No one likes getting split ends. It’s tough to have a good hair day when the ends of your hair look like frayed rope. Luckily, this isn’t something you have to live with. It’s certainly possible to treat, conceal, or simply get rid of this common hair problem. Additionally, there are plenty of steps you can take to avoid getting them in general. This article will provide you with remedies and treatment options you can try to get rid of split ends for good.
First, however, it’s important to understand exactly what split ends are, and why they develop in the first place. The following information will give you a better understanding of this common hair condition. Once you know what causes it, you’ll be better equipped to prevent it.
What You Need to Know About Split Ends
Trichoptilosis is the technical name for split ends. When this condition affects a person’s hair, the strands become dry, brittle, and start to take on a frayed appearance.
There are several different reasons why a person may develop split ends. Ironically, it tends to be more common among the type of people who care about making sure their hair looks its best.
Beauty routines can certainly give you a hairstyle even a celebrity would envy. The problem is, many beauty routines expose your hair to materials, substances, and conditions that can damage it. Frequent exposure to chemicals found in hair care products can results in split ends. Unfortunately, so can simple tasks, like blow-drying or curling your hair (Source 1, Source 2). That’s because regular exposure to heat dries out the strands and causes damage. Even brushing your hair the wrong way or with the wrong tools can result in split ends if you’re not careful.
On the one hand, it’s disappointing to find out that many of the tasks and processes involved in making your hair look beautiful can also contribute to making it look worse in the long run. On the other hand, knowing what causes split ends makes it easier to avoid them.
Key Tips for Preventing Split Ends
Again, later in this article you’ll learn about all the simple steps you can take to treat split ends. Using simple natural ingredients, it’s possible to conceal split ends, repair damaged hair, and create the conditions that make split ends less like to return once they’re gone.
That said, if you don’t currently have this problem, you can still benefit from knowing what you can do to prevent it in the first place. Keep the following tips in mind if you’d rather not have to deal with split ends. While some of the tips listed here may involve making some adjustments to your hair care routine, they can also help you avoid a condition that affects many people. Avoiding split ends is certainly worth making some minor adjustments to your routine.
Don’t Shampoo Your Hair Everyday
Don’t worry. No one is advising that you quit taking daily showers. Personal hygiene is always important. Even if skipping regular showers helped prevent split ends, it still wouldn’t be your best option.
However, you may not want to apply shampoo to your hair every single day. This is especially the case if you tend to use shampoos that are full of chemicals. You might also consider wearing a hairnet in the shower to further protect it.
Shampooing your hair every single day can cause split ends because shampoos have a tendency to remove natural oils from your hair. Over time, this can cause it to dry out. When your hair is dry, you’re more likely to develop split ends. Skipping the shampoo (and maybe trying not to wash out your hair too much) during some daily showers can help you maintain a healthy level of natural oils that will keep your hair from drying out excessively (Source). Additionally, as mentioned before, harsh chemicals found in some cosmetic products can cause further damage that makes your hair prone to split ends. Giving it a break from shampoo every once in a while is a simple way to protect your hair.
Use a Natural Conditioner You Can Leave In
Most hair conditioning products you use are designed to be washed out of your hair before you finish rinsing it. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use them. Conditioner helps to keep your hair moist. Adding it during a shower is a smart step if you want to prevent split ends.
However, there are benefits to using a conditioning ingredient that you can leave in your hair throughout the day. Having conditioner in your hair throughout the day protects it from everyday factors that can cause split ends, like hot sun or excessive combing.
Best of all, you don’t need to spend money on expensive products or expose your hair to even more chemicals to take advantage of these benefits. Many natural ingredients are effective at offering the conditioning properties that protect your hair from damage. Adding them to your hair care routine lets you take advantage of the impact conditioner can have on hair on a much more consistent basis. After all, you can’t exactly leave most typical conditioners in your hair all day long.
Coconut oil, olive oil, and aloe butter all make great natural conditioners that you can leave in your hair throughout the day. Just make sure you start small when you begin experimenting with this preventive tip. Everyone’s hair is different, so there’s no right answer to the question “How much oil or butter should I use?” That being said, you obviously don’t want your hair to look too greasy. Starting with small amounts and working your way up to the right amount is better than starting with too much and walking around with greasy hair all day long (Source).
Be Gentle When Drying Hair
It’s easy to get out of the shower, grab your towel, and start vigorously drying your hair. The problem is, many people don’t realize that doing so can cause damage. Your hair is especially fragile when it’s wet.
