Taking care of breakage and split ends entails a multi-pronged approach, but one of the most important things you can do is make sure you're using the right products for your hair. To find out more about the best split end treatments, Elite Daily spoke with several top hair stylists to get their their product recommendations and lifestyle tips. Keep reading for their expert advice.
What are the best products to repair split ends?
- Treating split ends starts in the shower. If you have hair that’s susceptible to damage, look for nourishing and strengthening shampoos and conditioners, suggests Jamie Wiley.
- Apply a thermal protectant to create a barrier between your hair and the heat from your blow dryer, straightener, or curling iron, says celebrity hair stylist Joseph Maine.
- Celebrity stylist Sunnie Brook says it’s smart to incorporate a hair mask into your routine. You can use these in place of conditioner, weekly or more regularly.
- Salon owner Savannah St. Jean says your choice of brush really matters. Choose one that's gentle on wet hair when it’s at its most fragile.
How else can you treat and prevent split ends?
- Global education manager Alicia Bailey suggests getting a trim every six to eight weeks (or every eight to 12 weeks for curly-haired clients). Maine agrees, and says “Regular haircuts are a must.” At the minimum, Maine advises a "dusting" once a season.
- Gently blot as much water out of your hair with your towel before applying any products. That's “key for maximizing the effectiveness of your products and ensuring your split ends are kept at bay,” Brook says.
To learn more about the best treatments for split ends, scroll on.
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1. Best Shampoo & Conditioner
For clients whose hair is susceptible to damage, Wiley recommends using Pureology’s Strength Cure shampoo and Strength Cure conditioner. "They're formulated with powerful antioxidants and revitalizing botanicals that help heal and repair damaged hair," Wiley says, and also notes that they offer nourishing and strengthening benefits. Both formulas are sulfate-free, so they're safe for hair that's been dyed, highlighted, or chemically processed.
2. Best Hair Mask
"My favorite mask for fragile, damaged hair is Biolage FiberStrong Deep Treatment, which has the key ingredient of bamboo in it (known for its resilience)," says Brook, who explains that this creamy, nourishing mask can help prevent future split ends by boosting your hair's strength. Use it about once a week (or more often if your hair is really damaged), in place of conditioner after shampooing.
3. Best Heat Protectant
"I love the Design Essentials Agave & Lavender Blow-Dry & Silk Press Collection because it provides intense moisture and thermal protection," says Bailey, who recommends this blow dry spray in particular. She says it has a patented formula that can help temporarily mend split ends, and also notes that it provides superior heat protection, which, of course, is key to preventing more split ends and damage in the future.
4. Best Treatment Cream
Maine says that if your hair is experiencing significant splitting or breakage, use this Color Wow Kale Cocktail. The star ingredient in here is sea kale, which may be able to help repair damaged sulfur bonds in our hair, and it also contains lots of other strengthening ingredients, like B vitamins and amino acids. According to the brand, it can help reduce breakage and splitting after a single use — and according to its 1900+ five-star Amazon ratings, it really lives up to its claims.
5. Best Treatment Spray
This lightweight detangling and repairing spray is an excellent treatment for hydrating [dry] ends and protecting them from heat and environmental damage, says Brook. Depending on your hair type and the extent of damage you're dealing with, you can apply it on wet or dry hair as a leave-in treatment, or wash it out in the shower after leaving it on for a couple of minutes.
6. Best Intensive, 2-Step Treatment
St. Jean calls this magic duo, or “The best of the best in reparative treatments for your hair." (In general, Olaplex products tend to be the go-to among professionals for repairing hair damage.) First, soak your hair with the No.0 Intensive Bond Building Treatment, then, after about 10 minutes, apply a generous amount of the Hair Perfector No 3 Repairing Treatment and wait another 10 minutes. After that, you can shampoo and condition your hair like you normally would. "When you use the two in combination, you can see a huge difference in not only the repair of previously damaged hair, but your hair will actually be stronger going forward," St. John says.
7. Best Brush
You may not give that much consideration to your hair brush or how you use it, but you should. "To help prevent split ends, it’s important to take your time brushing your hair properly, especially when hair is wet," St. Jean says. "Starting on the ends and slowly making your way up to the roots, in small sections, take your time to detangle. I highly recommend using a Wet Brush, because it is much more gentle on the hair when it is wet and fragile," she explains.
Alicia Bailey, Global Education Manager at Design Essentials
Sunnie Brook, Biolage Global Ambassador and celebrity stylist
Savannah St. Jean, Beauty Expert and Owner of Savannah Rae Beauty
Jamie Wiley, Pureology Global Artistic Director