If left unmanaged split ends will likely cause severe hair damage. Therefore, it’s important that you focus on preventing split ends from occurring in the first place and fixing split ends that have already formed.
Here are 10 different ways on how to avoid and fix split ends:
1. Trim the ends
The best way to fix split ends is to trim the ends. This will prevent the splits from getting worse and causing more damage.
Trimming will prevent early stage split ends ( baby splits) from advancing to deep split or tree splits.
Whilst trimming the hair is not everyone’s cup of tea, it’s an important practice that will promote healthy hair growth.
Trimming does not necessarily affect your hair length if it’s done correctly. In fact, it helps retain more hair length. If split ends are not trimmed off, they will continue to travel up the hair shaft causing more damage to it.
How to trim split ends
- Start with dry hair. Self-given cuts tend to be more accurate when done on dry hair than on wet hair.
- Divide your hair into small sections. Working on small sections minimizes mistakes made during trimming.
- Use a comb to straighten or detangle your hair
- Using a sharp pair of scissors, trim the ends of your hair. Trimming should be perpendicular to the hair strand. Cut 1-2cm (0.4-0.8 inches) from the end of your hair strand.
- Repeat the procedure for the other sections until all your hair is trimmed.
After trimming treat the hair with a repair mask e.g., a protein/keratin treatment
Human hair is a complex fiber made up of lipids, colors, water, proteins, dead cells, and trace elements. Since protein—particularly keratin—makes up a significant portion of our hair, it makes sense that supplying protein to damaged hair would have healing effects. Protein treatments enhance the strength and flexibility of hair thus reducing breakage and split ends.
Also, do a maximum hydration treatment to restore moisture. Split ends can sometimes result in excessive dryness. To revive hair that is damaged and also to prevent future damage carry out maximum hydration treatment.
Split ends can be caused by several factor including over-manipulation, excessive heat styling and more. With proper hair maintenance i.e., regularly trimming and conditioning they do not cause as much damage on your hair.
2. Handle the hair gently
To avoid split ends, handle your hair gently.
Among the major causes of split ends is exposure of hair to mechanical stress. Hair is fragile so it needs to be handled delicately during washing, detangling and styling.
Being gentle with your hair every day prevents or slows the development of split ends.
Always use a wide-toothed comb to detangle the knots. A wide tooth comb has wider spaces in between its teeth. The wide spaces provide lesser friction than that generated by a normal comb.
Alternatively, use your fingers to gently detangle the hair.
Gentle care also applies when styling, avoid hairstyles that pull and tag the hair with a lot of tension.
3. Observe your diet
For heathy hair, your diet should be rich in vitamins, proteins and healthy fats.
A diet that lacks the necessary nutrients for healthy hair i.e., vitamins A, C, D, and E, B vitamins, zinc, iron, biotin, folic acid, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids, may slow down hair growth or even cause split ends.
Supplements such as biotin and folic acid can also be taken to improve hair’s health and prevent split ends.
Moisture is key in preventing split ends. Adding moisture to hair makes it feel soft, smooth and silky. In this state it is hair is less prone to damage.
Dry hair is weak and can be easily damaged especially at its ends where it is most vulnerable.
To optimize your moisturizing sessions, use hydrating products such as water, aloe vera juice, rose water, leave-ins, deep conditioners among others.
5. Use the right products
In order to maintain healthy hair and avoid split ends, using the right products is fundamental.
Consider the following:
- Hydrating and moisturizing shampoos that contain emollients and hydrophilic oils. These create a barrier over the cuticle which lock or seal in moisture
- Use an all-natural hair shampoo with no harsh ingredients. Harsh ingredients impose chemical stress on your hair which is one of the reasons for the development of split ends.
- Using conditioners. Conditioning ingredients are positively charged, so they cling to hair and make it less static.
- Moisturizing hair sprays that are filled with moisture and lubricants to soften the hair and minimize frizz.
6. Minimize heat styling
Frequent heat styling using appliances like the curling iron, flat iron, straightener, hot roller or hair dryers can damage hair. 
These heated appliances strip the hair of moisture, which in turn, makes it more delicate and susceptible to splitting. Frequent heat styling also affects the structure of hair proteins.
To avoid this, air dry and use heatless styling techniques. This helps reduce the frequency of heat styling thus reducing your hair’s susceptibility to split ends.
Try to lower the heat setting if you must use heated appliances. To prevent heat damage, you can also use a heat protectant product before heat styling.
7. Go slow on chemical treatments including dyes
Chemical treatments substantially increase the likelihood of split ends in hair by causing internal damage and weakening the hair cuticle.
This is especially the case when multiple chemical treatments i.e., coloring, relaxing or perming are done at once or frequently.
When using chemical treatments, you can take the following steps to reduce the possibility of split ends, breakage, and hair damage:
- Deep condition the hair
- Apply a hair mask once per week.
- Extend the intervals between chemical treatments. Try to wait 8 to 10 weeks between touch-up treatments.
- Only use one kind of chemical treatment at a time.
8. Protect the ends
Constant hair manipulation while combing or styling exposes your hair to constant mechanical stress which promote the formation of split ends. To avoid this, install a protective style. A protective hairstyle keeps the hair away from constant manipulation for some time so the hair ends don’t split or break.
9. Deep condition
Keeping your hair moisturized and nourished can help avoid split ends which are caused by hair dryness. One way to achieve this is by using a deep conditioning treatment.
The best deep conditioning treatment is bounty in moisturizing and nourishing ingredients.
Let the deep conditioner sit on your hair for a while before rinsing it out. Proceed to add an oil to lock and seal in the moisture.
10. Sleep with a satin scarf/bonnet
Securing your hair at night by using a silk or satin pillowcase is an simple way of preventing split ends.
Compared to cotton, silk and satin reduces friction that is generated as you toss and turn while you sleep.
Sleeping on a silk or satin pillowcase allows your hair to glide over the pillow. Less friction between your pillowcase and hair may lessen the risk of hair breakage and damage.
11. Wear sun protection
UV rays of the sun can be damaging to the hair. It stresses the hair cuticle making it dry then split. To avoid hair damage caused by harmful UV radiation, ensure you wear a hair sunscreen.