Let’s face it – split ends are the bane of our existence. They seem to appear out of nowhere, ruining our hair game and causing endless frustration. But what exactly are split ends, how can we get rid of them, and most importantly, how can we prevent them? As experts in the field, we’re here to guide you through all the essential information you need to know about split ends.
What are Split Ends?
Split ends occur when the hair fibres break, typically at the oldest part of the hair – the ends. This is because the ends tend to be the most fragile and dry, making them prone to damage. Rough handling of hair, such as brushing with poor tools, using heated tools, and chemical treatments can also encourage split ends. In fact, often people complain about their hair “not growing,” but the truth is, their hair is probably breaking or splitting faster than it’s growing.
Fun Fact: Did you know that split ends can be known as schizotrichia or trichoptilosis in medical/trichology terms?
Types of Split Ends
There are several variations of split ends, including:
- Standard Split or “Y” Split
- Triple Split
- Fairy Knot/Single Strand Knot
- The Tree
To help you decipher what kind of split end you have, we’ve created a simple chart that you can save and reference later.
What Causes Split Ends?
Several factors can contribute to split ends, including mechanical damage, friction, heat and chemical damage, irregular hair trimming and DIY, lack of moisture, and weather changes. Excessive brushing, incorrect styling tools, rubbing against cotton sheets, brushing up against clothing, straighteners, relaxers, and bleach can all lead to split ends. Also, a lack of regular trimming or using blunt scissors not made for cutting hair can be a bad idea for those ends.
How to Get Rid of Split Ends?
The only way to get rid of split ends is to cut them off. Once they’re split, that’s it. We recommend getting professional hair scissors (and using them only for your hair!) or visiting a skilled stylist to get your hair snipped.
How to Prevent Split Ends?
Preventing split ends is all about taking good care of your hair. Here are our top seven tips to help you avoid split ends:
- Slip into Satin – A good quality bonnet with a satin lining will reduce friction and retain moisture.
- Get Your Toolkit in Order – A microfibre towel for your hair is excellent to ensure the least amount of friction from start to finish.
- Keep Hair Moisturised – Using a moisturiser to hydrate those locks with oil to seal the deal and fight breakage is a must (AKA the LOC method/LCO method). Our Moisture Surge Set contains products for all three layers: Sheen natural moisturising spray (liquid), Seal (hair oil), and Smooth (moisturising cream).
- Be Gentle with Wet Hair – Ensure that your crown isn’t in its most fragile state to avoid breakage when you hit snooze.
- Regular Trims – Trim approximately every 8-12 weeks. If you’re a DIYer, invest in professional (not kitchen) scissors to ensure you get a clean cut.
- Sectioned Washing – Sectioning and twisting or braiding your hair into large sections can help reduce single strand knotting. Combine this method with a gentle sulphate-free shampoo and conditioner to create easy detangling and retain hydration.
- Protective Styles – Protective styles tuck in ends for protection from the elements and depending on the style can reduce the amount of daily handling and styling.