How to Prevent Split Ends & Hair Breakage

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Split ends is the term given to the breaks you sustain at the ends of hair shafts. A split is the separation of hair cell layers. Split ends and overall hair breakage can make your hair dry, fragile and more susceptible to shedding. Taking care of your hair properly can help you prevent split ends and hair loss.

Prevent split ends and hair breakage by using the appropriate type of hair styling tools on your hair. For example, using a comb or brush with fine bristles may cause your thick hair to break, especially if you comb it roughly or more than is needed. Choose a brush with larger, firmer bristles that can handle thick, curly or wavy hair. Even if the texture of your hair is fine, limit the amount of brushing to prevent damage.

Shampoo your hair only as often as needed to avoid split ends. If you have an oily scalp, you may still find a daily washing is in order, but choosing a gentle shampoo can limit the exposure to chemicals that can cause hair breakage when used in abundance. The American Osteopathic College of Dermatology suggests massaging shampoo into your scalp to remove oils and letting the suds run down the length of your hair to clean the ends to minimize the effects of harsh chemicals and over-washing.

Condition your hair to add moisture. Conditioning hair occasionally -- the frequency will depend on how often you wash your hair -- can keep your hair from getting too dry. Dry hair is more prone to breakage.

Forgo perms, relaxers and other chemical-based hair treatments when you notice your hair becoming brittle and dry. The chemicals can dry out your hair, increasing the likelihood of breakage.

Get regular trims to prevent split ends. The AOCD states that the only way to permanently get rid of split ends is to cut your hair above the split. You can also prevent hair breakage by maintaining healthy locks; trimming the ends keeps them from becoming overly dry and brittle. Wearing your hair in loose styles can also help keep your hair free of breakage; tight braids and cornrows can damage the hair shaft, sometimes permanently.