How to Prevent Split Ends, Because Those Pesky SOB's Can't Actually Be Repaired

You might be wondering what exactly a split end is anyway, besides a life-sucking force that sabotages any effort you put into your hair. Split ends occur when the outer layer of hair (the cuticle) has been damaged enough to expose the inner layer. This inner layer is highly susceptible to further damage and dehydration, which in turn leads to splitting. Split ends appear dry and frizzy, detracting from the overall appearance of your hair's health. They can also easily break off, making your hair appear shorter. So how do you fix split ends?

Here's the bad news: Split ends cannot actually be repaired. That's right, once the split has occurred, the ends cannot be fused back together. That means those split-end sealing products? Those won't reverse the damage or breakage your hair has already suffered. Although they might be able to keep the split from moving farther up the shaft of your hair, unfortunately, the only true way to eliminate a split end is to cut it off.

But even though you can't truly fix split ends without cutting them off, there are things you can do to make sure they don't get any worse between trims. And please, whatever you do, DO NOT play with your split ends like they're Wishbones.

1. Limit Chemicals

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Bleaching and dyeing hair leads to serious damage and split ends. If you can reduce how often you chemically treat your hair, you'll notice a difference in how many split ends you get.

2. Limit Heat Styling

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Another major culprit of split ends? Heat styling. Those curling irons, straighteners, and blow dryers all contribute to breakage. Try to opt for heat-free styling when you can, but always use a heat-protectant when you can't.

3. Deep Condition

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Hair is extremely fragile and more prone to breakage when it is dry. To ensure that your strands are retaining optimal moisture, make sure to use a hair mask at least once a week. And if you can, leave-in treatments work wonders too.

4. Treat Wet Hair with Care

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Just like dry hair, wet hair is extremely fragile. Make sure not to cause any unnecessary friction to wet hair to avoid breakage. That means wide-tooth combs instead of brushes, and no towel drying.

5. Massage

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Massaging your scalp once a week can help promote circulation and therefore healthier hair growth.

6. Be Healthy

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Your health is reflected in your hair. The healthier your diet, the healthier your hair will be. Folic acid, biotin, and omega 3 fatty acid are especially good for hair. These can generally be found in fruits and veggies, seeds and nuts, and fish, respectively.

Images: Eugenio Marongiu/Fotolia; Giphy (6)