How to Prevent Split Ends and Treat Them, in 4 Easy Steps

Most of us love and hate our split ends in (almost) equal parts, right? You secretly love them because they are fun to find and play with, but hate them because they are RUINING YOUR LOOK.

Problem is, unless you have un-colored, un-heat-styled virgin hair, they’re a fact of your life and are going to occur. “Split ends happen for three reasons," says Sally Hershberger hairstylist Colleen Duffy. She counts them: thermal damage from heat styling with blow dryers, curling irons and flat irons; mechanical damage from using metal brushes that pull and snap at your hair; and chemical damage which includes highlights, balayage and keratin straightening treatments.

“Anything that is chemical-based and used repetitively is harsh on your hair — split ends are unfortunately the result of that,” she explains.

How To Minimize Them

1. “What works best is being more gentle on your hair as well as getting more regular trims,” Duffy says. She suggests not washing too regularly (every day), which puts a lot of strain on your strands. “Take breaks — wash and blow dry one day, and then put your hair up in a bun or ponytail the next.” She says, also noting that shampoo should always be concentrated on your scalp for cleansing, not your ends. “Way too drying!” she says.

2. If you are experiencing a massive attack of split ends, you might need to up your moisturizing routine. “Apply a deep moisturizing masque on your hair and comb through with a wide tooth comb in the shower,” Duffy says. “The combing through is important because it really saturates your strands much more than simply applying it.” For the best result, apply your masque before bed or apply an oil (coconut is her pick), put up in a loose bun and wash out in the morning.

Try: Viva Labs Organic Coconut Oil, $10.79, Amazon

3. When trimming, consider your cut. “If there is too much texturizing done in your hair, that’s naturally going to weaken it, so blunt hair cuts tend to have fewer split ends and last longer,” says Duffy. Consider laying off the drying highlights, too, if you’re aiming to lower your split count.

How To Fix Them

Besides cutting them off, your only solution is a temporary one. No product on the market can fuse your (technically dead) ends back together, but there are products which seal them together temporarily for the appearance of polished ends. Try Tresemme Split End Sealing Serum.

Tresemme Split End Sealing Serum, $3, Amazon

Image: vladimirfloyd / Fotolia.com