What Are the Different Home Remedies for Split Ends?

T. Alaine

Split ends are caused by damage to the cuticle of the hair, which can be caused by daily wear and tear, hair dyes, or overuse of heat styling tools. Since split ends indicate permanent damage to the hair shaft, it is not possible to reverse the destruction and “heal” them; the only way to actually get rid of split ends is to cut them off. The most effective home remedies for split ends are preventative measures such as nourishing the hair and trimming ends regularly. There are also some home treatments for split ends that focus on temporarily disguising the damage until a haircut is possible.

Flat irons, when overused, can damage hair and cause split ends.
Flat irons, when overused, can damage hair and cause split ends.

If damage has already occurred, the best of all possible home remedies for split ends is a haircut. Weakened or destroyed hair cuticles cannot be restored, so the only way to effectively treat the damage is trim away all the broken ends. It is important to make sure the split ends are completely removed by making the cuts above where the damage begins. Cutting part way up split ends in the middle of the damaged hair will not fix anything because the weakened strands will simply continue to split further and further up the hair shaft. People who are intimidated by cutting their own hair might not consider this one of the most plausible remedies for split ends, in which case enlisting a friend or professional might be the best solution.

Frequently dyeing hair can cause hair to become extremely damaged, sometimes causing breakage.
Frequently dyeing hair can cause hair to become extremely damaged, sometimes causing breakage.

After damaged hair is removed, the focus of home remedies for split ends is to prevent new damage from occurring. Over time daily wear and tear is likely to cause more split ends regardless of the defensive measures taken, so regular trims should be scheduled to keep them in check. In between trims, it is wise to cut back on styling habits that might wreak havoc on hair such as chemical and heat styling. Hair that is routinely bleached or dyed generally becomes coarser and weaker, which can cause split ends. Heat tools such as blow driers, straightening irons, or curling irons — especially low quality versions — can reach very high temperatures which scorch and weaken the hair, causing breakage.

Split ends occur when the protective cuticle layer of the hair shaft is damaged, which causes the middle layer to become dry and split.
Split ends occur when the protective cuticle layer of the hair shaft is damaged, which causes the middle layer to become dry and split.

If dyeing and heat styling are too hard to give up altogether, there are some treatments for split ends that can delay or decrease damage. Deep conditioners and keratin treatments help hydrate strands and smooth them by filling in rough spots along the cuticle. Pre-styling sprays or crèmes that protect the hair from heat damage can reduce damage caused by hot tools. Some people even turn to dietary supplements such as biotin, omega 3 capsules, or folic acid as home remedies for split ends because some studies suggest that these nutrients promote the growth of strong, healthy hair.

Split ends can be caused by excessive brushing.
Split ends can be caused by excessive brushing.

Home remedies for split ends can also include tricks for hiding damage until further action can be taken toward a more long-term solution. Deep conditioners can work for this, but the best bet is usually a topical styling product. Applying shine serum or hair oil lightly to the ends may help temporarily fill the cuticle and give damaged ends a plumper appearance. These products also reflect light and make the hair appear shinier and healthier. Avoiding straightening can also help disguise split ends, because very straight strands tend to emphasize damage.

A small amount of hair lotion helps soften and condition split ends.
A small amount of hair lotion helps soften and condition split ends.

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