There are no good hair days when you have split ends. They make your hair look frizzy, dry and worst of all — thinner. We all get them, but there are easy ways to care for your hair to minimize split ends and breakage.
Split ends can be caused by overuse of hot styling tools and chemical processing, or just brushing your hair incorrectly. Unfortunately, once the damage is done, there is no way to repair your hair. What’s worse, the ends will continue to split up to the root unless you intervene. To fix split ends, you have to cut them off, which can be daunting, especially if you love your length.
Professional stylists recommend a technique called dusting, which involves trimming less than half an inch off the ends of your hair. This helps preserve your length while snipping off the split end to prevent further fraying. The good news is that dusting works for all hair types and helps keep your hair healthy.
If you’re looking for a quick fix before your next salon visit, there are hair care products that will temporarily mask your split ends by sealing and coating the hair. You can try anti-breakage and strengthening products like shampoos, deep conditioners, serums and oils. Using these daily will give your hair a healthier appearance, but they only last until your next shampoo. The best way to avoid split ends is to prevent them in the first place.
1. Trim Your Hair Regularly
If you’re trying to grow your hair out, you may be tempted to skip a trim. But, the key to long, healthy hair is getting regular haircuts. This keeps your ends healthy and it’s the best way to prevent split ends from traveling up your strands. Experts recommend trimming every 6-8 weeks.
2. Shampoo Correctly
The worst thing you can do while shampooing your hair is piling all of it on top of your head and rubbing vigorously. Instead, try washing just your scalp and let the suds slide gently down the rest of your hair. Don’t forget to use sulfate- and paraben-free shampoo and conditioner, because they’re less drying.
3. Brush with Care
Be kind to your hair when brushing. Start at the ends and work your way up. Gently comb through tangles rather than roughly brushing your hair from root to end. Try using a paddle brush with flexible bristles nestled in a soft cushion base.
4. Use a Wide-tooth Comb
Wet hair is particularly vulnerable to breakage. Instead of using a brush, which can damage your hair, try a wide-tooth comb after applying a leave-in conditioner to work out any knots.
5. Avoid Heat Styling Tools
Blow dryers, straighteners and curling irons can damage your hair and contribute to split ends. It’s best to avoid them whenever possible. Add a little mousse to damp hair for texture and let it dry naturally. If you can’t live without your favorite hot tools, try using them only twice a week and always apply a protectant spray before you turn up the heat.