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What causes split ends and how do you fix them?

Let’s take a good look at the tips of your tresses. They should be looking sharp and shiny, supple yet sturdy. But if your ends are looking straggly, dry and uneven, then you’ve probably done some damage to your curls. No judgment, we’ve all been there!

The source of your split ends starts in the cuticles. These little scales layer on top of each other to form a moisture-locking shield that covers each strand of hair on your head. When your hair is happy and healthy, the cuticles lay flat against the hair shaft to strengthen the strand and keep things silky smooth – just how we like it.

But when your hair becomes dry or damaged, the cuticles are less supple and more susceptible to breakage. They begin to weaken and break apart, causing the hair fibre to split. Moisture escapes through the cracks in the cuticles, leaving you with dull, dry and damaged hair with ends that are frayed like your favourite pair of jeans. 

What are some of the causes of split ends?

Okay, it's time to crack the code. Here are some of the common causes of dry, split ends:

Heat styling: The overuse of straighteners, hair dryers and curling irons is a one-way ticket to frazzled and fried hair. When hair is exposed to high heat, the chemical bonds are broken down, the hair fibre weakened and precious moisture is drawn out from the core. The drier your hair becomes, the more likely your ends will start to split.

Chemicals and colouring: The chemicals used in colouring, chemical straightening and perming actually alter the very structure of your hair in order to change its appearance. They weaken the hair shaft to break down the natural pigment, which causes the cuticles to swell and splinter apart, leaving the hair more prone to damage and splitting.

Rough drying and brushing: Too much brushing can lead to split ends and breakage. Wet hair breaks more easily, so raking your fingers through your hair in the shower is a big no-no. Rubbing your hair with a rough towel can also weaken the cuticles and break the fibre, so use an old cotton T-shirt to gently blot your hair dry instead.

What are some ways to salvage hair with split ends?

The best way to be rid of those pesky fly-aways and straggly ends is to chop them right off. Then, you can get to work on nourishing your curls with nature’s best ingredients to keep things nice and neat. That’s where our the following curl heroes step in to add some inner strength to your strands:

02 Conditioner

Made with baobab oil and cupuaçu butter to keep your curls soft and healthy, the 02 Conditioner has sweet orange essential oil and other citrusy scents for wash day bliss. It also contains yucca plant extract, a natural and gentle cleanser perfect for co-washing dry and damaged hair.

  • Use it as a moisturising conditioner: Keep your hair soaking wet and drizzle water as you apply to keep the moisture locked into the hair. Leave in for a minute or two. Be gentle when teasing out the tangles, and avoid raking through your hair. Rinse and finish!

  • Use it as a deeper treatment: Repeat the above and leave in your hair for longer. Turn up the music. Sing along. Steam up the bathroom and let the steam work its magic in your hair. For thicker curls, rinse out and keep some in for a leave-in. For finer curls, rinse out completely.

  • Use it as a co-wash: Use just like you would a shampoo. Give yourself a dreamy scalp massage. Rinse out to remove product buildup, but retain moisture. 

Deep conditioning curl mask

Let’s get deep. Formulated with fancy fiberhance to penetrate the hair shaft to strengthen, repair and restore your curls, the 05 Curl Mask contains moisture-boosting shea butter and nutrient-rich baobab oil work together to nourish, soften and hydrate. A match made in curl heaven!

Apply the mask on dripping wet hair after cleansing. Use your pretty fingers to gently detangle or comb through. Start from the bottom up to gently tease out the tangles. If you hit a rough patch, apply a dollop more to loosen up the knots. Wait at least 15 minutes before rinsing out.

For some extra love and a deeper treatment, wrap with plastic and cover with a hot towel. If your curls are dry and damaged, leave some of the mask in to act as a leave-in. Keep diluting with water when rinsing instead of rinsing out completely. You can even use it for each wash instead of a normal conditioner for dry and damaged curls.

As a general curl care tip, try to avoid rinsing your hair in super-hot water as this can strip away the natural oils, elevate the cuticles and make your hair drier. Lukewarm water is the way to go, your curls will thank you for it! Rubbing your hair with a rough towel can also weaken the cuticles and break the hair fibre, so once you’re out the shower swap the towel for an old cotton T-shirt to gently blot your hair dry instead.

What are some of the best ingredients for split ends?

There are three main ingredients that we often turn to for curl-nourishing help. These three also particularly help split ends. They are:

  • Fiberhance

Sounds fancy? Well, it is. This active ingredient works at a molecular level to penetrate deep into the hair cortex, creating new hydrogen and ionic bonds that support and restore the internal keratin structure. Building up the inner strength of the hair fibre, it works from the inside out to repair damaged hair and bring back the power to the curl.

Chemicals, heat and harsh treatments don’t stand a chance. It also goes by the name of Hydroxypropyl Gluconamide. Do you feel that? That’s chemistry. 

  • Baobab oil

There’s a reason why this superhero ingredient features in all five of our products. Extracted from the seeds of the fruit that blooms on the majestic Madagascan baobab tree, this nutrient-rich oil has been used by people for centuries for its deep conditioning qualities.

Packed full of fatty acids and vital vitamins, including all three omegas, this wonder oil absorbs quickly into the hair to nourish, moisturise and soften your curls. They don’t call it the Tree of Life for nothing.

  • Cupuaçu butter

Moisture-rich and filled with fatty acids, butters are a curl’s best friend. But not all butters were created equal. Cupuaçu is an Amazonian superfruit, and the butter pressed from the seeds is one of nature’s most powerful moisturisers.

With healing hydrophilic (water-loving) properties that lock in moisture and a whole alphabet of vitamins and antioxidants to feed your hair with nature’s goodness, this butter will banish breakages. Plus, it creates a protective barrier against the sun’s harmful UV rays. Hello, summer and shine!

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