair will need a good professional cut and regular trimming until new growth has replaced damaged hair. In the meantime, however, there are steps you can take to disguise the worst of the damage and measures you can apply to stop future damage.
Possible Causes Of Hair Breakage:
- inherited hair defects (rare).
- Fungal infections, such as ringworm.
- Chemical or mechanical damage or both (from permanent relaxes or waves, or color treatments.)
- Excessive exposure to sunlight or other extreme environmental factors.
- Poor diet.
Avoiding Damage:Following a basic hair routine that involves staying away from styling or straightening tools, using cleansing and conditioning products that are alcohol free and getting regular professional cuts are all critical for keeping hair soft, shiny and healthy. But it is not always practical to be such a hair purist! As with anything, moderation is key, and a certain amount of styling shouldn’t prove too much of a problem.
Dealing With Existing Split Ends And Hair Breakage:The only way to be rid of split ends is to have them cut off. Hair breakage, though could be the result of something as basic as being too rough with your hair while washing and towel drying, or that your hairbrush is old and the bristle ends are no longer round and smooth. Gentleness is vital to hair health. Ionic technology in styling tools and dryers may help to improve hair condition, but another option is infrared technology. Some styling tools incorporate infrared for its ability to seal in moisture in the hair shaft, preventing dryness. Hair also feels softer and shinier as minimum moisture is taken out during the drying process.
If your hair is prone to breakage, this could be due to a number of factors. While it is possible that breakage is linked to a medical condition, it is more likely to be tha result of perms, relaxing extensions and bleaching. Anything that disturbs the hair’s natural condition and growth can cause hair to be brittle, including blow drying on a hot setting.
Afro-Caribbean hair is particularly vulnerable to breakage due to its natural characteristics of being dry and tightly curled. Each twist of the hair can be a breaking point. It is recommended by experts that relaxing is not done more than once every 12 weeks. There are more and more specialized products available for hair that suffers from breakage and these are mainly intense conditioners that replenish key amino acids to make the strands stronger.
Gentle towel-drying is essential for fragile hair – no scrubbing and tugging, and avoiding any hot air appliances will be of great benefit. Intense conditioning treatments are essential. If your hair is extremely brittle, breaking often, and not responding to conditioning treatments, you should consult your doctor.
Do not hesitate to cut off the split ends as what is lost in the length will be gained in quality. It may help if you reduce the frequency with which you shampoo, as this in itself is stressful to hair and causes split ends to extend up the hair shaft. You can use an organic, natural shampoo complete with conditioning ingredients. Never use a dryer too near the hair, or set it on too high a temperature. Minimize the use of heated appliances. Try conditioners and serums that are designed to seal split ends temporarily and give resistance to further splitting.
Conditioning Hair Rescuer Packs:
1. Mixed Conditioner: For Dry, damaged hair with breakage, apply this mixture after shampooing. Leave for 5 minutes, then rinse.
Ingredients: 30ml / 2 tbsp olive oil; 30ml / 2 tbsp light sesame oil; 2 eggs; 30ml / 2 tbsp coconut milk; 30ml / 2 tbsp runny honey; 5ml / 1tsp coconut oil; blender or food processor; bottle;
Process the ingredients until smooth. Transfer to a bottle. Keep in the fridge and use within 3 days.
2. Milk And Cream Pack: For lesser split ends, you can combine 1/2 cup milk and 2 tbsp cream and beat thoroughly. Apply this on the scalp and through to the split ends and wash off.
3. Olive Oil Treatment: Massage warm olive oil on the scalp and leave for 30 minutes before rinsing off. This is a good remedy for dry hair prone to breakage.
4. Coconut Oil Aroma Pack: For improving the texture of hair you can apply the following treatment once a month.
Ingredients: 90ml / 6tbsp coconut oil; 3 drops rosemary essential oil; 2 drops tea tree essential oil; 2 drops lavender essential oil; dark colored glass bottle with stopper.
Pour all the ingredients into the bottle and shake gently to mix. Use the oil sparingly on dry hair, the head should not be soaked. Massage the oil in, then cover your head with a warm towel for 20 minutes. Shampoo as normal.
5. Moisturizing Banana Hair Conditioner:
Ingredients: 1 small, ripe organic banana; 1 tbsp organic honey; 1 tsp sweet almond oil;
Mash the banana together with the honey and sweet almond oil. Apply this mixture to your shampooed hair. Cover your hair with a plastic bag to allow for body heat to accentuate the conditioning effect, and leave the mixture on for 15-30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly.