Female hand of a young girl holding the ends of her curly hair

We all have problems with our hair at one point or another. Just think about what high humidity can do to your glossy blow-out or some of the mistakes you’ve made with your bangs. One big concern is split ends. They can ruin a nice haircut as quickly as grease monster roots can. Forget about just camouflaging those straggly ends—there are ways you can help prevent split ends. Good news: Lighting the ends of your hair on fire isn’t the only solution.

(Related: Temporary Hair Color Ideas That All Commitment-Phobes Will Love)

Most of us are all too familiar with what split ends, or Trichoptilosis, to get technical, look like. They are the splitting or fraying of the hair shaft. Sorry ladies, but that splitting is due to excessive mechanical stress and heat, according to celebrity hairstylist and co-founder of The Glam App, Joey Maalouf. If you’re addicted to your heat styling tools, always twisting your hair into a bun and securing it with an elastic, or you’ve had a chemical treatment such as a Brazilian Blowout, you’re setting yourself up for split ends. Ditto if you’re being too rough when you’re brushing your hair.

Sorry to disappoint you if you’re one of those people who hates getting your hair cut, but the only way to repair split ends is to cut them off. Joeys states, “To avoid them completely, schedule to have a trim every eight weeks.” If your ends are looking dead before your salon appointment, Joey says the best way to camouflage them is by hiding them in a braid because it won’t add to the damage. Also, use moisturizing products on the ends of your hair. For a natural approach, you can try a bit of coconut oil.

(Related: 16 Braided Hairstyles You Need To Try Instead Of Your Usual Side Braid)

For those of us who make end up slacking on the frequent trims, you can help prevent split ends through a variety of different ways. The easiest way to start is by laying off the styling tools (embrace air-drying your hair) and hair elastics, and to start brushing your hair from the ends upward.

Proper nutrition is also key to keeping your hair healthy. HUM Nutritionist Alex Caspero‘s number one tip is to not discount the importance of protein and fat in your diet for keeping your hair hydrated and healthy. She explains, “Since hair is comprised mostly of protein, you need protein for quality hair growth. While most of us get enough protein, choose something that also contains healthy fats to help with hydration. Fish, nuts, and seeds are best bets.” If you’re on a low-fat diet Alex warns that it is evident in your hair and your skin. Similarly, having a diet high in refined sugars and grains is going to impact your mane.

(Related: A Guide To Beauty Supplements)

Beauty supplements can also help keep your tresses in tip-top shape. However, it can be difficult to know what supplement is right for you. Alex recommends you work with a registered dietitian. Not all supplements are created equal and different products work better for different people. If you aren’t able to visit a dietitian, Alex suggests you ask yourself what your goals are for using the supplements and that should help narrow things down.

Both Joey and Alex recommend looking for supplements that contain biotin to make your hair stronger. You can buy straight Biotin pills or you can get one that contains a mixture of ingredients to help keep your hair looking healthy an glossy. Hairinfinity Supplements ($24.99), contain biotin and amino acids while HUM Runway Ready Supplements ($35) are formulated with biotin, GLA/ALA for hydration and Vitamin E. Joey cautions that you won’t see any results right away. It’ll take about three months to notice any change.

If you lay off the sugars, eat as much guacamole as you like, and try not to brush your hair like you have a vendetta against it, your hair will look healthier. However, make a calendar reminder in your phone about those trims every eight weeks to say goodbye to split ends for good.

(Photo: iprogressman/iStock)