That’s why it’s important to be gentle and mindful when drying your hair after a shower. Use a soft towel, and take it slow to avoid causing damage that could otherwise lead to split ends (Source).
Reduce Frequent Cosmetic Treatments
Keeping your hair looking great typically involves taking extra steps beyond simply washing it and combing it. Unfortunately, many of the cosmetic treatments people use to boost the look of their hair also contain harsh chemicals that can have negative effects in the long run.
Thus, you should try to take steps to limit these treatments. Research the various treatments and products you use to find out which are most likely to cause split ends, and ask yourself if you’re willing to give any up, or at least use them less frequently.
You should also look into natural alternatives to the products you use. While not every single hair care product and cosmetic treatment will have a natural alternative, you may be surprised with how many do. Using these instead of exposing your hair to harsh chemicals on a regular basis is a simple but effective way to guard against split ends. As you’ll see in the remedies listed later, many of the natural ingredients that support hair health are easy to find and don’t typically cost a lot of money. Switching to them over chemical-based product can help you save time and reduce expenses in a big way. Best of all, you won’t have to sacrifice having great hair.
Keep Your Hair Covered When Outside in the Hot Sun
Obviously, this isn’t the kind of advice you can follow every single day. You may not be able to go into work covering your hair with a bandana. On top of that, if you put work into making sure your hair always looks its best, you don’t want to constantly hide it.
That said, exposure to heat is one of the main causes of split ends. Simply spending a lot of time outside in the hot sun can cause your hair to dry out and become more brittle. Thus, it’s a good idea to keep a scarf or bandana on hand for days when you know you’ll be out in the sun for a while. Again, you may not be comfortable covering your hair in every situation, but in instances when you are comfortable doing so, consider it. You already know how important it is to take steps that protect your skin from the sun. It simply makes sense that you should take steps to protect your hair as well.
Wash Your Hair with Colder Water
Yes, enjoying a nice hot shower is a very calming experience that you might not want to give up. That said, when it comes time to wash your hair, you may be better off turning the temperature down.
Again, exposure to heat will make your hair more vulnerable to split ends. If you’re frequently washing it out with hot water, you could be doing damage. Try to get comfortable using colder water during this process. The long-term benefits will likely be worth the minor discomfort.
When you’re dehydrated, your entire body suffers from it. On the other hand, when you make efforts to stay hydrated, you enjoy a wide range of benefits.
Healthy, moist hair is one of them. Make a point of drinking water throughout the day if you want to guard against split ends. Doing so will yield several other benefits. Best of all, staying hydrated is incredibly easy (Source).
Know How to Brush Your Hair
Drying your hair too vigorously with a towel is an easy way to cause split ends, but many people don’t realize that. They just simply go about their basic routine without knowing that it is actually causing the kind of damage that will give them split ends if they keep it up.
Brushing is another common activity that can lead to split ends if you don’t know the proper way to protect your hair while doing it. Too often, people use hard plastic brushes and drag them through the hair from root to tip. This is likely to cause damage over time.
Instead, take the time to brush gently and slowly, starting at the tip and working your way up to the root in sections. You should also use a quality brush with soft but strong bristles. While brushing your hair this way may take a little more time than you’re used to, it can also keep your hair looking its best (Source).
If your hair is still pretty wet when brushing it, it also helps to use a wide-toothed comb. This can also go a long way towards preventing damage and split ends (Source).
Some style experts even recommend trying to think about your hair as if it were a garment made out of an expensive but relatively delicate fabric. If you had to wear that kind of garment every day (the way you essentially have to “wear” your hair every single day), you’d be conscious of making sure you treated it as gently as possible. Failing to do so would damage it pretty quickly. By learning to think of your hair as a delicate garment that you never stop wearing, you’ll learn to treat it in ways that can help prevent split ends (Source).
Try to Limit Your Use of Heating Appliances
Many of the tools you use to make your hair look its best involve exposing it to heat. Unfortunately, again, this has the effect of damaging your hair and making it more prone to split ends. That’s why it’s a good idea to try and use these devices less often (Source). You can also use attachments for your hair dryer that offer a greater degree of control over the flow of the air. These attachments can also prevent you from directly exposing your hair to the hot surfaces of the dryer.
