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Ah.. if only there were a magic cure. And if only I had the patent on it - I'd be rich!

There is no other way to get rid of split ends, but to cut them off.

There are treatments out there that may claim to heal split ends, but all they do is temporarily "glue" the split ends back together. There is no magic lotion, potion or pill. These temporary treatments may cause you further damage down the road.

Trimming the splits off

There are various ways to go about cutting off those split ends.

At home:

If you choose to go this route, there are some important things you should know, and different techniques you can use.

Important: First of all, and most important: use a pair of scissors made for hair! Do NOT use nail clippers, fingernail scissors, general purpose scissors etc. The use of an improper instrument will do nothing but gnaw through your hair and cause you further split ends. Hair is stronger and tougher than you think. You do not have to pay hundreds of dollars for a pair of hair shears... leave that for the professionals. You can get a good pair for under $50. For some examples, take a look at Image Supply who stock various priced hair shears. This is only one site of many that sell them... even Sally's Beauty Supply sells hair shears.

When cutting off a split end, be sure to cut perpendicular to the hair strand. This will keep the end stronger than a slanted cut would. Make the cut about 1/4" above the split to ensure a healthy end.

I have seen suggestions that if you have dark hair, you should trim against a light background, and vice versa, but I have found that some splits show up better against a light background, and some against a dark background, so I do both... it could be because I'm a medium brunette.

Techniques: One of the most commonly suggested techniques is to take a small section of hair, and twist it. The ends of the hair will pop up out of the twist and you can see split ends and trim them. Personally, this technique does not work for me. I prefer to just take a section of hair, leave it loose and search through it for split ends. When I'm done with that section, I start on a new section.

Both the above techniques are referred to as "dusting" the hair.

There is also of course the option of having a trim at home - either by a loved one, or trusted friend. If you have to do it yourself, there are websites out there that can help. There are times I trim my own hair - to use my method, wash your hair and then apply conditioner liberally and then comb your hair with a wide tooth comb (while the conditioner is still in.) The wide tooth comb will automatically separate your hair into sections. Take a section and bring it forward, take the end of this hair section and hold it firmly between two fingers just above where you want to trim, and make the cut. Bring the next section forward and repeat. When using this method, it is important to make sure you comb your hair very well and do not disturb the ends of the section. It is also important to keep the cut and uncut section separate and cut the same amount of hair off each section.


Unfortunately going to a professional and asking for a 1 inch trim to get rid of splits often results in the loss of much more hair than 1 inch. Part of this may be due to the hairdresser deciding that he/she knows better than you, and part of it may be not being firm or clear enough in your instructions.

Often we go there, and the hairdresser hears our request and then makes comments about how damaged and dry the ends are, and you will have to cut more hair off than you wanted to get rid of the damage etc. etc. and we sit there feeling like a prisoner in the hairdresser's chair.. and we feel that he/she knows better and so we AGREE to having more hair taken off, and then later on we cry and complain that we only wanted 1 inch cut off, but instead lost six inches of hair. And if your hair is growing in a U or V shape, DO NOT ask for a trim that gets rid of splits and gets the ends even if you don't first take note of how long the shorter hairs in that U or V are! The hairdresser will hear your request and then trim off the bottom of the U or V so it lines up with the shorter hairs, and the difference could be quite a couple of inches!


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