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What Natural Hair Oil Works Best On Split Ends?

Alexandra Engler
mbg Beauty Director By Alexandra Engler
mbg Beauty Director
Alexandra Engler is the Beauty Director. Previously she worked at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and
a woman applying oil to her ends on a tan backgrouund

Image by Liliya Rodnikova / Stocksy

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So, we know a few things about split ends: We know that they are caused by repeated damage to the end of the hair shaft from heat, dryness, and physical wear and tear. We know that once you have 'em, you can't really do much other than a trim or by giving your strands a quick dusting. (Thus, we're told split end prevention is the best route.)

However, we also know you can temporarily improve the look of split ends with products, namely: oils. This got us thinking, is there an oil that works better than others?

The best oil for split ends.

If you're applying oil to mask and improve the appearance of split ends, you'll want something that's not too heavy (so as not to weigh the hair down), fast-absorbing so it doesn't look too wet or greasy, imparts a dash of shine, and is able to coat the strand to keep the appearance looking intact.

Enter: coconut oil. Coconut oil is a beloved multitasker and has a long history for hair use by people of all backgrounds. Some use it as pre-shampoo mask, others as a quick styler, and finally as a split end mender. "The question you should be asking yourself is, 'Is my hair dry, coarse, or damaged?' If yes, then coconut oil is great for you," says hairstylist Clay Nielsen. What's so powerful about coconut oil is that it provides the perfect balance of many of the above traits.

Here's why: Thanks to the oil's smaller molecular size and its nutrient-dense properties, some of the oil will be able to penetrate the hair shaft. This means it can provide nutrients deeper into the shaft, ideally strengthening the hair at its core. Its strengthening properties come from antioxidants (like vitamin E) and fatty acids to help feed and condition the strand, providing protection from free radical damage, which can further splinter the hair.

And, again, while it won't completely heal your split ends, it will help make sure that damage doesn't get worse. See, split ends have a nasty habit of splintering further and higher up the hair shaft once they've started. So if you are experiencing split ends, it's vital for you to make sure they don't get worse.

Finally, there's the aesthetic point. While some of the coconut oil will seep into the strand, some will sit gently on top. This improves the appearance of the strand, reflecting light and making it look lustrous.

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The takeaway.

If you are suffering from split ends a bit more right now (ahem, reduced salon visits), perhaps stocking up on coconut oil will do the trick. No, it won't magically "repair" them, but it will help them look better and add strength to the strand so the split doesn't get worse.

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