Ever wish your hair had an amazingly protective armor against harsh elements, heat and styling? It does.
We’ve all been there. While combing our hair or going through the morning styling routine, a few unruly hairs stray from the rest of the shiny pack and catch our attention for being out of line and (gasp!) split.
Split as in having a split end or perhaps even starting to split or break toward the center. So, what to do now? Well, before you go grabbing the tiny scissors to snip them off, consider the reason why your hair is dividing in the first place: The cuticle, or hair’s protective armor, has worn away and those strands are having a really difficult time remaining intact.
“The cuticle structure was designed naturally to be a powerful barrier between the fragile core of a hair fiber and the world around our hair,” says Dr. Jeni Thomas, a Pantene scientist who studies various types of hair damage, including split ends. Without that protective armor, the hair’s core is not equipped to stay together once it’s exposed. Then it’s just a matter of time before the fiber breaks or unravels completely, leaving you with unsightly split ends.
A haircut is the only definitive way to get rid of split ends, since some breakage happens higher up in the hair. So if a blunt bob or pixie crop is shorter than you’re willing to go, then prevention and repair are paramount in order to keep strands smooth and strong.
Thomas advises that Pantene’s split-end repair treatments can temporarily fix existing split ends between washes, due to the chain-like molecules found in these products that work to “stitch” the inner threads of the hair back together.
“Prevention is the best cure,” she says. “Be sure to use conditioner with every wash along the length of your hair to help hair hold onto its structure.”
Don’t let split ends and damage decide when you go for your next haircut. Make that decision for yourself by focusing on prevention and hair protection.