5 Ways Make Your Ends Look Even & Full (No Trimming Required!)
If there's one hairstyle trend of 2020, perhaps it would be a grown-out 'do. Due to a newfound affinity for longer tresses, maybe, but mainly because it's a touch more difficult to stop by the salon for a trim these days. If you are sporting a longer mane, we're likely not the first to tell you: Growing out your hair (as well as managing it) is no easy feat. For some, the strands can look healthy and full up top, only to thin out and look tapered at the ends. Which raises the question: Is there a way to even out those ends without chopping them clean off?
Here's the thing: If you really want to keep your ends looking full, going for a trim is your best bet. Regular trims can promote healthy hair growth and make your strands appear longer, to boot. But as haircuts may be few and far between, here are five other ways you can add weight to those ends:
Check your shampoo.
Like with most hair care tips, it all starts in the shower. When it comes to selecting shampoo, make sure you're not using one with sulfates: While these can offer a satisfying lather, sulfates can strip the hair of its natural oils and volume, as well as contribute to physical damage of the strands. That said, opt for a gentle wash (like one of these sulfate-free stars).
You may even want to snag a volumizing shampoo, especially if you find your hair lying limp at the root as well. Many clean options include hair-strengthening vitamins (like vitamin B5) to stimulate the follicles and keep your hair looking fluffy and full, root to ends.
Keep your mane hydrated.
"When your ends get dry, they tend to look thin and fine," says hairstylist and Davines educator Michael Bowman. That's why hydrating your hair is key: That includes both locking in moisture with products (perhaps a hair mask before conditioning for a boost of hydration) as well as making sure you aren't unintentionally zapping moisture from your hair.
We'll spare you the double note on sulfate-laden shampoos (those can be super drying, as mentioned above), but think about your post-shower behaviors, too: For example, a too-rough towel dry can take out moisture, roughen up the cuticle, and leave you with those tapered, dry ends. Additionally, regularly blasting your strands with hot tools (especially without a thermal protectant) can be very, very harsh and cause dry, brittle hair. If you can, stick to gentle air-drying methods—like hair plopping—to keep your hair hydrated.
Do your best to prevent split ends.
"When the ends of your hair are thinned out and tapered, this is normally a sign that they are dehydrated, causing splitting and ultimately thinning," says hairstylist Gigi Lenora. And while those annoying frays are irreversible (there's ultimately nothing you can do except snip them off), you can prevent them in the first place—which can save your ends from looking thin and stringy.
But if you do have frays, consider dusting.
OK, technically this tip requires some hair scissors. But hair dusting is way easier to replicate at home than your standard trim: Simply twist half-inch sections of dry, clean hair and snip off those split hairs poking out. That way, you can shear split ends (and keep your whole mane looking even and full) while staying true to your length goals.
Add a texturizing serum to those ends.
Bowman recommends applying a texturizing serum to the ends in order to help create a fuller looking style. These volumizing serums can give the hair some grip, providing a light hold, and add density to those strands. Rather than lying limp, the ends can appear effortlessly tousled.
If you're facing some thin, tapered ends, you can add an even weight to your hair without hitting the salon. While a trim is ultimately necessary to stave off those dry ends long term, it's definitely possible to sport a thick, even mane using products alone. Perhaps it'll hold you over until you and the salon chair meet again.
Jamie Schneider is the Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare. In her role at mbg, she reports on everything from the top beauty industry trends, to the gut-skin connection and the microbiome, to the latest expert makeup hacks. She currently lives in New York City.