Can you actually repair split ends?

Hair care manufacturers make many claims in order to sell their products — certain shampoos can get rid of dandruff, while other conditioners can tame frizz. Serums can do just about anything from moisturize to add shine to distressed hair. Some even claim they can repair split ends. But do these creams and treatments actually work? Not exactly.

“Split ends occur when the protective outer layer of the hair cuticle wears away because of external stressors such as heat styling and salon chemical services. Once the internal structure of the hair is exposed, it becomes weakened, dehydrated, and damaged, causing split ends,” Chicago hair stylist Amy Abramite tells StyleCaster. While executing a temporary “fix” is possible, after a split happens, Vox says the damage cannot be undone.

Stylists all agree that the only way to fix a split end permanently is to cut it off — but they also say there are ways of handling your hair so that these breaks, which can make your hair look tangled, dull, and dry don’t happen as often as they may be happening now.

Split ends form if you don't wash and dry your hair the right way

Stylist Mitchel Levey tells Vox that split end prevention actually begins in the shower. “Always comb in the shower, with conditioner on, and always with wide tooth comb. Hair is more elastic when wet, and conditioner will help the comb glide through while distributing the conditioner, without breaking the strand. Rinse with colder water to seal down the cuticle after. Hair will be less frizzy and shinier when dry, and easier to style. Keep in mind that towel drying can cause more split ends, so it’s better to gently pat it dry.”

The battle against split ends continues after the shower, which is when Elle says we should really be looking out for our hair, because that’s also when our hair is at its most vulnerable. “Rubbing your hair dry with a towel will only promote more breakage Instead, apply pressure by gently squeezing the excess water out of the hair using a towel,” salon owner Sam Burnett explains. While you’re squeezing water out of your hair consider avoiding your hair dryer for a while. Burnett says that “‘Anywhere from 60 percent – 90 percent dry is ideal, as the longer you leave your hair exposed to heat, the more damage is likely to occur.”

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