The 10 Best Hair Products for Split Ends and Breakage, According to Stylists

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Woman using hair serum on ends
Photo: Getty Images

Out of all the hair issues we face, split ends are arguably the most universal. Ultimately, if you have hair—whether it is thick or fine or straight, wavy, curly, or coiled—you have likely experienced this particular issue. And while regular trims literally take away split ends, there are ways to prevent them, to some degree, before they become your stylist's problem; using reparative products, like the expert-approved formulas you will discover below, is one of them. But first, it's important to understand why (and how) this type of hair damage occurs in the first place.

What Causes Split Ends and Hair Breakage?

Split ends appear for many reasons. According to Andrew Fitzsimons, a celebrity hairstylist and founder of Andrew Fitzsimons Haircare, this type of damage occurs when hair becomes dry, brittle, and frayed. (Fitzsimons notes that they often look like unraveled rope). Exposure to extreme weather conditions and or the excess use of hot tools may also be to blame. TREsemmé global stylist Justine Marjan agrees and adds that manipulation while styling, color jobs, chemical processes, wear over time, rough brushing or toweling, tight hair elastics, and friction (from your strands rubbing against your pillowcases at night) are other culprits. Ultimately, anyone can get split ends, though Fitzsimons says that already dry and brittle strands are more susceptible; Marjan notes that those with finer hair are also more prone to this issue, since thinner strands are more delicate.

Top Products for Split Ends

How to Prevent and Treat Damaged Hair

Luckily, there are a few ways to treat this type of breakage—and prevent split ends from happening in the future. Fitzsimons notes, however, that the "only tried-and-true way to effectively get rid of split ends is to cut them off." Regular haircuts and trims every six weeks will help keep them at bay for good. As for preventative methods? Marjan explains that most fixes are temporary or are designed to prevent further splitting up the hair shaft. She recommends sleeping on a silk pillowcase and using a microfiber towel to dry hair; both are gentler on strands than anything made from cotton. Opting for silk scrunchies or claw clips—as opposed to elastic hair ties—should also minimize damage, as will cooling it (in both temperature and frequency) on hot tool use.

Last, but certainly not least, using the correct hair products with moisturizing ingredients like coconut oil, honey, and shea butter, explains, Fitzsimons, will both make hair stronger (minimizing its susceptibility to split ends and breakage) and treat damaged hair. To help you tackle these concerns at home, Fitzsimons and Marjan shared their top 10 product picks for combating damage. Below, find the formula best suited for your strands, and let the repair process begin.

Andrew Fitzsimons Virgin Repair Restructuring Serum

Hair serum
Courtesy of Ulta

Fitzsimon's go-to formula for preventing split ends and breakage comes from his own line. This serum is made with ceramides to keep hair follicles smooth—and it contains a special protein complex (with bonding technology) that strengthens strands and improves elasticity.

TRESemmé Keratin Repair Shampoo and Condioner

Hair repair shampoo
Courtesy of Target

Marjan recommends the TRESemmé Keratin Repair Shampoo and Conditioner system. "[They are] specifically designed to treat and prevent split ends, and this is a great affordable option," she says. Both formulas repair damage by fostering new bonds in the hair shaft—and acts as a shield to protect strands from heat damage post-shower.

Kristin Ess Weightless Shine Leave-In Conditioner

Leave-in conditioner
Courtesy of Target

Another one of Fitzsimons' picks, this leave-in conditioner from stylist Kristin Ess' label "creates weightless shine and detangles the hair," he says, noting that it also seals in moisture and restores dull strands. For optimal results, he recommends applying this formula directly to damp hair.

Bread Beauty Supply Hair Oil Everyday Gloss

Hair oil
Courtesy of Sephora

The Bread Beauty Supply Hair Oil Everyday Gloss is a silicone-free oil that keeps hair—and especially curls—smooth and soft. It contains nourishing ingredients like kakadu plum and safflower oil to promote a healthy scalp, which encourages hair growth; the oil also boasts fatty acids to strengthen strands and prevent split ends.

Pantene Split Ends Treatment

Split end treatment
Courtesy of Amazon

Another great option for curly or coily hair is the Pantene Split Ends Treatment. The intense conditioning formula moisturizes dry strands and repairs damage thanks to its argan oil content. Turn to this option to treat existing split ends and prevent future breakage.

Redken Extreme Anti-Snap Treatment

Breakage treatment
Courtesy of Amazon

This product contains a special complex to protect hair from chemical, heat, color, mechanical, and surface damage. It also reduces the overall appearance of damage by 73 percent—and leaves hair soft and shiny in the process.

Oribe Invisible Defense Universal Protection Hair Spray

Hair protection spray
Courtesy of Sephora

Those who use hot tools often should turn to this protective hairspray from Oribe. Made with plant-based collagen and the brand's signature strengthening complex, this formula hydrates and softens hair while also adding a protective layer; it defends hair against environmental stressors and heat exposure.

Sol de Janeiro Brazillian Joia Milky Leave-In Conditioner

Leave in conditioner
Courtesy of Sephora

This new leave-in product from Sol de Janeiro does it all. It contains babçu oil, Brazil nut oil, and cupuaçu butter to lock in moisture and protect hair from breakage. Plus, it's super lightweight and fights frizz for up to 72 hours.

Act + Acre Cold Processed Hair Oil

hair oil for scalp
Courtesy of Sephora

For a clean, scalp-nourishing option, you can't go wrong with this formula from Act + Acre. The vegan hair oil is made with only five plant-based ingredients, including argan oil, squalene, and meadowfoam seed oil, to provide hair with ample damage protection and infuse it with moisture.

DevaCurl Curlbond Re-Coiling Split End Serum

Hair serum
Courtesy of Amazon

This serum works from the inside of the strand out, repairing damage and strengthen hair along the way. It contains a naturally derived bean paste called guar gum, which seals split ends and fills in holes and cracks in the hair shaft to create an extra-smooth look and feel.

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