Tired Of Split Ends? These 10 Proven Techniques Will Help You Prevent Them

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Written by Georgia Gould

Updated: May 1, 2024

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As hair annoyances go, split ends are up there with flyaways, frizz and oily bangs. In fact, we’d  probably pop them at the very top of the list. Because they might seem innocent to begin with, when you only have one or two to contend with, but when your ends seem more split than not, they can totally ruin your hair’s mojo.

For starters, they can make your hair look thin and ratty at the ends, not to mention dry and frazzled. Probably not words that are at the top of your hair’s wish list, right?

Split ends appear at the very tip of each hair shaft and look like tiny forks where the hair fibers have become dry, brittle and consequently split into two. This Y-shaped end is called a classic split end because, well, it’s the most common.

But that’s not the only type your hair has to contend with. There are also incomplete split ends which look like white dots along the length of your hair shaft. This is where your hair has become weak but is yet to split or break off. But believe us, it will.

Finally there are feathered split ends which split multiple times up the hair shaft, not just at the very end. This leaves behind a kind of frayed, feather-like effect towards the bottom of your hair. And sure, that may sound pretty, but trust us, it’s not. Feathered split ends are in fact the worst kind, warning you that your cuticles are severely done in. 

So, what causes split ends? One word: damage.

The ends of your hair are the oldest so they’re extremely vulnerable to everyday harm from things like heat-styling, chemical processing, over-brushing and even extreme weather conditions. And the most annoying thing about split ends? No matter what certain hair care companies tell you, you cannot miraculously fix them. Once they’ve split, there’s no turning back; they simply can’t be mended unless you cut them off.

The good news, however, is that there are plenty of ways to help prevent split ends in the first place. You simply need to give your hair the TLC it deserves. Read on for 10 ways to do exactly that…

1. Get Regular Trims

The single, most important way to prevent split ends (and get rid of the ones that are already there) is to get your hair cut regularly. Yes, even if you ARE trying to grow out your hair. The longer you leave it between appointments, the more likely split ends will appear. And once they‘ve arrived they will continue to get worse and more split, meaning you’ll need to have more of the length cut off in the long term.

Get your hair chopped every eight weeks at a minimum to ensure your hair remains healthy and your ends stay together in one piece.

2. Never Brush Straight, Wet Hair

Your hair is at its most vulnerable when it’s wet, easily stretching and tearing with every stroke of your hair brush.

If your hair is curly you can get away with gentle brushing while it’s wet, but if it’s straight we recommend using either your fingers or a comb to detangle your hair after washing and conditioning. Save the hairbrush for when your hair is almost or fully dry.

3. Treat Your Hair With A Weekly Mask

Applying a deep, conditioning hair mask on the reg is a great way to ensure you’re doing the best you can to strengthen and moisturize the structure of each hair strand. More intense than regular conditioners, a hair mask is usually left on your hair for 10-20 minutes where it delivers an often much-needed boost of deep hydration and nourishment to your lengths and ends, helping to improve the overall health of your hair.

Of course, hair masks aren’t able to magically transform textured hair into shiny, straight hair overnight – they can’t actually alter the structure of your hair – but they’re a fabulous way to temporarily strengthen and fortify your hair, which means less breakage in the long-term. We’re big fans of Kevin Murphy Hydrate Me Masque.

4. Sleep With Silk

Want to help prevent split ends whilst doing absolutely nothing at all? Then swap out your regular cotton or linen pillowcase for a silk or satin option and allow your sleep time to do all the hard work for you.


Replying to @yehahawj if you have dry split ends… here are some tips 🫶🏻 1. Cut off all of your split ends SPLIT ENDS CANNOT BE REPAIRED, prevention is 🔑 2. Keep your hair hydrated 3. Sleep in a safe hairstyle 4. Use a microfiber towel 5. Avoid heat exposure as much as possible 6. Sleep with silk pillowcase or head wrap 7. Eat a well balanced diet high in protein 8. Never skip heat protectant 9. Use a brush with soft bristles 10. Always brush out hair from bottom to top 🤍 hhairtiktokhhairtokhhaircarerrosemarywaterhhairinspohhairgoalshhairoilingttessapeayrrosemaryoilhhairstylehhealthyhairhhairdosanddontshhairgrowthhhairtipshairgrowthtutorial #splitends #dryhairtips #heatprotectant #silkpillowcase

♬ Beauty School Dropout – The High School Dropouts

Linen and cotton are more abrasive than satin and silk which means that as you move through the night your pillow will rub and pull against your hair, causing friction and potential damage. Silk and satin pillowcases, on the other hand, are smoother, allowing your hair (and your skin for that matter) to slip and slide across your pillowcase. More slip = less split ends. We like that kind of math.

