What Can I Do About Dry Ends?

Get Rid of Your Hair's Dry Ends for Good

A woman with dry ends
Ghislain & Marie David de Lossy/Cultura/Getty Images

Your hair's dry ends can bring down even the most fly cut. A number of factors may be in play here: color or color and relaxing combined (classic overprocessing), too much heat, lack of proper conditioning, neglect and infrequent trims. Unless your ends are damaged beyond repair, usually due to an irreversible process, they may be salvageable, even if you think all hope is lost.

How to Fix Dry Ends

To get your ends back into well-moisturized shape, try these steps:

Condition More

Even if you think you've been conditioning your hair well, you still might not be giving thirsty tresses as much moisture as they need. Too much thermal styling, the styles you wear and even some fashion choices (wool hats, scarves, and coat collars) can all wreak havoc on ends.

Remember: these are the oldest parts of your hair and are already prone to dryness. Don't make them worse by skipping essential conditioning. This includes rinse-out and deep conditioning products. If your hair is really suffering, put it on a deep condition program right away. You'll need to use a quality product at least once or twice a week. While some deep treatments work in a matter of minutes, look for those that work in conjunction with low heat for maximum penetration.

Also, if you're not currently using a leave-in conditioner after each cleansing session, now's a great time to find one that works for you.

Try the Baggy Method

Use this along with frequent conditioning if you like. The baggy method simply encases your ends in a plastic cover of some kind, after you apply a moisturizing product. It doesn't have to be conditioner; natural oils are a great product choice for this method. Try bagging your ends several nights per week to start.

After a few weeks, check to see if there's any improvement in your mane's moisture levels. Once your ends are less brittle, you can cut out the bagging altogether or just do it less frequently.

Trim Judiciously

You don't necessarily have to cut all of your hair and start over. Major cuts are painful for women who've worked to gain some length. You may be able to trim a little at a time -- half an inch or an inch (for the very brave) each month, while simultaneously conditioning, will gradually bring your ends into decent shape. You might want to visit a professional for a trim so that your results are even, but some people are anxious that a stylist may cut too much. If this sounds like you, only trim away excessively dry ends or as much as you can stand while your tresses recover.

Wait for Results

With the exception of cutting dry ends, it can take some time to coax thirsty ends back into shape, so don't expect instant results. After all, your hair didn't lose all moisture overnight. Practice a lot of patience along with serious TLC and your hair can gradually come back to a healthier state.​