What Causes Split Ends: 4 Easy Ways for Reduction

Are your hair ends blunt or divided into halves or more? Is your hair weak, prone to breakage, and dull? Well, then you might have split ends, but do not worry. We got you covered!

So, what causes split ends? Split ends can happen in multiple ways, and we will discuss all of these here in this article. But before diving into what causes split ends, let us know what are split ends.

What are Split Ends?

Split ends term clearly says it all when the end of the hair strand splits or divides into two or more than two is known as split ends.

Split ends can happen to anyone irrespective of their age, and also the split in the hair can travel up to the hair shaft from the tip end, and not taking good care of your hair might lead to split ends.

In this article, along with what causes split ends,1 we will also discuss a detailed description of split ends, what causes split ends, how to protect your hair and how to end this hair-splitting.2

What are the Side Effects of Split Ends?

Certain side effects of split ends could happen in the hair if the hair is not treated properly on time. Here is the list of these side effects.

What stimulates hair growth
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1. Hair Look Extremely Bad

Split ends can make hair look extremely bad, As split ends happen, the shine also gets affected, and the hair becomes decolorized, making the hair look extremely dry, fizzy, and rough.

2. Lead to Hair Breakage

As the hair gets torn due to the split ends, the hair tends to be weak, and weak hair breaks and falls easily, which can also be a leading problem of hair fall.

3. Resist Hair Growth

To make the hair healthy or provide the hair with necessary proteins, the hair proteins are vested in repairing the hair shaft rather than growing, the hair shaft needs to be healthy to grow.

Therefore, having split ends doesn’t make the hair look bad but also makes the hair weak and leads to damaged hair.

How do Split Ends Make Hair Weak?

Unhealthy hair is one of the leading causes of split ends; unhealthy hair can be caused by various factors, such as not taking proper care of hair, prolonged heat exposure, pollution, and more.

What causes split ends
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Split ends happen at the end of the hair part, which is divided into two to several parts, making the hair look like it is two or a few individual hairs.

Still, this division doesn’t give birth to separate hairs. Rather it makes the hair very fragile and damaged as proper nutrition will not reach due to the broken hair/ damaged hair.

As of now, we know how split ends make hair weak. Further, we will know what causes split ends in the hair.

What Causes Split Ends?

Several reasons cause split ends in the hair; we have listed a few of them and the emerging solution to the problem:

1. Not Tying Hair Before Bed

Not tying hair before bed is one of the leading causes of what causes split ends; leaving hair open causes friction in the hair, Due to the friction, the hair cuticle gets damaged and opens up its end, and the hairs get divided into multiple parts making hair extremely fragile, fragile hairs tend to break more.

So when we sleep, our head rubs more in the pillow all night which causes intense friction making hair weak and prone to split ends. Does this have a precaution?

If we tie our hair into a braid3, friction happens less, and the hair stays protected all night.

2. Not Taking Care of Hair

Prolonged exposure to various weather conditions, like heat in summer, dryness in winter, and not forgetting all-year-round pollution causes massive damage to the hair, and this is something which is not in human control.

Therefore the only thing we can do is take care of the hair, Taking care of the hair not only saves hair from these culprits but also can help in having beautiful hair even in old age.

What causes split ends
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A regular hair care regime, which must include regular moisturizing, cleansing and conditioning, and special treatments like a hair mask, specifically customized solutions, if needed.

Moisturizing means oiling the hair, cleansing includes shampoo and washing and conditioning means locking the moisturizer in the hair after the hair wash The residues of the hair wash might drain the hair moisture so moisturizing it again intensely is a must.

Then special treatments like hair masks are needed depending upon the hair type like hair fall, hair thinning, etc.

3. Hair Colouring and Chemical Treatments

Hair colour is now a trend in the fashion industry, every other day, everyone goes to a hair salon to get their hair done.

Even for a minor haircut or hair-wash hair stylist pours down a lot of chemicals into the hair to make it instantly smooth and shiny which is also temporary and stays a maximum of up to three hair washes.

what causes split ends
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This chemical-washed hair looks extremely desirable at that moment, but it has adverse effects on hair; after a few washes or a few days, the colour and the hair treatment wear off so does the hair smoothness, but the bleaching effect which mainly oxidizes the hair remains and makes hair fragile.

These chemicals enter the hair cuticle and then cause dry hair and split ends, also known as chemical damage, in the same way, mentioned before.

Therefore avoiding a chemical treatment is the best way to protect hair from not only split ends but also from other hair problems like early grey hair, hair fall, dandruff, etc., resulting in damaged hair.

These are some of the reasons that cause split ends in the hair.

4. Curling irons, Blow-Drying, and Hair Sprays

Styling hair once in a while is all cool, especially hair spray, and blow-drying hair makes hair look good and manageable for at least two days.

