Thankfully, split ends are quite easy to treat once you know what you’re working with. In today’s blog, we’ll go over the ins and outs of split hair and split ends causes as well as delve into proper hair treatment for split ends that you can do at home!
What are split ends?
Split ends are exactly what they sound like - hair that’s been naturally split at the ends (which is the oldest part of the hair shaft) due to damage. It’s important to note though that split hair can occur all over your head, not just your ends.
Some of the most common split ends causes include the following:
The basic split
Split ends that end in a fork are some of the most common types of split hair and constitute early split development. If you notice split ends like these, your hair is likely in the early stages of damage, which means it’s not too late to turn back the clock!
The tree pattern
Split ends in a tree or branched pattern typically indicate that one side of the hair fiber is more damaged than another. Split hair like this means that your hair is already quite damaged and needs some serious TLC.
The tiny knot
Sometimes people with curlier hair types experience small knots forming on individual hair strands. This is caused by the hair tangling and can cause breakage if brushed.
What causes split ends and split hair?
So what causes split ends and split hair in the first place? Well, all split ends come from some kind of hair damage. Here are some of the most common split ends causes you might be doing to your hair without even knowing.
1. Exposure to excessive heat and direct sun
One of the most common split ends causes is too much exposure to heat and sun. The sun’s harsh UV rays can dry out hair, leaving it prone to breakage and splitting if you’re not careful. To prevent this, try a sun protectant spray for your hair and try to limit your exposure when possible.
2. Over-washing your tresses
Washing your hair too often can also contribute to split ends. When we wash our hair, the hair gets stripped of its natural oils, which leaves it with that ‘squeaky clean’ feeling. However, doing this too often without replenishing the hair’s moisture can lead to breakage and damage.
3. Excessive use of hair-styling tools
Artificial heat can also have a negative effect on your hair’s overall health and lead to breakage. Using styling tools like curling wands and flat irons without using heat protectant can cause unnecessary splitting and lead to brittle hair.
4. Chemical treatments like perms and bleaching
Switching up your everyday look with a perm or a new color can be a fun way to experiment with your hair. But hair bleaching done wrong (or too often) can cause major damage and lead to split hairs.
5. Using the wrong haircare products for your hair type
Sometimes split ends are simply caused by not using the right hair care products for your unique hair type. For instance, if you have dry hair and aren’t using a shampoo specifically made for your hair type, you may be doing damage every time you shower.
6. Not getting regular trims
Another one of the most common split ends causes is simply not getting your hair trimmed often enough. Over time, our hair experiences wear and tear. Going too long between haircuts can cause split hairs to form.
7. Exposure to hard water including chlorinated pools or sea water
Along with sun exposure, too much exposure to hard water like that found in pools or saltwater can have a negative effect on the hair and cause split ends along with other hair issues.
Why are split ends bad for your hair?
While split ends are a totally normal thing to experience, that doesn’t mean that you should ignore them if you start noticing them in your hair. Split ends and split hair are your hair’s way of telling you that it’s damaged and needs a little help to get back to normal. The good news is, there is a hair treatment for split ends out there for everyone — and we’ll go over some of them in just a bit!
Are some people more prone to split ends and split hair?
This is a really great question and one that we don’t talk about often. In fact, people with curly and kinky hair are more prone to hair damage than those with straighter hair types. This is likely because very curly hair often lacks as much natural moisture as other hair types.
This is also the reason why curly hair requires some special considerations when it comes to hair care. Want to learn more? Check out this blog post and learn how to follow The Curly Girl Method.
Can split ends be repaired?
The short answer? They can’t. Once you have split hair or split ends, there’s no real way to get rid of them (other than trimming them off). While there are some ways to disguise split hair, the best thing you can do is focus on prevention.
A good hair treatment for split ends focuses on hydrating and nourishing the hair before it becomes frayed.
8 tips to prevent split ends and split hair:
Along with using a great hair treatment for split ends, making small changes to your haircare routine in general can go a long way in helping prevent split hair.
1. Rethink the way you towel-dry your hair
Are you towel-drying your hair the right way? To keep your hair healthy and prevent breakage, avoid being too aggressive with your towel. Traditional towels can also cause frizz, so consider switching to a bamboo hair towel to keep dry and sensitive hair looking its best.
2. Book a protein treatment (or save the money and do it at home)
Protein treatments are a great way to repair dry, brittle hair, but they can be a tad bit expensive at the salon. Fortunately, there are lots of products out there that make doing a protein treatment at home super easy. We love our Protein Reconstructor Hair Mask because it’s formulated specifically with microproteins that have been clinically proven to reduce UV damage, reduce the effects of aging and protect against split ends.
Psst.. And it is so easy to use. Check it out in the video below:
3. Switch up your shampoo and conditioner
Like we mentioned before, one of the most common split ends causes is not using the right hair products for your hair type. Making the switch to a more hydrating shampoo and conditioner formula can be a great place to start for treating dry, frayed hair.