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Many hairdressers will agree that the best way to eliminate straggly split ends is to get haircuts regularly. For most, finding the time to schedule pricey haircuts every few months may be a challenge. In between cuts, applying natural oils can help to smooth troublesome ends.
High-end hair products can be costly and contain harmful chemicals and alcohols that do more damage than good.
“Most ingredients in hair products are water and alcohol,” said hairdresser Shalena Lopes, based out of Manasquan, New Jersey. “A natural oil doesn’t contain anything that would harm your hair.”
Out of an abundance of natural oil options, here are the best for split ends:
Almond Oil: The high levels of protein, fatty acids and vitamin E in almond oil can strengthen hair and make it less prone to breakages. For dry, damaged hair, almond oil can have major benefits.
Amanda Baldwin, a hairdresser at Hair + Space in College Park, said when choosing an oil, it is best to keep it light. Unlike heavier oils such as coconut or argan oil, almond oil is lightweight, aromatic and works with most hair types.
Dryness and lack of proper nutrients can lead to hair loss and split ends. Rich in magnesium, calcium and zinc, almond oil revitalizes and strengthens hair, helping to reduce breakages. Applying a few drops of almond oil to your hair after showering moisturizes dry hair and protects against future damage, diminishing split ends.
Coconut Oil: While coconut oil will not mend split ends back together, it can help to prevent and hide the appearance of frayed ends, creating a silky smooth finish.
Junior nutrition and food sciences major Maddie Mills likes to deep condition her hair with a coconut oil treatment once a month. After applying a teaspoon of oil to the ends of her hair after showering, Mills has seen major improvements.
“I used to have dry, damaged ends in the front of my face,” said Mills. “But I’ve noticed my hair is a lot softer and healthier now.”
As a deep conditioner, coconut oil helps hair to retain its moisture and prevent protein loss, leading to less future breakages.
Argan Oil: Argan oil, sometimes referred to as ‘liquid gold’, can not only protect your hair and restore shine, but it can also help to seal split ends.
Argan oil is packed with protein and “makes the hair harder and adds moisture,” said Baldwin. Argan oil is high in antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and vitamin E. These properties provide moisture and protection to frayed ends, restoring hair strength and shine.
Baldwin recommends her clients use UNITE U Oil with argan oil to shine, seal and protect hair from damage while restoring moisture.
Senior finance and information systems major Taylor Kelly applies Moroccan argan oil to the ends of her hair after showering. “It makes the ends of my hair way more soft and makes my hair more shiny in general,” said Kelly. Jojoba Oil: Jojoba oil is an oil-like wax extracted from the jojoba plant. While you may have never heard of it, jojoba oil is in many hair care products, according to Lopes. Particularly effective on curly and textured hair, jojoba oil moisturizes from root to tip, leading to less overall breakage and healthier hair.
According to Byrdie, jojoba, unlike oils such as argan or coconut which penetrate the hair shaft and provide conditioning from within, sits on the outer surface, protecting hair from dryness and breakages. It is considered one of the best sealant oils to lock in moisture.
Hydration is key when looking to minimize hair breakage and split ends. Jojoba oil is a great remedy for dry hair in need.
When applying natural oils, the trick is not to use too much as they can make your roots greasy. Lopes recommends applying oils to freshly washed, wet hair. To refresh throughout the day, she suggests applying only a few drops of oil to the ends of your hair. Natural oils can be found in a variety of hair products and conditioners, yet Lopes says the best method is to go to a health store and get the oils directly, in their natural state.
“Anything that’s more natural and derived directly from its source is better for your hair,” said Lopes. “What can be better than a clear, clean product?”