beauty

9 Cheap And Easy Ways To Prevent Split Ends

by Shellie Renee'

It doesn’t matter if you have a pixie cut or hair down to your waist, if there’s one thing that all of us desire, it’s a head full of healthy hair — hair that is strong, silky, and shiny and shows no signs of damage.

Unfortunately, there is a common culprit that can prevent us from obtaining our goal — split ends. They’re what makes otherwise beautiful hair turn frizzy and dull. They’re also what can cause hair to become weak and even break off.

While having at least a couple of split ends is basically unavoidable, there are things that you can do to significantly reduce the number that you get. Some remedies can even be found in your kitchen cabinets!

Once you know what causes split ends and what you can to do prevent them, you’ll be well on your way to having the kind of hair that looks and feels great.

What Are Split Ends?

a hand holding a split end
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If you take a couple strands of your hair, put them into the light, and notice that the ends look feathered, that means those ends are split. The medical term for these frayed hairs is “trichoptilosis.”

What Causes Split Ends?

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You might be surprised to know that there are multiple kinds of split ends. The cause of your split ends depends on which kind you have.

The basic split (split ends that look like a capital “Y” at the ends) is usually caused by a vitamin or protein deficiency.

The mini (split ends that look like a lowercase “y” at the ends) is a sign that your hair is in need of more moisture (inside and out); usually, these ends are salvageable if caught in time.

The fork in the road (split ends that look like a “w” at the ends) means that a significant amount of damage has been done to your actual hair fibers. Deep-conditioning might help, but you’ll probably need to get these ends trimmed.

The tree (split ends that resemble a bare tree with limbs) means that your cortical cells are damaged; nothing can be done but to have these ends cut off.

The candle (ends of hair that literally look like a wick that’s burning) indicate that while your ends aren’t split, the outer cuticle of your hair is damaged, leaving your hair vulnerable to splitting at the ends at any moment. (Deep-conditioning and a protein treatment can help with these.)

The knot (ends of hair that have tiny knots on them) is common with curly-textured hair. There’s no way to “untie” the knots, so you either have to live with them or cut them off. However, you can reduce the amount of knots that you get if you detangle your hair on a consistent basis and sleep with your hair in braids.

Can You Actually “Heal" Your Split Ends?

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There are plenty of hair commercials that try to convince you that there are products that can heal your split ends, but the truth of the matter is there is no such thing. While some products can help to “seal” your split ends temporarily, by the time you have a “tree” or a “fork in the road,” the only remedy is to have those damaged ends cut off.

At the same time, it’s always helpful to take measures to keep from getting even more split ends. Some of the most effective steps include “pre-pooing” (applying a carrier oil like coconut or avocado oil to your hair before washing it), putting a leave-in conditioner in your hair, using a wide-toothed comb to detangle it, and using as little heat as possible when styling it.

How Should You Treat Split Ends?

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What if your split ends look like a “w” and are still somewhat salvageable? Something you might want to try is adding more collagen into your diet and onto your hair. Since your hair is made up of protein (keratin), and collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies, collagen can help to “feed” your hair, making it stronger and increasing its elasticity.

You can take a collagen supplement and also eat foods that are high in collagen, like carrots, berries, white tea, chicken, and garlic.

How Often Should You Get Your Ends Trimmed?

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Whether you already have split ends or you want to keep from them from happening, there’s no way around it — you’re going to need to get your hair trimmed from time to time.

How often actually depends on two things: the texture of your hair and how well you take care of it. On average, people should get a trim every eight weeks or so. If that seems too frequent, you should at least consider dusting your ends yourself.

Aside from getting a regular trim, there are some pretty effective home remedies that can keep split ends at bay.

9 Ways to Prevent Split Ends

1. Egg Yolks

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Something that eggs have plenty of is protein; that’s why they top our list of things you can use on your hair to prevent split ends.

If you want to give yourself an at-home protein treatment and some extra conditioning, combine two egg yolks with a cup each of coconut oil and almond milk to your freshly washed hair, let it sit for a couple of minutes, and then rinse in cool water (to seal your cuticles). Do this once a week for best results.

