Split ends are usually caused by heat, chemicals, and over styling. The protective cuticle is removed from the end of the hair, causing it to split and look scraggly. Trimming split ends at home can be a challenge, depending on how the hair is styled. It is important to master an split-end-cutting technique, use sharp scissors, and cut away only the very bottom portion of the hair with split ends.
Three techniques are often used to trim split ends. Two are performed while the hair is dry and one while it is wet. In a nutshell, only a small amount of hair is removed in order to remove the split ends while still retaining the shape of the hairstyle.
One method of trimming split ends is done while the hair is clean and dry. After small sections of hair are twisted, the split ends should fray out. A pair of good-quality, sharp hair sheers should be used to cut the split ends off. Only about 0.25 to 0.5 inch (6.35 millimeters to 12.7 millimeters) should be cut from the end. The ends should not be cut straight across, but cut into the middle of the twist, leaving a slightly layered look.
Another dry method of trimming split ends entails just taking a section a section of hair at a time, then searching for split ends. When the ends are found, only the hairs that appear to be split are cut off, close to the end. This method is a little time consuming, but it maintains the integrity of the hairstyle, while removing the unwanted split ends. The result is a healthier-looking head of hair.
Trimming split ends while the hair is wet is the third method. This is more of a small trim. The hair is shampooed, and a leave-in conditioner is applied. It should then be gently towel-dried by scrunching the hair with a towel. Brisk rubbing can cause ends to split and break.
After towel drying, the hair is then combed with a wide-tooth comb, which will part the hair into small sections. Each section is grasped, then cut straight across, approximately 0.5 inch (12.7 millimeters) from the end. This is continued around the head until all the hair is cut. This method is best performed on hair that is blunt cut without layers integrated into the style.
Some hair-care products claim to cure split ends. These products are mostly conditioners that make the ends adhere to each other and are only a short-term solution. Eventually, the ends come apart, and the split is apparent again. Trimming split ends is the only sure way to reduce their appearance.