12 Things You Can Do Today To Prevent Split Ends

Illustrated by Alena Jaffe.
Have you been natural for a while, yet feel as if your hair is just not growing? I certainly felt like this for the first five years of wearing my hair natural — I am now seven years natural, and I have started to pay more attention to the habits that prevent my hair from retaining length. The first step I took was to stop dyeing my hair. Hair dyes can make our hair fragile, brittle, and prone to dryness. Within a few months after dyeing application, you may begin to notice breakage if you use color treatment products. To retain length, I also made sure to get my split ends trimmed on a regular basis.

But remember that damaged ends cannot be permanently reversed, no matter how much you try to smooth the ends, and no matter how much product you use. Products assist with anti-breakage — in other words, maintaining healthy strands that prevent our ends from thinning out or splitting anywhere from the middle to the ends of the shaft. There are products that can help your split end stick together and decrease the rate at which it splits further, using a complex known as PEC — but none of these products will actually fix the hair permanently once the end is split. Ahead, 12 things you can do to avoid irreparable split ends.

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