Split ends are scientifically known as Trichoptilosis or Schizotrichia. They occur when the hair strands fray, usually at the ends, although if left, the split can travel up the hair strand.
Split ends can be a nuisance, taking the glossy look from our hair and leaving it looking unhealthy and ragged. Thankfully, they can be easily got rid of with a regular trim and there are plenty of steps you can take to reduce the risk of your hair splitting before you need to take another trip to the salon.
What Causes Split Ends?
Split ends occur when the hair is weak and brittle. They’re mostly caused by the hair being dry or damaged, which makes it more prone to breakage. Your hair can split in various different ways – it might split into two parts, the end might feather into many small splits, or the hair could have multiple splits along the end of the strand.
There are a few different causes of split ends:
Heat styling can be one of the major culprits for split ends. Whether you regularly blow dry, straighten, or curl your hair, adding that much heat to your strands can make them brittle, which leads to breakage. The heat will remove a lot of the moisture from your hair, weakening it over time. The damage is most impactful on the ends, which is when split ends occur.
When you color your hair, you’re altering the structure of the strands. And while we do love to switch up our hair color, the process weakens the hair strands. It’s not the coloring itself that will cause split ends though – it’s because the hair is left more fragile after the process. So, if you don’t look after your hair properly, you’ll be more at risk of damaging your hair and getting split ends.
Chemical treatments are similar to dying your hair, in that the strand will be altered during the process. So, treatments to chemically straighten or perm your hair will leave the strands dry and vulnerable to damage. This can lead to more split ends.
Using rubber bands instead of proper hair ties can really damage your hair. The material causes friction against the strands, which leads to them breaking and splitting at the ends. You’ll probably notice if you tie up your hair with an elastic band that you’ll pull out a lot of strands when you remove it – this is your hair breaking!
Washing too much
As we’ve mentioned, one of the main reasons that split ends occur is because the hair is too dry. So, over-washing your hair can also lead to split ends. Washing your hair too much will strip the natural oils from your hair, leaving it dry and brittle. Your hair will then be more vulnerable to damage and split ends.
Brushing too much
Brushing your hair is obviously a necessity to have tidy, glossy hair. However, brushing too much or using the wrong type of brush can damage our hair and cause it to break. If you struggle with tangles, a leave-in conditioner can help you to cut down on the brushing and keep your hair healthy.
Towel drying excessively is another cause of split ends. Drying too much or too roughly will damage the hair and lead it to break. The material of most towels is too coarse on our hair. Instead, use a microfiber towel and gently pat and squeeze your hair dry rather than rubbing it.
How to Prevent Split Ends
Below are the best ways to look after your hair and prevent split ends.
Regular deep conditioning treatment
A regular deep conditioning treatment will help to keep split ends at bay by nourishing and fortifying your hair. This is especially important if you color your hair, as the strands will be weaker after the process. Our Glaze Super Gloss is a hair mask that’s formulated with Babassu Oil to deeply condition hair, locking in moisture so your hair is left soft, shiny, and healthy. Our Super Gloss hair glaze treatments are available in 10 shades, so you can boost the vibrancy of your color in between salon visits, or stick with our Sheer Glow clear gloss to enjoy all the nourishing benefits without depositing any color. Super Gloss has no parabens, sulfates, ammonia, or silicone so it’s gentle enough to also use in place of your usual conditioner.
Use heat protection
If you regularly use heat stylers on your hair, you should always use some sort of heat protection. This will help to reduce the damage the heat does to your hair, keeping it strong and healthy. When possible, you should put aside the straighteners or curling tongs to give your hair a break. When you blow dry your hair, use a lower setting to further minimize any damage to your locks.
Use the right tools
Using the right tools is essential to keeping your hair healthy and free of split ends. We’ve already mentioned drying your hair with a microfiber towel instead of a normal towel, as this will be softer on your strands. You should also always use hair accessories that are soft and gentle on your hair, including hair ties, hairbands, and clips. You should also look at the hair brush you’re using and ensure it’s right for your hair. A soft bristle brush might be best if you have thinner or damaged hair, or a mixed bristle brush can bring the benefits of nylon and boar bristles to those with thicker hair. If you struggle with tangles, a special detangling brush could help to reduce damage.