From trimming my own fringe to learning to embrace my ever-increasing grey hairs, 2020 was a real journey of self-discovery when it came to my hair—with plenty of lessons learnt along the way (namely that it isn't possible to cut your own hair into a sharp, sleek bob using just a pair of kitchen scissors and without a mirror). Thankfully, I quickly realised that dramatic restyles weren't my area of expertise and instead turned my attention to finding the best at-home hair products to keep my strands feeling healthy when they're well overdue for a haircut. The result of my search? It turns out I've been neglecting an entire category of haircare until now, and these underrated products have been making a big difference to my hair, especially since I've only managed to visit the hairdresser once in the last 12 months.
Disclaimer: Pre-2020, whenever a product claiming to seal split ends or prevent hair breakage would land on my desk, I would totally disregard it. After all, everyone knows that the only way to get rid of split ends is to cut them off, and so in a world where we could visit a salon whenever we wanted, letting a professional deal with mine was my chosen method of maintenance. However, that all changed last year, and I found myself digging through my beauty stash to find anything that might give my frazzled, split end–strewn strands the tiniest new lease of life. Spoiler: Hair products for split ends actually work, or at least, some of them do.
I'll be honest. There are still many products out there marketing themselves as split-end treatments that are nothing more than a glorified serum. Sure, they'll add a little gloss to your strands, but they don't actually do anything. However, there's a whole new wave of split-end treatments on the market that work by bonding themselves to the cuticle of your hair to create a seal that not only leaves your strands feeling smoother but also prevents further breakage. Genius.
Of course, none of these products for split ends replace the importance of a great haircut at the hands of a professional. After all, they don't actually remove split ends. They just seal the split cuticle in the short-term. While they can't reverse the damage that has already been done, they can prevent it from getting worse and offer a temporary dose of softness, smoothness, and shine. Think of them as your haircare stopgap when you can't make it to a salon. Trust me—I haven't reached for the kitchen scissors once since adding one into my weekly hair routine.
Ahead, keep scrolling for eight of the best products for split ends.
Philip Kingsley Bond Builder Split End Repair (£26)
This is the product that changed my mind about split-end treatments. It smooths and seals split ends to mimic a fresh-cut feel, and the innovative formulation actually lasts for up to three washes, so you don't have to keep reapplying it.
Virtue Labs Perfect Ending Split End Serum (£38)
This clever product uses Alpha Keratin 60ku—a protein which is identical to your hair's naturally produced keratin. This means that your hair recognises it when applied and allows the product to bind directly to areas of damage and fill them in. It sounds complicated, but basically, it seals split ends to prevent them from splitting further and genuinely makes your hair healthier.
GHD Advanced Split End Therapy (£22)
If you're addicted to your hair tools, then good news—this lotion binds broken hair fibres together when you activate it with heat. Just smooth it onto damp hair, blow-dry, and seal with your straighteners for shiny ends that are protected against future breakage.
Oribe Split End Seal (£45)
Great for all hair types but specifically formulated with colour-treated hair in mind, this serum uses a special polymer blend to bond split ends together while carob tree extract adheres to the outside of the hair for a layer of protection. Plus, it smells really luxurious.
Grow Gorgeous Balance Split Ends Serum (£23)
Natural ingredients like black oat and marine brown algae not only seal the cuticles of your hair but also intensely moisturise to restore bounce and shine to tired, dehydrated strands.
Redken Extreme Anti-Snap Treatment (£16)
This is a salon-standard treatment that's brilliant if your hair is naturally prone to breakage. It reduces the risk of split ends by working to rebuild the surface of your strands for stronger hair, and it smooths the appearance of any existing damaged ends for an instant quick fix.
Color Wow Dream Cocktail (£23)
This is a leave-in treatment that uses a mix of protein-building amino acids and B vitamins to reinforce your hair's internal bonds to improve strength over time and prevent breakage. I often use this as a detangling spray and really rate how smooth my hair feels afterwards.
L’Oréal Elvive Dream Lengths Wonder Water (£10)
This innovative liquid conditioner doesn't position itself as a split-end product, but it rivals some of the products that do in my opinion. Using lamellar water technology, it resurfaces the fibres of your hair to leave each strand silky-smooth and shiny. My split ends were practically invisible after using it.
This article originally appeared on Who What Wear
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