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Sealing the Ends: How to Protect Curly Hair from Split Ends

by Siva Raj |

If there’s one thing to split and rob your mind of its peace, it’s Split Ends, the sight of which can leave you feeling as frazzled and frustrated as these dry ends. Even more so if you’re a Curlie trying to maintain and flaunt natural curly hair. But as always, Curlie, every problem has a solution, especially when you make the effort to turn things around. And, we, at Curl Up, are here to guide you through some tried and tested ways to keep pesky split ends at bay. Keep ready and split ways with split ends!

What exactly are split ends? 

Split ends occur due to the fraying and splitting of the hair shaft, generally at the tips, but can also occur further up the hair strand. To get deep into the anatomy of a single hair strand – there are three primary layers. The outer layer or cuticle, that encases the hair and protects the hair from external factors such as the environment. The middle layer is the cortex that is responsible for the hair’s strength and colour and the core layer is the medulla, usually occurring only in thick and coarse hair. Split ends occur when the cuticle splits but this can extend to the deeper layers of the hair strand and can manifest as a single split, baby split, y split, triple split, tree, feather, deep, and taper split. The ‘y’ split is the most common and occurs as a result of damage and wear and tear of natural hair. Another kind of split end can occur as a reaction to chemical or physical trauma from extensive heat styling, over dry brushing or chemical treatments that push the cortex to expand and burst inside the shaft. 

Is curly hair more prone to split ends?

The unfortunate answer to this is Yes. This is simply because of the way curly hair grows and forms patterns along the hair shaft. Since it is more prone to dryness and frizz, this leads to more breakage and ultimate split ends. Curls are also more prone to stress from heat, humidity, and other environmental factors, causing split ends. 

Other reasons that lead to split ends include:

  • Loss of moisture and dehydration.
  • Over brushing of dry curls.
  • Damaged curls from excessive heat, chemical and colouring treatments.
  • Hygral fatigue or damage to the hair follicle.
  • Harsh hair products that dry out and damage delicate curls.
  • An imbalance of protein and moisture resulting in brittle and dry curls. 

Split ends can appear as visible white dots or rough ends that can be prominent when looked at closely. There is no actual cure once your split ends take over and your best bet would be to start afresh by trimming the split ends away.

 But that being said, prevention is always better than cure and there are ways to keep this severe woe away.

  • Do away with Damage: 
    As much as you can at least. Avoid exposing your curls to excessive heat, especially in the form of blow-dryers and hair curlers. Keep chemical treatments to a minimum and if you’re tempted to enhance your beautiful curls with a touch of colour, keep it as curl-friendly as possible using the right products and techniques and avoid harsh pre-lightening techniques.
  • Products are Key:
    Yes, you’ve probably gone sulphate-free and done away with baddies in your curl care routine, but pay attention to your hair needs during different seasons and tweak your products accordingly. For eg, using a co-wash in place of shampoo when your hair needs to be cleansed more frequently. This will ensure that your scalp and hair will not dry out and remain moisturised.
  • Deep Conditioning:
    There’s always a reason to deep condition! This reinforces much needed moisture in dry curls and revives the hair shaft from within. Frequent deep conditioning treatments act like a spa treatment for your curls and keep them feeling lush and moisturized. Opt for conditioners with nourishing and moisturizing ingredients that work well to keep damage away and offer protection against environmental stressors too.
  • Slip on some Satin:
    For your tresses, we mean! Swap your cotton pillow case for a silk or satin one to prevent breakage by friction that ultimately leads to split ends. Microfiber towels in place of cotton terry towels and silk scrunchies in place of elasticated fabric go a long way in reducing breakage and damage to curls. The right fabric can protect and pamper your curls and prevent probable damage.
  • Brush with Care:
    A golden rule on the CG Method is to never dry brush. Always detangle when your curls are wet and have enough ‘slip’ from an emollient or moisturizing product. This will get tangles out without causing dryness, frizz, breakage and ultimately split ends. Use a wide-toothed comb or detangler for the same or even your fingers, so your curls have enough room to detangle without breaking the delicate curl pattern.
  • Trim them Tresses:
    We don’t mean giving up on the long curly hair of your dreams, but frequent trims are the best way to keep split ends away. Ensure that you go to a stylist aware of curl care, so they can snip off dry ends and shape curls to allow for more growth. This ensures protection to curly hair and also keeps split ends away before they creep in. 

There you go, Curlies! We hope this has helped you understand split ends better and encourages you to try these techniques to keep them away from good! Let us know if you have a few tips of your own to share and be a part of our amazing Curl and Wave Community at customercare@letscurlup.com, +91 9945373597 or @letscurlupdotcom on Instagram!

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