How to Treat Split Ends
The tips listed above can be helpful for anyone who wants to avoid split ends in the first place. However, they may not be of much use to you right now if you already have this problem.
Once more, that does not mean you need to simply shrug your shoulders and accept that your hair will never look exactly the way you want it to. The following remedies are easy to perform, they don’t require you to invest a lot of time and effort, and they can be very effective at helping you get rid of your split ends.
Are you ready to actually have the kind of hair you want? If so, keep these in mind. Just remember, as is the case with many beauty tips, some of these technically involve concealing split ends. Still, what matters is whether or not you (or other people) can notice them.
That’s important. Although it is absolutely possible to restore your hair to a healthy state where split ends are simply no longer a problem, achieving that goal can take some time. In the meantime, you want to know what you can do to make sure your hair looks perfect today. These ideas will help.
Give Your Hair a Castor Oil Massage
Castor oil has natural properties that can boost the health of your hair and help you conceal and/or get rid of split ends.
This remedy is fairly simple. Mix some castor oil with olive oil and massage it deeply but gently into your hair. Cover your hair with a towel or hair net and leave the oil in there for at least half an hour. Once the time has elapsed, gently rinse the oil out of your hair with a shampoo of your choice.
Try Argan Oil
Argan oil is another natural ingredient that can be very useful in the treatment of split ends. This is an especially good remedy to keep in mind if you’re looking for a fast, simple way to conceal them when you’re in a hurry. Argan oil has natural moisturizing properties and gives your hair a shiny appearance that makes it look very beautiful and healthy.
For this remedy, all you have to do is add a few drops into your hair (it should be damp or dry) and gently comb it throughout. As was mentioned above, every person’s hair is different, so you will probably need to experiment with different amounts to find the best amount for your needs. Again, it’s best to start small and work your way up to the perfect amount.
Add an Egg to It
While the idea of putting egg in your hair may not sound appealing right away, it’s worth noting that egg is actually very good at strengthening the hair follicles. That’s because it contains proteins and amino acids that directly support hair health.
Start by brushing your hair to ensure it’s free of tangles. As always, be gentle, or you may end up doing more harm than good. You also want your hair to be damp when you apply this remedy. Thus, it may be best to give it a shot after you’ve taken a shower and gently dried your hair.
Once your hair is tangle-free, whisk an egg yolk until it’s broken apart, and add in a couple of drops of honey or olive oil. Massage the mixture throughout your hair, leave it in place for about 30 minutes, then rinse it out gently with a shampoo of your choice.
You don’t need to apply this treatment every single day. Obviously, you may feel uncomfortable going to work or social events after applying egg to your hair, even if you’re pretty sure you’ve shampooed most of it away. Experiment with different schedules and find out what works best for your hair. Some people see clear benefits even if they only apply the treatment once a week. Others may need to apply it more regularly to reap the full benefits of this treatment. As with many of these remedies, the more you experiment, the easier it will be to find out what your hair needs.
Give Banana a Try
Between telling you to put egg in your hair and suggesting that banana may also help it, you may wonder if protecting your hair and getting rid of split ends is as simple as grabbing food out of the refrigerator.
True, most people don’t think of eggs and bananas as hair care products, but maybe they should. Bananas are rich in a wide range of vitamins and nutrients that directly support hair strength and promote hair repair. Eating them isn’t the only way to take advantage of all the health benefits this fruit has to offer.
For this remedy, you’ll need a blender, otherwise you may have to work hard to process all the ingredients into a workable mixture.
In the blender, add one ripe banana, along with some rose water, lemon juice, and approximately two tablespoons of plain yogurt. Blend until all the ingredients are fully mixed together.
Now, the process is similar to the egg yolk mask product. Simply apply the mixture throughout your hair and leave it in place. For the best results, however, you’ll actually want to wait an hour before shampooing it out.
This is the kind of remedy that’s important to keep in mind even when you don’t have split ends. Remember, the vitamins and nutrients in bananas are actually very beneficial for your hair. Even if you think your hair is relatively healthy right now, adding banana to it can keep it that way. It might even make it healthier.
Or Try Avocado
Yes, if you don’t have a banana on hand, avocado is yet another food you can use to treat your hair and handle split ends.
Start by mashing a ripe avocado until it’s fairly creamy, then add in two tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil to the mix. Apply the mask throughout your hair, but take care to avoid the roots as much as possible. After half an hour, gently rinse the mixture out with shampoo.