2. Honey

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Honey is a humectant, which means that it has the ability to pull moisture from the air and put it into your hair. It’s another ingredient that keeps your hair super soft and full of elasticity.

If your hair feels dry and brittle, add some mayonnaise and vitamin E to some (raw) honey, let it sit on your clean hair for 15 minutes, and then rinse. You’ll immediately feel a difference, and your ends will instantly get the extra protection that they need.

3. Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera pieces
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The secret ingredient in aloe vera is proteolytic enzymes. Not only do those help to clear off any dead skin cells that might be on your scalp, but they also help to make your hair stronger while feeding your hair follicles with nutrients and reducing hair shedding and breakage. Plus, aloe vera contains vitamins A and C, folic acid, and amino acids.

Something you might want to try is making your own aloe vera shampoo with some castile soap, peppermint essential oil, and olive oil. It will cleanse your hair, keep it moisturized, and prevent your ends from splitting — all at once.

4. Beer

beer
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Beer is said to be great for your hair because the malt that is in it is loaded with protein. This is what gives beer the reputation for reversing dry and damaged hair.

Mix some water, beer, and apple cider vinegar (all in equal amounts), then pour the mixture onto your hair after shampooing and conditioning it. Allow the mixture to sit on your hair for 15 to 20 minutes (preferably in a shower cap), then rinse thoroughly.

(If you’re worried about the smell of beer or vinegar lingering, you can apply some lavender essential oil on hair.)

5. Banana and Avocado Mask

a banana and avocado mask
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The potassium, natural oils, and carbs that are in bananas, along with the proteins and amino acids in avocados, are the ultimate dynamic hair duo!

Mash one banana with one avocado and apply it to your freshly washed hair, making sure to be liberal on the ends. Let the mask sit on your hair for 30 minutes, then shampoo and rinse.

Split ends won’t stand a chance.

6. Vitamin E

Vitamin E
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If length retention is what you’re after, you should get some vitamin E to take internally and to apply to your hair. Vitamin E not only helps to keep your hair nice and soft, but it also fights off free radicals, improves scalp circulation, and prevents hair loss.

To get the benefits of vitamin E, take a supplement daily. Also, make your own vitamin E hair serum.

For the serum, all you need to do is mix some vitamin E with some almond oil and put it into your hair conditioner. Or you can apply the serum on your hair, put on a shower cap, sit underneath the dryer for 20 minutes, and then rinse in cool water. Your hair will be silky smooth.

7. DIY Beauty Cream

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If you want the kind of beauty product that’s as good for your skin as it is for your hair, try making your own beauty cream. All you need to do is mix some shea butter and coconut, olive, jojoba, and sweet almond oils with some aloe vera gel, vitamin E, and rosemary and bergamot oils. Put it in a shallow tin (one that comes with a lid), refrigerate it overnight, and apply the next day.

With all that’s in this cream, how could it not give you glowing skin and split-end-free tresses?

8. Lentil Hair Mask

Lentil hair mask
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Are you in the mood for some lentil soup? If so, set aside some uncooked lentils so that you can make your own hair mask.

Hair that’s deficient in iron and protein is hair that’s extremely vulnerable when it comes to getting split ends. Lentils are loaded with both of these nutrients, making them excellent for your hair.

You can nourish your hair and help it to grow longer by grinding some uncooked lentils into powder form, then adding some turmeric powder, castor oil, and yogurt. It’s a fabulous deep-penetrating hair mask. (Just make sure to shampoo and rinse thoroughly after applying it; otherwise, the turmeric scent could linger longer than you would like.)

9. Chamomile Tea

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Some people use chamomile tea to naturally lighten their hair, but thanks to all the vitamins that are in it (including biotin), the tea is also said to fight dandruff, remove dead skin cells, moisturize your hair, and prevent split ends.

Just steep some tea bags, let the tea cool, and pour it onto your clean hair. If you do this every time you wash and shampoo your hair, you’ll be well on your way to having tresses that are free of split ends!