How to avoid split ends… without getting the chop

No matter what your hair type, you've probably experienced the frizzy, frazzled phenomenon that is the dreaded split end.

While a few split ends aren't the end of the world, they can make an otherwise perfect style look dull and dry.

If you're not keen to chop off the last six inches of your hair and lose all that hard-earned length, there are a few other options to keep your ends smooth, healthy and free of damage.

1. Strengthen your hair
Strong hair is less likely to snap and break, so keep your hair healthy and thick by using products specifically formulated for weak and damaged hair. Don't scrimp when it comes to your shampoo and conditioner – invest in good quality products that will give some life back into your hair. If you can afford it, ask your hairdresser to recommend some salon products next time you're in for a cut.

2. Be gentle
Roughly towel drying your hair when you step out of the shower might be a good time saver but it will leave it broken and brittle, so be careful. Combing through wet hair with a wide tooth comb will gently detangle it without damage. Unless your hair is prone to grease, there's really no need to wash it every day without fail – skip a day when you can.

3. Take the right supplements
Folic acid is not just for pregnancy – it can help the production of red blood cells which aids hair growth, leaving your hair thicker and healthier. Take a supplement daily or fill up on green leafy vegetables, wheat, oranges and soybeans.

4. Protect your hair from heat
In an ideal world, we'd all allow our hair to air dry, but that's not always an option. Prevent excess heat damage by using a hairdryer with a nozzle and pointing it down the hair shaft to limit heat exposure. Never use your straightener on damp hair – it creates air bubbles which expand, burst and break the hair.

5. Invest in a leave-in conditioner
When it comes to protecting your hair, a standard conditioner that you rinse out in the shower won't do much. Use a leave-in one to ensure your hair is protected from the elements long after your shower.

6. Get regular trims
We know we promised you could avoid split ends without getting the chop, but getting a frequent small trim is the best way to achieve length and strength in the long run. So head to the salon every six to eight weeks to get rid of any frayed ends.