How to Remove and Prevent Split Ends

By 25 November 2016


Trim them yourself. If you’re not due for a full haircut, take care of the split ends yourself. Trim them off using a small pair of hair shears, since scissors can fray your hair and lead to more split ends. Cut single strands about ¼” (6mm) above the split. If you cut too close to the damage, the split may reappear.

  • Some splits form a small ball directly above the damage. Make sure to cut above this.
  • This can take a long time, especially for thick or damaged hair. However, you’ll get to keep the full length of your hair.
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    Cut your hair regularly. A hairdresser can always trim off split ends, but will usually remove about 14 to 1 inch (0.6 to 2.5 cm) of your hair along with them. Eventually, all hair will wear out enough to require this treatment. How long you wait between haircuts depends on your hair type, hair health, and how much time you’re willing to spend hunting down your own split ends. This can be anywhere from six weeks to six months.

    • If you aren’t trimming split ends yourself, avoiding the hairdresser will not save your long hair. Neglected split ends will become weaker and weaker, eventually breaking off.
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    Take steps to save hair length. If trimming off split ends are affecting your hair length goals, consider having your hair cut into layers. Ask the hairdresser to trim damaged hair in the surface layer, while leaving lower layers — and length intact. If you have afro-textured hair, a mild texturizer can achieve a similar effect, allowing you to manipulate your hair more easily and avoid trimming healthy hair.
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    Treat hair repair products with caution. There are conditioners and other commercial treatments that claim to “heal” split ends. These seal the split ends shut to hide them from view, but the damage is still there. You can use these as a temporary fix, but relying on them long-term may lead to worse damage.

    • These products may help prevent future damage to otherwise healthy hair.

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