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How to Deal With Split Ends (Without Losing Length)

blond woman touching hair

It’s never good when things begin to split up: your favorite celebrity couple, a group of friends in a horror movie, your hair. When your tresses fork into a v-like divide, it’s called split ends. Split ends can fork into many directions, like bark pulling back from a tree. And once broken—as Taylor Swift aptly puts it—they’re “never ever ever getting back together.” But luckily, there are plenty of measures you can take to get rid of them and prevent them from happening again.

How to Prevent and Repair Split Ends

Silvia Reis, professional colorist and beauty vlogger ellebangs tells us that split ends appear for a variety of reasons. “The main causes of split ends are over-processed hair (color or lightning), too much heat styling and not sleeping on a proper fabric pillowcase,” says Reis. Here are a couple of things you can do about them:

1. Regular Micro-Trims

This means simply cutting them off! Getting regular trims ensures that any damage doesn’t make its way up the strand. This doesn’t mean you need to lose length every time you go to the salon. Ask for an ever-so-slight trim of around ⅛ of an inch.

2. Dusting

Reis highly recommends dusting “as a way to expose the split ends and cut only a few millimeters to remove the damaged area.” Using sharp scissors, fold hair over your finger to see what hairs “stand up” and do no reach the end and snip!

  1. 3. Use a Satin Pillowcase
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    3. Use a Satin Pillowcase

    Looking to repair split ends in your sleep? Treat your hair and skin with a little TLC around the clock. “A satin pillowcase will make you feel like a princess and ease the friction on your hair every night, therefore, preventing breakage,” explains Reis.

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  2. 4. Choose Your Shampoo Wisely
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    4. Choose Your Shampoo Wisely

    Upgrade your shampoo game by adding Alpha Keratin 60ku®, a protein that fills in weak spots in the hair cuticle to strengthen even the most unruly of hair. For this, we like VIRTUE® Recovery Shampoo. Here’s a tip from the pros: Focus the product on the scalp so that you don’t dry the ends further with excess product.

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  3. 5. Repair Hair With a Deep-Conditioning Hair Mask
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    5. Repair Hair With a Deep-Conditioning Hair Mask

    “Home products and ingredients that can help repair split ends include argan oil, hair masks and deep conditioner,” says Jessica Lyness, a professional hair stylist at Beauty Asylum. If you’re in the market for one, try Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask. With a healthy blend of ultra-nourishing oils (argan, avocado, sweet almond and rosehip oils), this hair mask works to strengthen hair strands and reduce frizz and split ends. Proteins like keratin and biotin work together with vitamins B5, D, A and E to stop pollutants from further damaging your locks.

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  4. 6. Try a Microfiber Hair Towel

    The friction caused by rubbing a towel further irritates damaged and frizzy hair caused by split ends. Be gentle after shampooing by opting for a towel with woven fibers like Aquis Waffle Luxe Long Hair Towel. Not only are they softer on your fragile, wet hair but they also cut drying time in half.

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  5. 7. Consider Using a Hair Serum for Split Ends
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    7. Consider Using a Hair Serum for Split Ends

    A simple fix for split ends, apply a small amount of the Rita Hazan Triple Threat Split End Remedy to damp hair. Let the Smart polymers lock in shine and protect your hair from heat damage. Rita Hazan creates products for color-treated hair so you can keep your salon-quality color and repair your damaged ends at the same time.

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  6. 8. ...Or a Leave-In Conditioner
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    8. ...Or a Leave-In Conditioner

    With the power of lecithin, this leave-in conditioner by EVOLVh covers visible damage from split ends while bergamot and pumpkin seed oils reduce frizz. Ready for summer swimming? Spritz the SmartStart Leave-in Conditioner before jumping in the pool for all-day protection.

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  7. 9. Replenish Lost Moisture With Argan Oil
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    9. Replenish Lost Moisture With Argan Oil

    Argan oil gives some much-needed TLC to your damaged hair. Split ends cause “more dryness and less of a smooth and sleek finish on each hair strand,” says Lyness, which is why she recommends using pure argan oil, like Josie Maran’s 100% Pure Argan Oil. It smoothes and softens your hair for a healthier look. Bonus: You can use it to nourish your eyelashes, complexion and nails too.

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  8. 10. Add Shine While Strengthening Strands

    Designed with brittle hair in mind, this shine-enhancing finishing spray by R+Co uses sea buckthorn oil to lock in moisture and baobab oil to smooth those broken cuticles. If your hair is looking dull these days from split ends, the Glittering Smoothing Shine Spray repairs strands and prevents unwanted damage.

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Freelance Writer

Kaleena Stroud

Kaleena is a freelance content writer based out of Los Angeles. She is crazy about books and travel. If you can't find her unearthing used novels at a thrift store or typing away at a coffee shop, she is probably out of the country. Kaleena graduated from California State University, Long Beach where she began her career as a technical writer but now specializes in SEO content and web copy. She also enjoys improv shows and trying out new recipes.

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