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:
1. 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!
2. 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.
3. 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 and extreme heat can dry out hair, leaving it prone to breakage and splitting if you’re not careful. To prevent this, try a sun protectant spray to protect 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. My favorite is the silicone-free Thermal Shield Heat Protectant.
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 Repair™ 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.
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 and repairing shampoo and conditioner formula can be a great place to start for treating dry, frayed hair.
4. Think about getting a bamboo pillowcase
Here’s an easy hair treatment for split ends you can do while you sleep! Cheap cotton pillowcases can actually damage your hair during sleep, so we recommend switching to a Silky Bamboo Pillowcase for silky, soft hair. Look at the pictures below for before and after - used only a single night!
5. Only work with clean hair to prevent split ends
If you do plan on using hot tools on your hair, make sure to use them only on clean, dry hair. If you have leftover conditioner or moisture on your strands while you style them, you may end up frying them. Only apply products like hairspray and shine serum after styling hair. The exception, of course, is heat protectant spray, which should always be applied before using hot tools!
6. Hydrate the heck out of your ends (deep condition + rub oil on your ends)
Split ends result from dry hair, which means a great way to prevent them is to keep your hair as hydrated and nourished as possible. An easy way to do this is by using a deep conditioning treatment once a week along with your regular conditioner and using hair oil on styled, dry hair to lock moisture in.
If you prefer a lighter spray product try Split Fix™ Leave-in Conditioner that hydrates and replenishes hair to prevent split ends, frizz, and knots.
7. Get your hair trimmed regularly
Another hair treatment for split ends is simply remembering to get your hair trimmed every 6-12 weeks. If you’re worried about keeping your length, don’t be! Ask your hair stylist to use a method called “dusting” to get rid of pesky frayed ends without sacrificing any length.
8. Take supplements that strengthen the hair from the inside
We know that split ends cause hair to become weak from the inside out, so it’s important to help replenish damaged hair in the same way. By taking a supplement full of hair-loving vitamins and minerals like biotin and folic acid, you can help your hair become naturally healthier.
Our top picks for treating split ends:
Proper hair treatment for split ends doesn’t stop at a few switches to your daily regimen. It’s all about using the right products too. Here are some of our favorite recommendations for saying “sayonara” to split ends.
- Split Fix™ Hair Oil - One of our favorite ways to strengthen and protect sensitive locks is by using a hair oil on dry, styled hair. Our Hairlust Split Fix™ Hair Oil is made to keep frizz and breakage at bay thanks to its nourishing blend of argan, coconut and apricot kernel oil, which all contain fatty acids vital to hair health.
- Wet Hair Detangler Brush - Brushing your hair too aggressively can lead to major breakage if you’re not careful, which is why we recommend only brushing your hair while wet and using a carefully designed wet brush to distribute product throughout your hair while gently detangling.
- Split Fix™ Hair Mask - Our favorite hair treatment for split ends has to be our Split Fix™ Hair Mask. If you’re suffering from dry and damaged hair that just doesn’t seem to want to grow, try this weekly hair mask to help quench tired hair from the inside out.
- Hair Formula Supplements - Two of our signature products, our Hair Gummies and Tablets, are filled to the brim with the most powerful vitamins and minerals needed to promote healthy hair. By taking three of these each day, you’ll be treating your tresses to a powerful blend of biotin, zinc, vitamin C and more to help protect and restore dry, damaged hair.
Now that you know all about split ends causes and treatments, you’re all set to experience the best hair of your life! Split ends affect everyone at some point, but with the right hair care regimen, you can kick them to the curb before they take over!