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Split ends are a menace to those who want to grow their hair long. That makes most of us these days, since long tresses seem all the rage, from trend crazy Hollywood to the exotic tropics. Medically referred to as trichoptilosis, this condition contributes to the splitting or fraying of the hair shaft. The causes can vary, from malnourishment, lack of moisture and regular use of chemical products on hair to thermal, mechanical and chemical stress which damages the protective outer layer of the hair cuticle.

The most convenient remedy for split hair is to trim off the split ends, thus preventing the entire length of hair from splitting up. There is a possibility of hair breaking off from the splits as well. Sometimes this is combined with dryness in the hair and resultant knotting. Splits are the sworn enemy of your otherwise lovely hair, of fancy hairstyles, tints and highlights. However, do not despair; there are herbal remedies to split ends, so those long tresses may not need to be trimmed just yet.

There are few things to pay attention to regularly to prevent hair from further splits. One important tip is never to wash your hair with scalding hot water. Do not use strong shampoos, serums and styling products frequently. Avoid use of hair dryers, hair curlers and hair straightners as much as possible. The heat from these could sometimes damage hair irreversibly. Less back combing would do a world of good to keep the hair in fine texture as well. It is important to use proper combs and brushes on hair; this would prevent hair from being broken off. Finally, minimize the use of stay on sprays and hair mousse. When used, it is essential for any chemicals to be washed off before going to sleep.

Herbal remedies Egg conditioner
Eggs are a wonderful source of essential fatty acids and proteins. Hair is made of keratin, a protein. This makes eggs very agreeable in repairing and strengthening hair follicles. Egg conditioning would make hair strong, silky smooth and tangle free. Mix three tablespoons of olive oil and one tablespoon of honey with a whisked egg yolk. Wet your hair and work this mixture well through the hair, root to ends. Leave on for 30 minutes and wash off with lukewarm water. Then follow with a mild shampoo. Repeat once a week.

Papaya
Papaya is an excellent source of amino acids, antioxidants and vitamins. These would nourish the hair and remedy split ends while making hair soft and shiny at the same time. In addition, hair would look voluminous. Take a fresh papaya, peel it and cut in two. Remove the seeds from one half and pulp it. Add half a cup of yoghurt into this pulp. Mix together to a smooth and thick consistency. Apply the mixture allover hair and leave on for 30 minutes. Then rinse off with lukewarm water and shampoo. Repeat once a week for best results.

Hot oil
This is an ancient remedy, used by women for thousands of years, to nourish their tresses. Oils add moisture that control split ends. Take and adequate amount of olive oil or coconut oil, depending on the length of the hair. Place this in a heat proof container and heat in a water bath for about five minutes. Remove from water bath and carefully test whether the oil is mild enough to be applied on scalp. If not, leave for few minutes for the oil to come to a temperature agreeable for skin. Massage the oil well onto the hair and scalp and leave on for 45 to 60 minutes. If you have extremely dry hair, leave on overnight. Then wash off with lukewarm water and a mild shampoo. Repeat about three times a week.