Split ends and hair seem to be one of those unlucky couples everyone would like to finally break up for good! But getting rid of split ends is not that easy. Plus, if you want to grow your hair long, you will encounter a certain dilemma. How to stop split ends without losing all your length?
Luckily there are a few “long hair hacks” for this specific problem. And today I want to tell you exactly how to stop split ends.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are so-called provision links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I can earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Split ends causes
To understand how to get rid of split ends, let’s first look at some of the reasons for our hair breaking and splitting.
The longer your hair, the older and vulnerable your tips are. Just think: hair grows on average 1-2 centimeters (0.4 to 0.8 inches) per month. That means if your hair is at waist length, your tips are several years old!
Throughout those years, our hair has to endure a huge amount of physical strain. We wash it, brush it, style it, and rub it on our clothes, seats, and beds.
All those influences can wear our hair out, causing it to eventually split.
But you are not completely helpless. Actually, you can do a lot to protect your beloved locks from damage and splitting!
How to prevent split ends and breakage
If you want to prevent split ends and breakage in your hair, the trick is to avoid all those split hair causes. You’ve probably heard a lot of this advice already. Not because everyone is not original enough. Simply, because this advice actually works.
So here we go. In order to avoid mechanical damage to your hair, you should:
Avoid heat styling
Just get rid of that curling iron. Or that hair straightener. There are great options for both heatless curls and heatless straightening.
Let your hair dry overnight. No need for that blow dryer. Or if you feel you really really need it, use it on lowest settings.
Brush or comb your hair carefully
That plastic brush that makes that harsh sound when you quickly drag it through your hair? Yeah, you might want to replace that. Try brushes or combs from natural materials like wood or horn.
I’ve been using a comb like the one in the picture for years (get it here!*). As soon as I switched from my brutal brush to my beloved comb I could see a huge decrease in hair breakage.
And when detangling your hair, always start from the bottom and carefully work your way up. No merciless yanking from top to bottom. Promise?
Every time you hear that tiny “snap”, you created one of those white dots we are trying to avoid here!
Try washing your hair less often
Think of your hair like of your favorite silk blouse. Or cashmere sweater. How do you treat those items? Wash them every day? Or do you try to limit the amounts of time they are exposed to the strain of washing?
See if you go one or two days without washing your hair. Usually, your scalp will adapt to that and start producing less sebum.
Use mild shampoos. Or alternatives.
Regarding this, the same allegory as above applies. For precious materials, you would normally use a mild detergent. And your hair is precious material! (By the way: The skin of your scalp will also thank you for that, too!)
Try the loc method
This one made a huge difference for me, when I was fighting particularly “crispy” ends. Dry tips split and break quicker than sleek ones. (In case you haven’t heard of it, check out this article: LOC method: Everything you need to know!)
Wear smooth clothes
This one only applies if your hair is long enough to rub your clothes throughout the day. But if it does, wearing shirts made out of viscose or silk can really help to decrease damage to your ends.
Sleep on a silk pillow
In my post “Damaged hair: a simple way to prevent it while sleeping” I already explained all the reasons why sleeping on a silk pillow is a great idea for your hair (and skin). This made one of the biggest differences for me when starting to grow my hair out. I definitely recommend getting a silk pillow. Or two, so you can take your time washing the other one.
Wear your hair up
Again, this only applies, if your hair is long enough to actually touch anything.
Especially shoulder length hair and butt length hair has a big enemy: your body! They keep bumping into it. And at some point they have will break or split. Making a habit of wearing your hair up every now and then gives your lengths a well-deserved break.
This doesn’t have to be a fancy hairdo at all. In fact, my go-to hairstyle takes a few seconds to make. And I only need a hair stick or a pen for it. If your hair is long enough, you can even learn a hairdo that makes your hair hold itself. I digress. (Should I make this an extra post? Let me know in the comments!)
My point is that learning a quick updo that fits your hair length will help you a lot in preventing split ends.
How to stop split ends when the hair is already damaged
You can follow all those tips above and your hair will be much healthier than before. But it is inevitable: at some point, some hairs will give in to the stress and split. Now you have three options.
