Thursday, April 18, 2013

Picking Your Split Ends Can Damage Your Hair

by Melissa L. White
Licensed Hair Stylist
Certified Hair Extension Artist

Many of us can't help but pick at the split ends of our hair, or at least pick through our hair to check for them! And, once you start watching for split ends, it can be hard to keep your hands from picking at them. But, like many other habits we find ourselves locked into, this behavior can lead to dreaded consequences.

Checking for split ends
Photo Credit:
The damage to your hair will come when you tear away at the split ends. Pulling them apart actually makes the problem much worse. Instead of having small splits, you may end up with long lengths of hair that has been thinned by pulling the split apart. This thinned out hair shaft is more apt to tangle. It may also break off entirely, leaving you with shorter hair that is more prone to even more splits. Remember, any type of "break" is not "clean" or blunt, like a cut with scissors. Some people acquire hair so damaged that a single hair shaft may have multiple splits on it.

If your hair is healthy, you shouldn't be too troubled by them. But, if you use heat appliances such as blow dryers and curling irons on high heat settings, you may see many more. If your hair is dry or brittle due to bleaching, coloring and/or hair treatments like perms, you may also be more prone to split ends. Even exposure to the sun can be very damaging to hair.

What can you do to prevent split ends? If you spend a lot of time outside, you might look for a quality shampoo containing sunblock. Use of good, quality hair products is essential so that your hair doesn't become excessively dry. Your hair stylist can recommend the correct products for your hair type and condition of your hair. It's worth the money to invest in good products. Brushing your hair with a quality brush is also a way to help avoid split ends. And, use heat appliances on the lowest settings possible to achieve your desired styling.

But what do you do if you see you're developing splits? Hair specialists advise to cut split ends rather than to pick at them and pull them apart. Seeing your stylist for small trims will usually keep split ends at bay, and would be more helpful to you than less frequent visits that take more off. Your stylist can help determine the ideal frequency for trims to prevent split ends after a couple of visits with you to determine how frequently they're popping up and how big the splits are.

One trick that is extremely effective is to take a small section of hair and twist it around and around to the ends. You'll see that your split ends will boldly stick out, allowing you to trim just what's necessary to remove the split. Removing the split with a very sharp pair of scissors will allow the hair to continue to grow without risk that the split will get longer and longer, leaving your hair at risk for breakage and more splits.

Melissa White is an experienced, licensed hair extension artist and stylist whose passion is to bring out the natural beauty in everyone by enhancing their own individual features with the use of exquisite hair extensions. Melissa has over 10 years of extensive training with the industries top hair extension companies in the newest techniques. Melissa is also a certified Brazilian Blowout stylist. Originally from Boston, Melissa has been in San Antonio for the past 8 years. She believes that everyone should be able to access and afford the hair of their dreams . . . thus the creation of Extensions of Yourself, San Antonio's first salon which specializes exclusively in quality hair extensions.

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