At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.
No matter how well you take care of your hair, at one time or another you will have to treat split ends. The result of many factors, including summer sun, swimming pools, harsh cleansers, and over-processing, split ends can be managed with just some basic procedures. While many people think the only way to treat split ends is to cut their hair, the truth is that cutting your hair only gets rid of the split ends you see, while usually the hair is damaged way beyond the end. Cutting about one inch of your hair can slow down further splitting, but only treatment can completely stop it.
The best way to treat split ends is to prevent them in the first place by deep-conditioning your hair frequently. A good quality conditioner should be rich and creamy but leave no residue on the hair. If your hair is dry, shampoo less frequently to prevent further damage, and minimize exposure to the elements, using a hat if you're spending a lot of time in the sun.
Reducing the use of curling irons and hairdryers also helps, as the intense heat contributes to hair splitting. If cutting down on drying time is not an option, you can treat split ends by using thermal protection products, which are designed to prevent heat damage. If at all possible, let your hair air dry. Another way to treat split ends is to be nicer to your hair. Use a soft brush rather than one with plastic bristles, and be especially gentle when your hair is wet, as it becomes more fragile and prone to breakage.
There are a few home remedies to treat split ends at home. One is to mix vitamin E capsules with warm water and apply the mixture to your hair when wet. Plain coconut oil and almond oil are other great options: they can be left overnight or applied after washing. If you choose the second option, cover your head with a wet warm towel or a plastic shower cap for about 20 minutes to help the hair absorb the oils better.
Not matter how you choose to treat split ends, remember than healthy eating also contributes to hair health, so make sure you consume a balanced diet, or consider taking a multivitamin to balance your food intake.