This is one more remedy you might consider making part of your hair care routine, even after you’ve done away with your split ends. Avocado is also full of nutrients that support hair health, and it has a natural conditioning effect that can help you protect your hair from the kinds of environmental factors that cause split ends in the first place. On top of that, by relying more on natural ingredients to keep your hair in good shape, you may not need to expose it to chemical products as often. This is one more way to reduce the odds of split ends developing again in the future.
Spray Some Beer on It
This may sound like a particularly strange idea, but there’s actual science behind it. The fact of the matter is, beer contains enough sugar and protein to protect your hair follicles and aid in the treatment of split ends.
Best of all, you don’t need to waste a lot of beer to take advantage of these benefits. First, open a beer and wait a few hours so that it goes flat. Beer that isn’t flat yet can actually cause some damage to your hair.
Once the beer is flat, pour it into a spray bottle. Spray some over your damp hair and wait two to three minutes before rinsing it out. Most people find that the beer smell naturally goes away once their hair is dry. If you attempt this remedy but notice the smell remains, rinse your hair afterward with shampoo.
This is another remedy you don’t need to apply every single day. Two to three times a week is typically enough to see effects. That said, your hair unique. You may find you need to apply the remedy a little more often to see results. On the other hand, even two times a week may be more often than your hair needs. As with virtually any and all of these remedies, it’s best to continue experimenting with them as you get a better sense of what is most effective for you.
Add Some Vitamin E
You don’t always need to apply foods that contain vitamins to your hair in order for your hair to absorb the vitamins. Sometimes, all you need is the contents of a vitamin capsule.
If you’re looking to strengthen your hair and do away with split ends, vitamin E is particularly beneficial. Purchase some capsules that contain vitamin E oil, or find a brand that offers vitamin E oil outside of the capsule. Break open three capsules and add the oil to your hair. If you’re not using capsules, simply add a few drops of the oil and massage it in.
Obviously, this remedy may sound appealing if you don’t like the idea of mixing together several different foods, applying them to your hair, and waiting before you can rinse them out. While those remedies are certainly valuable and effective, they’re not always convenient if you’re on a tight schedule. Additionally, most of them aren’t the type that you necessarily need to apply every single day. On days when you’re not applying food-based remedies to your hair, you may want to know what else you can do to keep your hair in good shape without exposing it to harmful chemicals. Adding vitamin E oil every single day is a simple way to provide it with key nutrients.
Add Aloe Vera
There’s a reason many skin and hair care products advertise themselves as containing aloe vera. It’s simply a very useful ingredient for a wide range of purposes. Aloe vera has natural moisturizing effects that can help you treat split ends when you have them and prevent them from developing in the future when you don’t. On top of that, aloe vera has natural properties which may serve to reduce hair loss. It could even stimulate the growth of more hair!
This is another remedy that is very easy to apply. While it does involve slightly more time commitment than the vitamin E remedy, it may still be something you can work into your daily hair care routine. This is especially true if you’re able to find a truly natural aloe vera shampoo that doesn’t contain too many harsh chemicals.
That said, you don’t need aloe vera shampoo to take advantage of this ingredient’s healing benefits. Aloe vera gel alone is enough to keep your hair in good shape. All you have to do is massage some of it into your hair, wait 30 minutes, then gently rinse it away with shampoo. Some people find that they get even better results if they mix the aloe vera gel with olive oil or castor oil. Again, try a few different mixtures to see what will have the best effect on your hair.
Keep in mind that aloe vera gel is a good item to have on hand for reasons beyond simply keeping your hair moist and preventing split ends. This ingredient offers a wide range of benefits worth exploring. For example, it can have a soothing and potentially healing effect when applied to a sunburn. You may find it can play a major role in your overall hair and skin care processes.
Mix Coconut and Fish Oil
Both coconut oil and fish oil contain nutrients that are very effective at treating and protecting hair with split ends.
If you want a simple treatment, warm up a little bit of coconut oil (make sure it’s not hot when you apply it to your hair!) and massage it into your split ends, trying to avoid the roots. Wrap a towel around it gently to lock in the moisture, and keep it there for about an hour. Once the time has elapsed, go ahead and rinse your hair gently with shampoo.
On the other hand, you could optimize the effects of this treatment by adding fish oil (either by breaking apart capsules or by purchasing it in oil form) to the coconut oil when heating it up. Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids that are very beneficial to hair.