1. You can buy into the fad of split ends treatments. (Please don’t.)
2. You can go see a hairdresser.
3. You can stop split ends at home.
Let’s look at your options a little more in detail.
Split ends treatments
Split ends treatments say they will fix your split ends. Unfortunately, this does not make any sense at all.
Regardless of what all those shampoos and conditioners promise, there is no way to “heal” hair that has split. There are no products that can stick split hair back together. No perfect treatment for hair breakage and split ends. Save your money, they don’t deserve it.
So, whatever the ads are telling you: Don’t rely on products that claim to “heal” split ends!
The tough truth about how to get rid of split ends
The only way to get rid of the damaged hair is to cut it off. And you should get rid of it! Not only for the looks but also to protect the rest of your hair from further damage. Split hairs have a tendency to tangle easily with other hairs. This forces you to put more effort into detangling. This again is going to be more mechanical stress for your hair. More mechanical stress means more split ends. A vicious circle? Yes, but you don’t have to let it come that far.
Stop split ends by seeing a hairdresser
The typical and most given advice when talking about how to get rid of split ends. “Go see a hairdresser.” And yes, it will be effective. At least for the split ends at the tips. But for me, this wasn’t an option when I was growing long hair. First of all, because hairdressers tend to cut off more than planned. Second of all, many of my split ends weren’t actually at my tips. Instead, they were in the strands left and right of my face. (Don’t ask me why.) So I wanted to find a way to get rid of split ends without cutting off all my length.
How to Stop split ends at home
So what if I told you that you can actually cut out the split ends without sacrificing everything? And what if I also told you that it’s not even hard to do? You can stop split ends in front of the TV or while enjoying the sun on the balcony.
So how to get rid of those mean, little, broken tips without losing your length? Like I said, the trick is to not going to a hairdresser. Hairdressers do know a lot about hair, but their time can be pretty expensive. And what you mostly need for this approach is a little bit of time.
Get some professional hair scissors
The second thing you’ll need: some hair scissors!
Do yourself a favor and invest in a good pair*. They are certainly worth it. And cutting any hair with nail clippers or your good old household scissors will damage the hair tip. Guess what that means? Exactly, more split ends!
Do the work!
So once you have bought your hair scissors, make yourself comfortable and detangle your hair thoroughly. (And carefully! Remember what we said about rough brushing?)
Afterward part it in smaller strands and start searching for split hairs. Ideally, you have a good source of light nearby. Having some sun would be perfect, but a lamp will do as well. Anytime you find a split tip, simply cut it off with your hair scissors.
You will notice, that in most strands, there are only a few split hairs and the rest is okay. So by cutting off only the single “sick” hair and leaving the rest, you keep your length. And at the same time, you improve the overall health and look of your tresses.
And believe me, after doing this for a while you will notice a significant difference when combing your hair! It will be way less “tangly”!
Some more tips on how to stop split ends
- There are different techniques to find split hair, depending on your hair. You can either wrap the strand you are working on around your finger like this.
Or you can twist the strand around its axis to force the ends to stand out.
2. All this searching and cutting will take a while. This means that you will probably need more than one sitting. So take mental note of where you start and where you leave off. This way you can do another part next time.
3. Another good idea is to do a cassia for hair treatment after doing this “split ends hunting session”. This is a good idea because Cassia can seal the freshly cut tips. Would be a good idea to prevent the newly healthy tips from splitting again, right?
What happens if you don’t cut your split ends?
Well, one thing is for sure. Cutting split ends does not promote hair growth. And having split ends doesn’t stunt hair growth either.
Your hair roots have no idea what happens at the ends and they don’t care. So you don’t need to worry. Your hair will still grow with split ends.
But as I said above, split ends tangle much quicker. So having a lot of split ends easily becomes a vicious circle of brushing strongly, getting more split ends because of it and brushing even harder, because everything tangles constantly…
Do yourself a favor and just take a few self-care minutes every now and then. I promise, after getting some healthy hair habits and doing a few “scissor-sessions”, you won’t even find that many split ends anymore.
So those are all the tips I can think of if you ask me how to stop split ends. Will you try any of them? Do you have better ones? Let me know in the comments and thank you for reading!
*These links are so-called provision links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I can earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.