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How Do I Prevent Split Ends?

The only way to fix split ends is by cutting the hair.
Damaged hair cuticles lead to split ends.
Keeping hair moisturized will help prevent split ends.
Overbrushing may lead to split ends.
Using a hair lotion will help to keep the hair shaft soft and conditioned.
Plastic bottles of shampoo.
Regular hairdresser visits can help prevent split ends.
Article Details
  • Written By: Aniza Pourtauborde
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Images By: Fmarsicano, Elavuk81, Urbanewomenmag, Niceregionpics, Stockphotosart, Dessie, Jackf
  • Last Modified Date: 22 July 2014
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The hair structure consists three layers: the medula, the innermost layer; the cortex, the center layer that determines the texture and color of the hair; and the cuticle, the thin and colorless outermost layer that protects the cortex. When the cuticles of the hair become damaged, the inner hair fibers are exposed to destructive elements that cause trichoptilosis or split ends. This is longitudinal breakage and fraying of the inner hair fibers, giving the hair a feathered look. A split end can be between 0.79 to 1.18 inches (2 to 3 cm) in length and can be found at any part of the hair strand, particularly at the end. Difficult to treat and impossible to cure unless you trim them off, the best way to avoid this problem is to take preventive haircare measures"

1. Do not overdo hairstyling. A good start to prevent the formation of split ends is to minimize or eliminate the application of direct heat to the hair. Frequent hairstyling with blow dryers, hot curlers, hair straighteners, and curling irons depletes the hair of its natural oils, making it more susceptible to damage. If you absolutely must blow dry your hair, use the lowest temperature possible and keep the blow dryer at least 4 inches (10.2 cm) away from your hair.

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2. Cut down on chemicals. Avoid using too many chemical products, such as gel, mousse, and hair spray. Hairstyling with these products damages and weakens the hair. Do not use any haircare products containing alcohol, including alcohol-based shampoos. Alcohol causes the hair to lose moisture and become brittle, and dry hair is susceptible to splitting.

3. Be gentle with your hair. Remember that wet hair is more vulnerable to damage, so do not brush your hair when it is wet. Avoid overbrushing, as brushing in itself causes stress to the hair, leading to split ends. When you do brush your hair, use a hairbrush with soft, even bristles or a wide-toothed comb. Avoid nylon bristles.

Do not comb through tangled hair. Doing so rips the hair strands roughly, destroying the cuticles and exposing the inner hair fibers. Instead, separate tangled hair into sections. Working on each section, slowly untangle your hair from end to root using your fingers or a wide-toothed comb.

4. Use the right accessories. When using hair accessories such as colorful hairpins and bands, make sure they are not too harsh for your hair. Use hairpins with smooth ends because sharp hairpin ends can tear at the hair strands when you unpin them. Additionally, avoid using rubber bands to tie your hair. Instead, do up your ponytail with a soft scrunchie or other fabric elastic band.

5. Moisturize. Split ends are caused by a lack of moisture in the hair, so it is important to use conditioner after each shampoo. Use a deep conditioner once a week as an additional preventative measure. Furthermore, drink a lot of water to keep your body and hair well hydrated.

6. Schedule an appointment. Make an appointment with your trusted hairdresser every four to six weeks to trim off dry and brittle ends. Trimming your hair regularly can prevent the ends from splitting or get rid of pieces that already have.

Remember that split ends cannot be repaired. The only solution is to cut them off completely. It is essential to maintain a very strict haircare regimen to prevent future occurrences.

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Discuss this Article

anon290933
Post 11

Ugh. I hate split ends. I always make sure I get a regular trim to prevent them. I even went all out and bought the whole Pro Naturals hair care line online from beyas. Good thing I did though, because my hair is looking awesome.

LisaLou
Post 10

Something as simple as changing my hairbrush helped me with my split ends. I found out I was using the wrong kind of brush and was too rough on my hair.

When I get out of the shower I use a wide tooth comb to go through my hair when it is wet. I put on my makeup and go through the rest of my morning routine before I use the hair dryer. By this time much of the moisture is out of my hair and it doesn't take nearly as long to dry or style.

golf07
Post 9

@andee-- Have you ever tried washing your hair every other day instead of every day? This way you would be cutting down on the heat and product you are using on your hair by half.

My stylist is the one who suggested this to me. She said most adults don't really need to wash their hair every day and it can really strip your hair of its natural oils.

At first I wasn't too keen on this idea and it took me awhile before I felt comfortable with this. Now that I have been doing it for about 8 months I feel like my hair is healthier and I have fewer split ends.

andee
Post 8

I have a lot of split ends, but I am not surprised by this because I do almost everything to my hair that I shouldn't do every day.

I wash my hair every day and dry it with a hair dryer on the hottest setting there is. After that I use a flat iron to keep it straight. This is followed up with some hairspray, so it is no wonder my hair is dry and has so many split ends.

I try to use a good conditioner on my hair, but this isn't enough to repair the damage I do. I am faithful about getting my hair cut every 6 weeks and I think this does more good than anything.

Oceana
Post 7

@shell4life – I can tell you what helped me a lot. I got my long, thick hair cut into lots of layers, and now, it just has a style on its own, without any help from curling irons.

I don't even have to blow dry it anymore. When I let it dry naturally, the layers just fall into place perfectly.

My stylist made the first layer underneath my jaw, and she extended them down from there. She put layers all over, even in the back of my hair. She used scissors and made them kind of choppy, and this gave them enough bulk to hold their own shape.

She cut off lots of split ends while chopping my hair up like that. It may make getting a trim a little more complicated, but I think she can handle it.

shell4life
Post 6

@Kristee – Shampoo for split ends doesn't work very well, either. I know that eliminating heat sources would probably work, but my hair needs heat styling in order to look good.

I have hair that is mostly straight, but it sometimes gets a weird wave here and there, and I need to use the straightening iron to make it all even. Sometimes, I will use the curling iron to create waves all over.

My hair is mostly all one length, so it really needs help in the styling department. How can I cut down on using hot styling tools but still have nice looking hair?

kylee07drg
Post 5

My hair dryer was making my hair really dry, and split ends were popping up everywhere. I decided to stop using it, at least during the summer when having wet hair wouldn't make me freeze to death!

On days when I needed to get my hair dry quickly in order to go somewhere, I would just stand in front of the big box fan in my room. I would turn it on medium and hang my hair down close to it, but not so close that it could get caught up in the blades. It would dry within just a few minutes.

In the winter, I do use my hair dryer when I need to get ready in a hurry. However, on days when I don't have anywhere to go, I will just wrap my hair up in a thick towel to get most of the moisture out.

I have far less split ends now than I did before. Heat is really bad for your hair.

Kristee
Post 4

There are conditioners claiming to treat split ends, but I don't believe they can do this. They can prevent more from happening, but once the ends have split, you have to cut them off to get rid of them.

I know of one way that conditioner can help you prevent split ends. If you have really tangled hair, you can spray leave-in conditioner on it before using a comb or your fingers to detangle it. The conditioner makes it so much easier to separate the tangles, and you will lose much less hair in the process.

anon140329
Post 2

everything made sense. thank you for the tips.

anon139155
Post 1

thank you so much, this was extremely helpful to me.

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