Using hot hair tools for straightening and curling up hair not only makes hair fashionable but also manageable for a while but heating up makes hair dry frizzy and weak It also aids in the brittleness of the hair.

what causes split ends
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So using less heat with a lot of heat protection is good for hair, and not using these accessories is even better.

These are the list of what causes split ends in the hair. Avoiding these and taking care of or changing these habits would not cause split ends further.

Are Split Ends Curable?

The direct and short answer to this question is “No.” Split ends are not curable, they can be prevented by following a hair care regime, regular haircuts, or applying various DIY, paraben, and silicon-free products.

The only way to get rid of it is to wait for the new hair to grow, but if we don’t take care of the old hair, the damage always moves toward the new hair and makes the new hair shaft also damaged in the same way like the rest of the hair strand and this process is quite perpetual.

To make the hair healthy is quite hectic and time-consuming, as well as money consuming which can last up to certain years.

what causes split ends
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Hence the only time and cost-effective way to cure split ends is to chop off the split ends, developing parts for beautiful and healthy hair.

How to Keep Hair Healthy and Split Ends Away?

We must do certain things and orders to promote healthy hair growth and keep split ends at bay. Here is a list of dos and don’ts to promote hair growth4.

We know that to keep any body part healthy, we need a balanced diet. So does it go for healthy hair? A balanced diet is key to overall health. Therefore eating well and good is an important key to healthy hair.

Now, the diet for healthy hair must contain a lot of vitamin C and vitamin E, which promote hair growth. Stay hydrated as staying hydrated keeps the scalp healthy; staying hydrated is also a key to locking moisture in everybody’s parts, including hair.

To avoid frayed ends, use a silk pillowcase in the first place; as the silk is smooth, it causes less friction and less breakage in the hair cuticle/ split ends.

Add hair products like olive oil, coconut oil, and argan oil massage hair well and leave it for at least an hour to stop the splitting of the hair, and then use shampoo. Deep condition each time after using heat in the hair.

While drying hair, try avoiding a blow dryer or towel drying. These techniques/ habits often lead to damaged hair; rather, use a cotton t-shirt and let the hair air-dry automatically.

In case, even after taking care one notices split ends developing in the hair tips, use nourishing hair masks to fix split ends as fast as possible to prevent any further hair splits.

But even after taking detailed hair care, certain hair types develop split ends or sun heat damage easily, creating a bar to achieving desirable hair goals. The available option is using regular trims to get rid of split ends,

How to Prevent Split Ends: 4 Common Ways

Split ends can occur even after taking care of hair, depending upon the hair type. Even minor carelessness can cause severe damage to the hair; therefore, maintaining hair is compulsory for healthy hair.

Here are the following ways to prevent split ends from developing which are key to healthy hair.

  1. Avoid hair-damaging products like heat hair styling tools; these hair styling tools include flat irons, curling irons, hot rollers, blow dryers, and anything hot styling tool which is likely to damage the hair strands and turn them weak.
  2. Won’t lie, but styling hair once in a while for an occasion is a need, and sometimes looking good does work as a therapy. Still, before applying hot styling tools, the minimum we can do to protect the hair is to use or apply a heat protectant.
  3. Wet hair is more vulnerable to hair damage and split ends, therefore, do not comb wet hair immediately and do not use a narrow tooth comb. Rather choose or opt for a wide-tooth comb.
  4. Do not use a towel for hair drying as a towel causes friction in the hair while brushing it against the hair for drying, which causes serious damage to the hair in the vulnerable state. Rather than use a cotton fibre or t-shirt, pat drying hair should be done.

In the End

Split ends are a common problem everybody faces every other day, curing hair with split ends is quite tough, as there is no reverse solution for split ends rather than losing the split ends by chopping off the hair.

But taking measures like following a hair care regime, not using hot tools or chemical treatments, trimming hair regularly to avoid splitting tips, and changing a few regular habits like switching from chemical hair products to natural ones can prevent split ends.

What causes split ends
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Using silk hair accessories other than metal or any rough fabric material as daily wear can lead to healthy hairs and no split end.

Split ends are something permanent and are something we cannot stop from happening. Rather, the only thing we can do is prevent split ends. Keep slaying, beautiful!

If you liked this article, here is something for you.

  1. McNally, Francis J. “Microtubule dynamics: controlling split ends.” Current biology 9.8 (1999): R274-R276. ↩︎
  2. Ahmed, Rais. “Hair-Splitting by the Privileged.” Economic and Political Weekly (1977): 2022-2024. ↩︎
  3. Caldwell, Paulette M. “A hair piece: Perspectives on the intersection of race and gender.” DuKE Lj (1991): 365. ↩︎
  4. Pantelireis, Nikolaos, and Claire A. Higgins. “A bald statement—Current approaches to manipulate miniaturisation focus only on promoting hair growth.” Experimental dermatology 27.9 (2018): 959-965. ↩︎

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Snehareema Roy

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