Tips to save that split

BEAUTY CORNER

Tips to save that split

WATCH OUT  Direct exposure to the sun, and excessive use of hair dryers,  colouring, straightening can all cause the ends of your hair to split. GETTY IMAGES

Split ends are the result of dry and damaged hair. The ends of your hair are older than the rest of the hair and they are more prone to damage. Dandruff, excessive sun-exposure, use of hair dryers, wire rollers, wrong brushes, as well as chemical colouring, dyeing, straightening and perming, can lead to brittleness of the hair and split ends. In fact, any strain on the hair shaft, like tying the hair tightly with rubber bands, can also cause the hair to split.

Each hair is made up of concentric layers. The outermost layer, or cuticle, consists of transparent, over-lapping scales that contribute to the shine of the hair. It also plays a protective role. Harsh treatments and abuse of the hair can cause these scales to be lifted in an uneven manner, making the hair rough and dull and also causing hair damage. In fact, the damage can be so extensive that the hair can split almost half-way up the hair shaft, or even further. Needless to say, this not only affects the appearance, but puts the hair in a fragile condition. 

The only way to deal with split ends is to cut them off as soon as they start to form. If they are left unattended, the hair can split almost half way up the hair shaft or even more. Start taking extra care of the hair with conditioning treatments and the use of mild shampoos, which have been specially formulated for damaged hair. Stop using brushes for a while. Use a wide- toothed comb, especially when it is wet. Allow the hair to dry naturally. If you must use a hair dryer, hold it ten inches away from the hair. Do not dry your hair with the dryer while it is still damp. Allow it to dry naturally. 

Massage magic
Hot oil treatments make a big difference. Twice a week, heat pure coconut oil and apply on the scalp and hair. You can add one teaspoon castor oil to the coconut oil and then heat it. Avoid vigorous rubbing and massage. Dip a towel in hot water, squeeze out the water and wrap the hot towel around the head, like a turban. Keep it on for five minutes. Repeat the hot towel wrap 3 or 4 times. This helps the hair and scalp absorb the oil better. 

Use a mild herbal shampoo. After shampoo, apply a creamy conditioner, taking less quantity and massaging it lightly into the hair. Apply on the ends too. Leave it on for two minutes and rinse off with plain water. Or, you can even apply a “leave-on” type of conditioner or hair serum. Apply it the same way, but do not rinse off. Specialised shampoos are available to tackle split ends.

For bounce and shine
If the hair has not been chemically coloured, weekly henna treatments would help to restore the damage. Henna not only conditions the hair, but also prevents hair damage. Natural ingredients like henna do not penetrate the hair, like chemical lotions do. Henna coats the hair and thus, protects it. To condition the hair with henna, mix together four teaspoons each of lemon juice and coffee, two raw eggs, two teaspoons oil and enough curd to the henna powder, mixing it into a thick paste. Apply on the hair and wash off after an hour. If you do not wish to use egg, add more curd. 

If the hair is extremely dry, take half cup yogurt and add one teaspoon pure glycerin. An aloe vera gel or juice can be added, instead of glycerin. Apply on the hair and the ends. Wash it off after half-an-hour. This restores damage and adds lustre to the hair.  
For very brittle hair with split ends, you can apply egg yolk half-an-hour before shampoo, specially on the ends. 

To add instant shine to dry and damaged hair, mix together two tablespoons of  castor oil, one teaspoon of vinegar, one teaspoon of pure glycerin and an egg. Massage this into the hair. Wear a scarf or shower cap, or wrap a hot towel around the head. Leave on for half an hour and then wash the hair. The hair looks shiny and soft.  
Cover your hair in the sun, because sun-exposure can deplete moisture and dry your hair. 

Diet is, of course, very important for the hair. Have a small bowl of sprouts daily and include fresh fruits, raw salads, leafy green vegetables, soyabean and curd in your diet.  
The hair is like a delicate fabric, so treat it that way. 

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