Nothing says, “I haven’t gotten a haircut in 20 kajillion years” quite like split ends. One of the most frustrating side effects of simply growing out your hair, split ends can happen to any hair type and can typically be identified by a frayed, scraggly look at the longest point — and they can kill an otherwise healthy-looking style.
Luckily, there are steps you can take to prevent split ends, according to Los Angeles-based hairstylist Matilde Campos. “Little trims keep your hair healthy and from continuing to split,” she tells Allure, urging those reluctant to let scissors near their hair take a chance on taking off the last inch or two every now and then. If you absolutely refuse to get a trim (and even if you don’t), you can help prevent fraying by brushing correctly. “Remember to start from the bottom and work your way up slowly,” she says. Another rule of thumb? Reduce how often you use hot tools, as they can dry hair out and diminish its natural proteins.
As for hair that’s already in Split End City, it may be too late to actually fix what’s broken, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help improve how your hair looks. “Any product on the market for split-end repair is targeted more to the appearance of split ends,” says New Jersey-based stylist Michelle Cleveland. “Once the strand has split and separated at the end, there’s absolutely nothing that will bring it back together” — at least not permanently.
“Treatment sprays, glossing serums, and leave-in conditioners all help to make the appearance of split ends less noticeable and give the hair a sleeker, healthier look,” says New York-based stylist Senada K. Ceka.
So, whether your goal is split-end prevention or simply cosmetic improvement, there are plenty of products worth working into your routine. Here are 14 experts can’t recommend enough.
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