5. Use Protection

It’s almost impossible to have incredible hair without some kind of assistance from a hairdryer, curling wand or straightening iron. But as awesome as heated appliances are, their scorching hot temperatures are hella bad for your hair, changing the shape of your hair’s keratin and weakening your strands like nobody’s business.

To avoid heat damage from your favorite tools, try dialing down the temperature (if it has a temp control of course. If not? It might be time for an upgrade!). It may take you a little longer to style your hair this way but going a few degrees lower and taking your time is way less damaging than using tools that are hotter than the surface of the sun. 

Also, never forget to apply a heat protectant before blow drying, straightening or curling your hair. They really do help protect your hair – the clue’s in the name after all – and will significantly reduce split ends.

6. Condition After EVERY Shampoo

Hopefully you do this as par for the course, anyway, but just in case you’re ever tempted to skip conditioner, don’t. Shampoo – no matter how moisturizing – can strip away your hair’s natural moisture, causing the ends to dry out… and consequently split.

Conditioner, however, works to replace this lost moisture, coating the cuticles with nourishing, hydrating ingredients and replenishing your hair to make it feel and look so much better. 

Conditioner also makes your hair way easier to comb and style, reducing knots and decreasing the likelihood of damage through brushing. So there’s that. 

7. Ditch The Rough Towel

Are you guilty of towel-drying your hair to death? Like, literally scrubbing your head all over until most of the moisture has gone? Big mistake.

Rubbing your hair with a rough cotton or terry-cloth towel is not dissimilar to that cotton pillowcase we spoke of earlier. But it’s ten times worse because all that friction is happening while your hair is wet and super fragile. Your poor cuticles and ends don’t stand a chance.

Do your hair a solid and invest in a microfiber hair towel that you can just wrap around your hair after washing. These towels are made with tiny, microscopic fibers that are often up to 200 times thinner than your natural hair shaft. This allows them to soak up moisture from your hair without the need for rubbing, cutting down on friction AND blow drying time. Bonus. 

8. Try A Hair-Strengthening Supplement

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image via @koraorganics

Oral hair supplements for your hair usually contain ingredients like vitamins, CoEnzyme Q10, fish oils and, most common of all, biotin. Full disclosure, these are yet to be solidly proven to improve hair health when taken orally.

However, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest they can help to support stronger, healthier hair that’s less likely to split. And when you read the reviews of some of the most well-known hair supplement brands, it’s hard to dismiss them entirely.

Vegamour Gro Biotin Gummies, for example, are a big fan favorite for helping hair (and nails) to grow stronger and shinier so they could be worth a go if supplements are your jam. Sidenote: they also taste damn good.

9. Brush With Care

Brushing wet hair is one thing, but brushing too vigorously when your hair is dry, ripping through knots and pulling at the roots can be just as harmful. 

To reduce pulling and breakage, always brush the ends of your hair first to remove tangles, then continue up from the ends to your roots, working on small sections at a time. You could also apply a little leave-in conditioner like Drunk Elephant Silkamino Conditioning Leave-In Milk through your hair to make detangling even easier.

10. Embrace Updos

Picking, pulling, playing with or worse yet, biting the ends of your hair will make your split ends so much worse. It’ll also increase your likelihood of developing new ones. And believe us, we’ve been there. 

So, if you can’t help but mess with your ends, tie your hair up and get it out of the way of wandering hands. Plaits, braids, ponytails or twists, whatever kind of updo you choose, never use rubber bands to keep them in place. They’re SO bad for your hair. Instead, embrace the 90s with a cute scrunchie, or try a silk tie or cotton-covered band.

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