Do you have split ends? You know, those pesky little frayed tips of your long beautiful hair? What even is a split end? Can they be repaired? I'll be answering all of those questions today.
What Exactly IS a Split End?
A split end, or Trichoptilosis by its scientific name, is the splitting or fraying of the hair as a result of excessive heat, mechanical stress, or just overall damage. It can also be caused by the hair not receiving enough nutrients making it very brittle and dry. Here are a list of some things that can lead to split ends.
- Using hot styling tools too often
- Chemical treatments like bleaching and dying
- Improperly using a straightening iron after a keratin treatment
- Harsh towel drying
- Using hair products with drying sulfates and alcohols
- Lack of regular haircuts
There are five different types of split ends.
Different Types of Split Ends & What You Should Do
The beginning stage of the split end, make sure that you moisturize and nourish your hair with enough nutrients to heal your hair and seal the hair follicle before it gets worse.
Still in the early development of a split end, in most cases the follicle is still held together but it is beginning to separate. Make sure, to once again nourish your hair with a shampoo and conditioner high with nutrients and moisture.
This is less common but it shows more damage to the hair follicle. This is probably what your hair will start to look life if untreated in the first two stages. In order to fix this you will need to use a deep conditioning mask, and try to get a trim soon.
This shows no split but it shows complete loss of the outer cuticle of your hair follicle. This will make your hair more susceptible to damage and splitting. You should make sure to get a trim soon, but use a nourishing serum to lock in the cuticle and prevent damage before you get a trim.
Get a trim IMMEDIATELY. This shows the most damage to the hair follicle. This usually occurs on hair that is not taken care of or cut often enough. Make sure to continue getting trims and use products that protect your hair from damage and weathering.
Tips & Tricks
Now that we looked at the different kinds of split ends, and what causes them, we are going to look into some of the things that we should do in order to fix, but mostly prevent, split ends from even happening. The biggest tip that we have, is to fix them at the first signs, the higher the split end goes on your hair follicle, the more irreversible damage there is.
Regular Trims: Once you get past the beginning stages of damage, there is no way to reseal the follicle and prevent further damage, so the only way to rid yourself of your split ends is to cut them off. Remember, the longer you've waited the more hair will need to be trimmed to get rid of your split ends. The higher the split end goes, the frizzier your hair will look.
Heat Protectant: This should be a no-brainer, you want to try and avoid excessive use of hot styling tools as it is, but if you must make sure to use a heat protectant. Not only does it protect your hair from the heat, but it can also help seal the hair follicle and actually help to prevent split ends.
Avoid Sulfates & Alcohols: When looking for hair care products make sure to choose ones that are free of sulfates and alcohols. The salt and alcohol are actually drying agents and they take all of the moisture out of your hair leaving it brittle and dry and more prone to damage, breakage, and split ends. For a good sulfate free shampoo click here.
Don't Rush: While drying and detangling your hair, don't be careless and harshly rub, twist, wring, or pull it as this will cause mechanical damage to the hair and you will actually be giving yourself split ends.
Deep Conditioning: Make sure to always take a look and feel of your hair. If it seems dry and that is asking for some moisture, choose a hair mask or deep conditioning treatment to give it the nutrients it needs to stay strong and split end free. Check out our Moisture Recovery Mask Here.
Shampoo Your Scalp Only: Make sure to only shampoo your scalp as this is where most of the oil and buildup will be, let the ends get second hand suds but do not lather on your ends.
Condition Only Your Ends: Conditioning the ends of your hair actually help to give them extra moisture and nutrients to help them heal from any damage they may have endured. Not to mention, conditioning your scalp just gives it more moisture to produce more oil and make your hair look oily. For a good conditioner for your hair click here.
Straightening Your Hair: When straightening your hair, especially after a Keratin Treatment make sure to straighten your ends THREE TIMES LESS than the rest of your hair, this keeps the ends of your hair damage free.
Use 80s Hair Bands: 80s hair bands are making a come back and your hair is ecstatic. Use plastic coil hair bands instead of tight elastic bands with metal parts, as these actually damage your hair and create ripping and split ends.
Protection: Whether it be sleep, the sun, or the pool you need to make sure that you follow the proper protection guidelines to ensure there will be no damage. While you sleep, make sure to put your hair in a braid and either sleep with a silk pillowcase or wrap your hair in a silk scarf. Before you go in the pool make sure to condition your hair so that it protects itself from the pool chemicals. While being in the sun, UV rays will be just as damaging to your hair as they are to your skin. Protect your hair with a hat, and look into using a leave-in sunscreen conditioner.
Comb With Care: As we all know, we should avoid brushes at all costs, unless it is a soft boar bristle brush, but we should be using a wide tooth comb. When you are combing (or brushing) your hair make sure to do it with care, rushing, or doing it while your hair is wet and vulnerable can actually cause damage and split ends.
Avoid Harsh Towels: Just like I've said before, use a microfiber towel or cotton shirt, not a rough towel.
You Need a New Blow Dryer: Just like all things, hair dryers have shelf lives and if you don't replace them every few years, they are more prone to overheating and singeing your hair. Make sure that you use your blow dryers accessories, as putting your hair directly against the heat will damage it and cause split ends.
Last but definitely not least is your diet, make sure to eat a balanced diet with lots of protein and make sure to drink lots of water. This will ensure that your hair will grow and be strong against split ends.
What do you do to prevent split ends? Comment below if there's something we miss as we would love to hear from you.