A split end is when the hair-shaft splits or flays due to excessive heat and misuse. They happen when the protective cuticle has been stripped away from the ends of hair fibers. Split ends are more likely to develop in dry or brittle hair. Typically the hair splits into two or three strands, and can be as long or two to three centimeters in length. There is no way to repair split ends; when they occur, the hair must be trimmed.
- Vigorous brushing.
- Excessive usage of hot styling tools and drying (irons, blow dryers, hot rollers).
- Overuse of chemical treatments (perms, hair color and highlighting).
- Use of inferior styling tools that rip or snag hair (cheap synthetic brushes or combs, brush rollers, etc.,).
- Environmental damage from heat, cold, wind and other climate issues.
- Lack of routine maintenance such as regular trimming.
- Trimming with inferior scissors.
- Improper de-tangling techniques.
- Excessive use of low quality styling products such as gels, waxes and sprays.
- Over washing.
What Split Ends Can Look Like:
a. Start out to look like this – the classic split end.
b. If the classic split (a) is not stopped it continues to split along the shaft
c. Multiple Splits – worse case when classic (a) and (b) is not stopped
d. The Dot looks like a piece of fluff, but doesn’t brush off
e. The Dot bends at a straight angle. This is not really a split thought, it is Trichorrexis Nodosa and is actually caused by an explosion of the cortex (2nd layer) of the hair in a single spot.
f. The hole is the most difficult split end to find. The hair shaft has developed a split in the middle. To find this one, look for a small section that is lighter.
g. When you take the hole split strand and push them together, it pushes the split apart and creates and hole.
Avoiding Split Ends – 8 Tips and Techniques:
- Get your hair cut or trimmed regularly. Not trimming your hair regularly is possibly the main cause of split ends. Prevention is better than a cure!
- Use professional hair care products that are designed to seal the splits temporarily in order to catch any splits that are shorter than the length you want to cut your hair to and to allow your hair to grow a little longer before you trim. I recommend Redken Nature’s Rescue Cooling Deep Conditioner
- Deep condition your hair every week, if possible and especially if your hair is prone to splitting, chemically treated or treated by ceramic straighteners. Conditioning is mandatory every time you have a chemical.
- Rinse and (if necessary) shampoo your hair after a workout or strenuous exercise. The salt from perspiration will erode your hair. If you work out a few times per week, consult your stylist for your particular needs.
- Protect your hair from extreme weather. Wear a hat on sunny days and keep hair well moisturized in the dry winter months.
- Avoid using heated hair appliances as much as possible! If you are using them anyway, make sure to protect your precious locks with a protective product.
- Excessive backcombing will definitely give you split ends!
- Elastic bands and all sorts of other hair accessories can damage your hair. Avoid using uncovered elastic bands since these often pull out hair when being removed. Other accessories will damage or weaken the ends of the hair.
Ladies, do you deal with split ends? What is the source and how do you prevent them?