Welcome to Beauty In A Tik, where each week we put TikTok's viral beauty hacks and innovative trends to the test.
There are just as many useful tips and tricks when it comes to hair, too. Professional stylists, colourists and beauty enthusiasts are flooding the app with smart tutorials showing viewers how to create voluminous ponytails, whip lengths up into an Instagram-worthy bun and curl hair without heat (hint: you'll need a pair of socks). But nothing has reached viral status quite like the DIY split ends hack.
"I cut my own hair once every 6 months," TikToker @meyinleda captioned a video in which she trims her split ends in seconds — without taking any length away whatsoever. Caused by general wear and tear, split ends appear as splintered hair strands, often split in two. They may also look white at the tip as well as dull, dry and knotty. Currently at an enormous 5.2 million views, the clip shows Meyin use a fine-tooth comb to pass a section of her hair through her index and middle finger. She then takes a pair of scissors and snips off any split ends in that section of hair and repeats the step all the way down her lengths. Meyin says that she started doing the hack five years ago and she can't stop — it's supposedly that effective.
As you might have expected, Meyin's video amassed hundreds of comments. "I do this to get all the split ends," wrote one, "and my hair has never been more shiny and healthy." Another commented: "I have been trimming my own hair too. I trim a small amount straight across and then go back and point cut. I love it." The video's popularity makes sense. With many salons fully booked until the new year, you'd be forgiven for reaching for the scissors to snip off any damage caused by a combination of cold weather, hat-wearing, central heating and excess heat styling.
I've never thought to cut my own hair — not even when salons were closed during the first lockdown. I just don't trust myself and the last thing I want is uneven lengths when it's difficult to make a salon appointment at this time of year. That said, I was swayed by Meyin's hack, not least because she makes it appear very quick and easy. She doesn't cut any length off, either — just the split hairs — so I reached for my scissors.
A fine-tooth comb is a must to ensure hair is pulled taut so that any split ends rise away from the lengths and can be easily snipped away. My hair is wavy so I found it easier to straighten it beforehand to shear away the splits. This might also be beneficial if your hair is curly, as Meyin explains. I last had my hair cut in early October so it's in need of a little trim. Using hairbands, I sectioned my very thick hair into four bunches, tying the band a couple of inches above where the splits are. Passing the hair through my finger and thumb, I found it really easy to slice away any dry ends. I can't deny that it worked and my hair appeared smoother. Over time, though, I wasn't too keen on the finished result. My hair looked a little fluffy and I found myself using more product to smooth down my lengths.
I asked editorial hairstylist Neil Moodie, who has many celebrity clients such as Jodie Comer and Naomi Campbell, for his professional opinion on the hack. "While this isn't a bad idea in theory, using non-hairdressing scissors that haven't been designed to cut hair can cause cuticle damage to the hairs being cut," he says. "Many people don't realise how sharp hairdressing scissors actually are," adds Neil. "They are designed to make the cleanest, sharpest cut on hair. When doing it yourself, your ends may initially look healthy but blunt scissors could tear the hairs and actually cause more split ends — or make the ones you have worse."
If you're going to attempt to cut your own hair at home, make sure you invest in actual hair cutting scissors like the Salon Services S-PRO Classic Cutting Scissors 5.5", £31.99, Tweezerman's Deluxe Hair Cutting Shears, £25, or the Superdrug Hairdressers Scissors, £4.99, if you're on a budget. I used a sharp pair I had lying around in my hair kit.
Neil's final word of advice? "I highly recommend to get split ends cut by a professional," he says. "Also, don't wait until they are really bad. At the first sign of split ends, get an appointment with your stylist ASAP." Split ends have a tendency to travel upwards very quickly so getting a regular trim will ensure your hair stays healthy and long if you're trying to grow it.
Would I try snipping my own split ends at home again? Most probably not. Some things are better left to the experts.
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