No matter their hair type, almost everyone takes pride in having healthy hair. However, to maintain it, it needs to be taken care of properly. If hair is too dry or receives improper treatment, the ends can split. Instead of relying on expensive treatments to repair hair, use these home remedies to fix and prevent split ends.
To better understand why hair splits, you should first know the basic structure of hair. A strand of it contains three sections:
The cuticle is the outer layer that helps protect hair. It consists of hair scales that are protein-based and overlap to provide a protective layer. The scales can open and close, but when they are open, damage can be done to the inner layers, especially the cortex.
Most of the bulk of hair and its pigment comes from the cortex. It consists of keratin fibers with bonds of disulfide and hydrogen surrounding them. The cuticle protects the health of the cortex.
If your hair contains medulla, then it has a thin layer of translucent cells and air holes.
What Causes Hair To Split
The ends of hair can split for many reasons. If your hair is too dry, the ends can come apart due to lack of moisture. Exposure to the hot sun, using hot curling irons or hair straighteners can also cause them hair cuticles to come apart.
Hair can also split after too many washings or by overusing serums, color treatments, or using hot water when washing your hair. Hot water strips the hair, and body, of its natural oils, which leads to it becoming dry. The best way to counteract that is to use lukewarm or cool water when showering and washing and rinsing your hair.
The way of styling your hair or washing it can cause damage to the outer cuticle layers and cause hair strands to split. Hair can split in several different ways, which can tell a stylist the potential causes of the damage.
Types of Hair Splits
If it is dry or hasn’t received the proper care, hair can split in 16 different ways. However, this list only includes five of the most common types of splits:
- Basic split
- Baby split
- Fork in the road split
- Tree split
- Taper split
The basic or traditional split is the most common type of hair splitting. It’s typically due to dry hair, friction by rubbing it instead of patting dry, or because of many other causes.
The baby split is another common type of hair split, but it is only the beginning of a basic split. It is the result of having dry hair, and trimming the splits before they worsen can help keep your hair looking healthy.
Fork in the Road Split
The fork in the road split is much less common than the basic or baby split and indicates there is more damage to the hair. It can mean that the cuticle is weak and is splitting away from the cortex.
This tree split indicates there is more damage on one side of the hair shaft than the other. It is sometimes the result of too much exposure to the hot sun or brushing hair and putting it up in a ponytail.
A taper split is when damage to the cuticle layer exposes the cortex at the end of the hair shaft.
Home Remedies For Split Ends
Fortunately, treating the damage your hair undergoes can restore it to a healthy, shiny state. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to treat your hair as you can use these home remedies instead.
Natural Oil Treatment
Regardless of the type of splits in your hair, you can treat it by mixing some of these natural oils and applying it to your hair before shampooing it. Some of the oils you can use are:
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil
- Almond oil
Create a mixture of the oils, enough to cover your hair, and apply it. Wrap a towel around your hair or cover it with a shower cap and leave the oils in for one or two hours, or you can leave them in overnight. Along with helping to reunify your hair strands, the oils will moisturize them.
Honey is one of the best ways to repair your splitting hair. Apply it before taking a shower, concentrating attention on the splits in it. Then, after leaving it in for a few minutes, rinse it out of your hair with plain water. You can use this remedy up to three times a month for healthier hair.
Since honey and water can leave hair sticky, you may wish to use it in a homemade hair mask instead. Mix two tablespoons of honey and olive oil before applying it to your hair and scalp. Then, leave it in for about 25 minutes before washing it out.
Another alternative recipe is to add 1/4 cup of plain yogurt to the mixture before applying it to your hair. Dampen your hair before using it, then leave it in from up to 20 minutes. After the time is up, rinse it out, wash your hair, and then dry as you usually do.
Apply Egg Yolk
The protein in the yolk of an egg can act as a hair mask, strengthen the strands and keep them from splitting. It is also good for conditioning and locking in moisture, plus it is easy to get since most people have eggs in their refrigerators.
Mix an egg yolk with two tablespoons each of olive oil, almond oil, and honey. Then, apply it to your hair, paying close attention to any ends that are split. Leave it in your hair for up to 45 minutes, then rinse your hair with plain, lukewarm water.
Another way to use egg yolks is to mix two of them with half of an avocado. It will form a paste that you can apply to your hair, whether it is damp or dry. Leave it in for about 20 minutes before rinsing it out and washing your hair.
Another remedy using avocados is to make a mask with banana and olive oil to treat damage to your hair. The avocado supplies moisture to hydrate your hair and help revive it. The healthy fat it contains is also great for making it shine.
To make the mask, use a ripe avocado, a ripe banana, and one tablespoon of olive oil. The banana can help strengthen your hair, especially if its thin and fine. The potassium and Vitamin C it contains can repair damage to it.
The olive oil has Vitamins A and E, which helps to add moisture, strengthens hair and makes it shine. To create the mask, mash the avocado and banana together with a fork or potato masher. Then, add in the olive oil by drizzling it in a little at a time. It will be ready to apply after mixing it.
Add it all over your hair and scalp, then put on a shower cap and leave the mask on your hair for 20 minutes. Next, use water to rinse the remains off and wash your hair as you would normally.
Soak Hair in Beer
If you’ve found a can or bottle of flat beer in the back of your refrigerator or in a cooler that was taken to a tailgate party, don’t throw it away. Instead, use it to condition your hair. However, never use a fresh beer or one that still has carbonation because it can damage hair.
Beer can control the splits in your hair by supplying it with the sugar and protein it contains. Pour it into your hair after shampooing it and wash it again, but only using the beer. Leave it in for about three minutes, then rinse it out using lukewarm water.
Preventing Split Ends
Before the ends of your hair become split, you can use some precautions to ensure it doesn't sustain damage. Since sun exposure can cause enough damage to split cuticles, wear a hat during the summer when it is sunny and hot out to protect your hair.
Don’t use hot water when bathing yourself or washing your hair as that can strip natural oils away, and make sure to drink plenty of water to hydrate your entire body, including your hair, all year round. When drying your hair, and skin, pat it dry instead of rubbing it because the friction from the towel can cause the ends to split.
If you use a blow dryer, only use it when you must because hair appliances can cause damage to hair as well. Try not to use a blow dryer more than twice a week and limit the use of hot curlers, hair straighteners, and curling irons.
Use these home remedies to add moisture to your hair and to strengthen the outer layer to prevent damage. If you take care of your hair, it should be shiny, healthy, and strong, instead of drab, lifeless, and showing split ends.