If you have long hair, then you almost certainly have a split end or two (or two dozen — but who's counting?). And while nothing but a haircut can get rid of those annoyances, there's plenty you can do to strengthen and protect your hair. Celebrity stylist Charles Baker Strahan, who recently worked with Nicole Scherzinger, knows how to make that happen. Want to get messy ends to split? Read his answers to frequently asked questions.
Does all long hair eventually get split ends?
Unfortunately, yes — and nobody's immune. "Split ends happen to everyone," Strahan says. "They're the result of things like using blow-dryers, curling irons and flat irons, from various forms of hair color, and also just age and dehydration."
How can you keep the ends of hair healthy?
"The things that help to maintain the health of your ends are regular trims," Strahan says. "Also, use great shampoos and conditioners that help keep the hair hydrated and strengthen against future damage." He favors the Honey, I'm Strong collection from Herbal Essences.
Are certain heat tools better than others?
Strahan uses heat tools with ionic and ceramic technologies. "They provide an evenness of heat and have heat settings," he explains. But it's not just about the tools; it's about how you use them. "I'm mindful to keep the tools moving through the hair so as not to concentrate that heat on any one particular area," Strahan adds.
How often should you be washing and conditioning your hair, really?
The answer depends on your hair texture. "Drier textures with denser cuticles and scalps that produce less oil require less shampooing," Strahan explains. African-American hair textures can go the longest, up to seven days, while fine hair could require daily cleansing.