Split ends are part and parcel of having longer hair. We all get them! But despite them being something we all struggle with, seeing your ends split before your very eyes is without a doubt one of the most infuriating hair problems out there.
So, if you’ve been desperately seeking the answers to how to fix split ends, look no further, as we bring you a handful of easy steps to help prevent and take care of them. But, first things first…
What causes split ends, exactly?
Split ends are caused by everyday wear and tear and styling, gradually wearing away the hair’s cuticle. They usually begin where large areas of the cuticle have split away from the shaft, revealing the inner cortex. It’s a bit like cutting away all the outer layers of a tree trunk to expose a vulnerable heartwood.
This splitting, in turn, causes a crack to run all the way up the hair shaft and, in really bad cases that are left untreated, either the cortex can even break from the hair (hair breakage) or – if it happens at the end of a hair, results in split ends.
We know that damage is not a look you love, so allow us to share the hair hacks that will keep those split ends under control.
How to get rid of split ends
Fortunately, there are a few tips and tricks you need to know that will help prevent split ends from occurring and hide existing visible damage. Let’s take a closer look at some of the easiest ways below.
1. Trims are your friend, not foe
If you’re trying to grow your hair out, booking in for a trip is probably the last thing you think you should do! But regular trips to your hairdresser will remove the driest parts of your hair, the ends, that have grown out and accumulated the most damage over time. And in fact, this will help you grow your healthy-looking hair longer. So, regular trims are an effective split end treatment.
Healthier looking hair is hair that’s cut more often, so ensure you get a trim every 6 to 8 weeks for optimum health. Trust us that it’ll be worth it in the long run, for fresh and free-flowing hair.
2. Soak up the goodness with conditioner
Using a conditioning product – that’s regular conditioner or a treatment mask – every time you wash is essential for good looking hair, as it’ll avoid a lot of damage from piling up long term. Your hair will also look super shiny and feel silky to the touch. A split end repair in as little as a few minutes.
The Pantene Repair & Protect Conditioner blends our best repairing ingredients together, combining nutrients and antioxidants to nourish hair for half the hair breakage – our haircare experts have proven this on real women’s hair in our test salons. Use it on the entire length, not just the ends, so that all of your hair is protected from damage. It’s gentle enough to use on colour-treated or permed hair, too.
If your hair is thin, flat or tends to grease and you are worried about your hair being weighed down by a conditioner, don’t miss out on Pantene 3 Minute Miracle. Let it work for up to 3 min to bring hair back bouncy, free flowing, airy looking hair.
3. Take time out to pamper your hair once a week
Who says you can’t have the spa experience at home? Think scented candles, bubble bath and a good hair mask or why not your favourite TV show. Bliss. Treat yourself to Pantene Repair & Protect Deep Repair Mask to tackle damage and those split ends whilst you relax. In just a few minutes it’ll leave your hair feeling silky soft and free-flowing – and you can leave it on for longer whilst you soak in the tub or finish that episode.
Don’t have time to spare for split end repair? You need our 3 Minute Miracle that works its magic in the time it takes for you to take a quick shower. Unlike other treatments, it can be used instead of your regular conditioner when you feel like your hair is going through a tough period – whether that’s post-summer holiday or suffering from the effects of city pollution. Damaged, coloured, frizzy or flat hair? No matter the condition or hair needs, there’s always the perfect 3 Minute Miracle treatment for you to help give you more great hair days, more often.
For a more intense (and even speedier) weekly treatment for split ends, stock up on Pantene Intense Rescue Shots, hair ampoules that can reverse 3 months’ of damage in just 60 seconds* (yes, they really are that fast!) Always on the move, rushing from place to place? The individual tubes have the right dose of product so there’s no fear of over-using, and can be thrown in your gym bag or suitcase – for deep hair repair, wherever your day takes you.
4. Hydrate, nourish, moisture – all the way, all day
One of the keys to keeping your hair from splitting apart? Moisture, moisture, moisture. Dry oil is a great little moisture boost that can be used on damp and dry hair to help repair those pesky ends and prevent more split ends from showing up. Our featherlight Repair & Protect Dry Oil with vitamin E is non-greasy, nourishes those brittle strands and temporarily fuses your ends back together for the look of split-free hair. There’s no need for water, so keep it in your bag to keep your ends moisturized at any time.
5. Go easy on the heat styling tools
Reducing your hair’s exposure to heat sounds great, but, understandably, you’re probably very attached to your straightening, blow-drying and curling tools (we totally understand!). Thankfully there are some ways you can try to minimize the damage without giving them up altogether. After all, dry hair is more susceptible to split ends.
If your straighteners have a few different temperature settings, try dialing down the temperature for less impact on your hair. Remember to never use heat styling tools on wet hair – you’ll literally be frying your poor strands! The water inside and outside of the hair will start boiling (you see it steaming) and the water boiling inside hair will search its way out of the hair generating little holes or enlarging small ones.
Air drying is a great way, but of course you may not have time to wait for your hair to dry of its own accord. Instead, leave some time between towel drying your hair and picking up the hair dryer, to give it some much-needed down time. You could also try making use of the cool setting on your hair dryer – it may take longer but it’s less stress on your precious hair and an easy way to prevent split ends from taking hold.
6. Rethink your brushing and combing technique
You no doubt feel that brushing or combing your hair is important to keep your mane tangle-free. But it’s important to be gentle while you comb so that you keep breakage to a minimum.
First of all, spray a leave-on conditioner or apply an oil to your lengths and ends before starting to brush. Then, start from the bottom and work your way up removing any tangles one by one.
Lots of people think it’s best to brush your hair when it’s wet, but doing so actually ups the risk of breaking. Avoid using metal combs too, as these can snag the hair and cause damage.
Love backcombing your hair for extra volume? This can actually be really damaging to your hair. It tugs on the scales of your hair’s cuticle, lifting them up, meaning the next time the hair is combed the scales are ripped off. By the time it’s grown out to make up the ends of your hair, it’ll be severely dry and prone to breaking. Instead, try one of our hair-approved ways to give fine hair volume.
Ready to get yourself back to good hair days, every day? Now you know how to deal with split ends, you’ll notice the difference by adopting simple little haircare habits for healthier looking hair.
*hair surface damage (or hair styling damage).