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People often turn to their hair stylist with their beauty questions—especially those related to their hair, obviously. Being able to provide informed, actionable answers and advice is an essential part of becoming your clients’ trusted adviser. And that, of course, is the way to win customer loyalty and word-of-mouth referrals.

Split ends are a common problem, and one that drives women nuts. As a stylist, you’ve heard the complaints and been called upon to cut them off many times. But it’s helpful if you can go beyond commiserating and providing a one-time fix. So, here’s some information about split ends you can pass on to your clients to help them have better hair days, and a stronger relationship with you.

Causes of Split Ends

The longer the hair, the further its ends are from nutrients delivered through the scalp, and the more prone the ends are to splitting. Split ends result from some sort of trauma to the hair, which can take several forms.

Chemically induced stress, for example, can occur with bleaching, coloring, perming, chemical straightening, and even use of styling products or harsh shampoos. Heat-related stress may occur from hair dryers and irons, while mechanical damage from over-brushing, teasing, or detangling can also bring about split ends.

Getting Rid of Split Ends

The only way to truly cure a case of split ends is to cut them off. When ends are coming apart, the hair should be promptly cut at least ¼ inch above the top of the split to stop further splitting. There are products that claim to repair split ends, but they don’t actually undo the damage. The best they do is strengthen the hair to prevent additional splitting.

You certainly don’t want to make unrealistic promises to your clients just to sell a bottle of product. In the long run, the individual sale is not worth losing your client’s trust. It’s much more valuable to you and to your client if, when talking about split ends, you advise them on preventing the problem.

 

How to Prevent Split Ends

Here are some effective steps to preventing split ends that you should offer your clients:

  • Have hair trimmed at least once every two to three months to keep the ends healthy
  • Don’t wash hair more often than necessary, and stick to lukewarm water; frequent washing and hot water dry out the hair and scalp
  • Choose a gentle, hydrating shampoo and a nourishing conditioner
  • Limit use of styling products and chemical hair treatments as much as possible
  • Use hair dryers and irons as little as possible, and avoid the highest heat settings
  • Direct the air from a blow dryer down the shaft of the hair, from scalp to end; don’t blow dry from end to scalp
  • Squeeze hair dry with a towel, rather than rub it dry, and don’t use coarse towels
  • Be gentle when brushing, combing, and detangling hair; opt for a wide-tooth comb for detangling and proceed slowly and carefully

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