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What can I do with my Dry, Split ends?

I get asked questions about dry and split ends so often. “My hair is so dry at the ends, it’s like straw. Nothing I do helps!” or “I’ve tried everything to mend my split ends but they just won’t go away.” I have three words for you if you are suffering with rubbish hair ends, and they are:

CUT THEM OFF.

There is no point hanging on to dead, damaged hair. It’s fruitless. Yes, your hair will “look longer” but it will also “look like part of a hedge”. Cut off the ends, up to where they start becoming straggly and split and enjoy your nice new shiny, swishy hair. You have to trust me on this one; I’m a model. My hair has seen every type of torturous appliance and experienced every kind of chemical. It has been backcombed by first-year hairdressing students and bleached by international colour “experts”. There is only one way of mending broken hair, and that goes like this: chop-choppety-chop-chop…chop-chop.

There are serums and magic potions that can help the appearance of split ends or add shine to dry, lifeless hair – most of these contain silicones to smooth over the surface. They’re a good short-term fix until you can get to a hairdresser; I think that the  KMS one is really nice. (At FeelUnique here.) If your ends are a little dry and split but not anything too drastic, then there are some nice masks out there to give your hair a weekly treat. Some of my faves are the SEAH Cashmere Mask, the Goldwell 60 Second repair (least expensive) and Joico’s K-Pak.

Hope that helps.

(On a sidenote: some of you might be saying, “but my split ends and dryness goes all the way up to the top! I can’t cut it ALL off!” That’s a fair point. But you have to still cut some off. Cut a bit off and have a long, hard look at the way you’re treating your hair. Are you bleaching it every few weeks? Are you using heated appliances every day? Re-evaluate and change your hair routine; keep trimming regularly until your hair starts to look shiny and well-conditioned. It might take a year or so, but it’s worth it in the end!)

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42 comments

  1. Ok, so I have a few split ends, but my hair suffers moreso from dead ends… That is to say, I think my hair experiences a much higher than average level of breakage (sometimes quite high up the hair shaft) resulting in damaged/tattered/frayed ends. What have you found is the most effective way to combat breakage. Oh yeah, and what makes this truly puzzling is that I don’t color my hair and only heat style it once or twice per month.

  2. Ahh! I feel so much better about my short, short hair now! :) Good luck with your “paper”!

  3. AMEN. That’s what I keep telling people and even hairdressers trying to sell me expensive repair stuff: hair is a dead thing, it doesn’t recover/repair itself, when it’s damaged, you need to cut it off.

  4. Good point! Split ends have to be cut off and as soon as possible. However, finding the right hairdress is still a problem hence, the need for split end fixes :-/
    I’ve been meaning to try Joico products for a while now but quite happy with Shu Uemura’s.

    p.s. You put on an afro in a post about dry hair and split ends. It might appear to mock those with such hair.

  5. I second that! Chop it!

    I’d add checking your water in your shower/bath to see if that’s making your hair look and feel like it needs a cut. I live in London and have very hard water. But a shower filter made a huge difference. You can quickly tell if that’s what is making your hair look/feel like it needs a cut by washing it with water from a water bottle and seeing if that makes a difference. If it does, get a filter. I swear I don’t own stock in water filters!

  6. Great advice, I really don’t understand why people are afraid of hair cuts, as you can’t repair damage you can only mask it. I have a hair cut every 7-8 weeks as I have a short style. I do colour it but I treat it well between hair cuts so have little damage :)

  7. I suffered from split end denial for years, wish someone had yelled this lot at me!! i did the whole…..if i put this magic serum on them they will stick back together and my hair will be long…..nope! lol just resulted in my hair never growing a inch for years.

    Love your blog! you are so down to earth which is hard to find on beauty blogs on the internet!! keep it up pleeeease :) xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  8. Ruth that picture is hilarious!Yet you still manage to look good!You should be a model! :P (I know it’s getting old,it’s getting ridiculous,it’s getting annoying…I’m a sucker for annoying jokes :s).
    Anyway,the scissors are in fact the only cure for split ends.The only actual cure at least. Aside from that I’ve decided I’m never cutting mine off ever again.No hairdresser seems to understand the concept of the inch these days…I don’t even have that bad of a split end case going on.My hair is naturally curly and unmanageable so I don’t blow dry,straighten,dye or use anything apart from hair cream.But the moment I decide to get them cut I find myself missing half my hairs…Literally!They’re not even long enough to plaid anymore!No more hairdressing for me…For a year at least;)

  9. Great advice Ruth! My aunt is a hairdresser and she’s always been telling me the exact same thing!

    Luckily I’ve never had serious issues with split ends but since I’m having highlights every 2-3 months, I’m trying to use a good mask once a week. I was using Joico’s K-pak but my new hairdresser (I’ve recently move to London so had to change) suggested Kerastase nutritive masquintense. Have you tried it? I just wanted a second opinion :)

  10. ha! it’s true! it amazes me that so many hang on to dried out, frazzled (word?) ends for the sake of having long hair. there’s only one way to get rid of split ends.

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