From going red to trying a perm, there isn’t much I won’t try with my hair. Except cut it, that is. But long hair poses one big problem: split ends are common and, sadly, unavoidable. However, there are some simple changes you can make to your hair routine to prevent some of them.
Change The Way You Shampoo
When applying shampoo and conditioner, concentrate the products on the ends to strengthen the hair shaft. Also opt for strengthening shampoos and conditioners, like Nexxus ProMend Split End Treatment Daily Shampoo ($9.99, nexxus.com) and ProMend Split End Binding Daily Conditioner ($14.99). The shampoo strengthens strands while the conditioner binds split ends together to lessen the appearance of breakage. Another trick: rinse with cool water to seal the hair’s outer layer to strengthen.
“Brush hair on a daily basis in order to distribute the natural oils evenly threw out the hair, from scalp to ends,” says Gerard Caruso, Artistic Director of RUSK. Brushing your hair when wet can cause breakage if you’re not careful. Make sure to detangle strands with a wide-tooth comb. Apply a detangling spray, such as Paul Mitchell Lite Detangler ($10, paulmitchell.com) for manageability, plus added volume and shine. For color treated hair, I love Color Proof PureRelease Instant Detangle ($21.95, colorproof.com), a vegan leave-in spray that also protects against heat damage. “When removing tangles gently brush hair from bottom to the top , in order not to create any Static or Frizz which can cause breakage,” Caruso recommends.
Hide Breakage With Oil
Frizz and flyaways make breakage look more prominent. Hair oils applied throughout strands or even just at the ends smooth out breaks and create a more even-looking finish. “Work with these argan oil based products, such as RUSK Being Sexy Argan Oil ($12, rusk1.com), from the mid shaft to the ends, that is the area where most breakage, and spit ends occur.To prevent oil residue, pour a dollop into your palm and dab on fingertips.
Heat Style Less Often
Over-styling with curling irons and straighteners is the main cause of split ends. To protect hair from heat, apply a leave-in conditioner, such as Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Heat Defense Leave-In Conditioner ($3, keratininfusion.suave.com). Stocked with keratin proteins, the conditioner coats the hair to seal breaks. When blow drying, aim the nozzle at the roots and the mid-shaft. Because the tips of hair burn more easily, let them air dry.
Read more: How To Make Your Hair Grow Faster