If you go this route, however, you may find that the fish oil has a slightly unpleasant smell. While it will go away once you rinse out your hair, in the meantime, you may want to do something to prevent the mild odor from bothering you. That’s why it can be a good idea to also add a few drops of lavender oil to the mixture as well. Lavender oil has natural calming effects, and its pleasant smell can make it difficult to notice the scent of the fish oil.
Use Honey & Olive Oil
Honey and olive oil are also very useful for people who want to minimize split ends and keep their hair in good shape. Olive oil adds moisture to your hair, while honey has the effect of trapping moisture in. The fact that these are both relatively inexpensive natural ingredients that you can find at nearly any grocery store is practically an added bonus.
For this remedy, mix together three tablespoons of olive oil and two tablespoons of raw honey. After shampooing your hair, mix it into the damp hair and wait about half an hour. Then, simply shampoo and rinse your hair again until the ingredients are all removed.
It’s worth noting that olive oil on its own can also be beneficial to hair. If that’s all you have available, it can certainly be effective. Honey, on the other hand, is usually too thick to use on its own. You need to mix it with something that will reduce the thickness. That’s why it’s important to use olive oil too if you’re going to be using honey.
Give Ripe Papaya a Try
That’s right, papaya is one more fruit that benefits both your hair and your overall health. Along with a set of key nutrients that support wellness, papaya is fairly rich in folic acid. That’s good for people interested in keeping their hair in good shape, because folic acid can boost blood circulation to the hair and scalp.
For this remedy, take half a ripe papaya (make sure you peel it and remove the seeds first) and blend it with half a cup of plain yogurt. Blend it until the consistency is smooth enough that you’ll easily be able to spread the mixture throughout your hair.
This is important to keep in mind for any remedy that involves blending together natural ingredients. Obviously, the smoother the mixture, the less trouble you’ll have applying it throughout all affected areas. More importantly, you’ll be less likely to damage your hair when the mixture is as smooth as possible. A mixture that’s still fairly thick may cause you to tug at your hair accidentally when trying to work it in or rinse it out. This can cause damage, making the remedy much less effective. It’s just a point to remember when trying these remedies.
That said, once the consistency has reached an appropriate level of smoothness, simply apply it throughout the affected areas of your hair and let it sit for approximately 30 minutes. As always, once the time is up, rinse it out and use shampoo to ensure your hair is as clean as possible.
This is the type of remedy that doesn’t necessarily need to be applied very often. Once a week is typically enough. Some people even see results with only two applications a month. However, it’s also the type of remedy that yields the best results when you repeat it over a long period of time. Continuing to apply this treatment on a fairly regular basis for months is the best way to take full advantage of papaya’s natural properties.
Consume the Right Amount of Folic Acid & Biotin
Again, folic acid has been shown to keep hair in good shape. Biotin is another nutrient which helps in this respect. That’s why, along with applying remedies like the one listed above to your hair, it’s also a good idea to consume foods that are high in these nutrients.
Luckily, there are plenty of easy-to-find (and easy-to-use) ingredients that contain these nutrients in high amounts. For biotin, focus on lentils, brown rice, and walnuts. To get the proper amount of folic acid, eat more leafy greens and oranges. If you enjoy using soybeans in meals, you’ll be happy to know that they also contain relatively high amounts of both folic acid and biotin (Source).
When You Really Want to Get Rid of Split Ends
Again, many of the remedies listed here essentially serve to conceal split ends. They also promote healthy hair conditions that make them less likely to develop in the first place. That said, the best way to truly get rid of split ends is to simply trim them. That’s why many experts recommend scheduling regular haircuts. Quite simply, if the ends of your hair are frayed, trimming them is the best way to away with the problem.
Obviously, this doesn’t sound appealing to everyone. You may like having longer hair. Some people don’t want to feel like they have the change their entire style to get rid of their split ends. Those are the types of people who will benefit from the remedies listed above.
On the other hand, if you don’t feel like trying numerous remedies, or if you’re open to the idea of adjusting your style, getting a split end cutter or trimmer and learning when and how to best use it is the most effective option out there for easily treating a split end problem. When split ends develop, you can just remove them instead of trying to find the best, most convenient way to hide them.
Keep all of these points in mind if you’re the type of person who is prone to split ends, or if you simply want to prevent them. Your hair can truly be as beautiful as you want it! Split ends may be a problem, but that doesn’t mean there’s no solution.