Before when get into preventing split ends, let’s first discuss what are split ends and what causes them.
What are split ends?
Split ends or trichoptilosis are the splitting or fraying of the hair shaft due to various reasons. The splitting of the hair is a type of hair damage that typical begins near the ends of the hair shaft. But don’t be fooled split ends or damage that causes the splitting of the hair can occur anywhere on the length of the hair. You can have “split ends” in the middle of a hair strand.
What are some hair splitting causes? What causes split ends?
There are 4 common causes of damage or breakage in hair. Most of these causes are due to stress from external factors such as mechanical, physical, and environmental. Physical and Mechanical breakage are a result of rough housing with your hair. For example, improper detangling, brushing wet hair or excessive blow drying can all cause split ends. Environmental breakage is caused by environmental factors that damage or break the hair. A good example is dryness that is caused from the hot summer sun.
Some hair splitting behavior is also internal. The strength of your hair and its susceptibility to split ends can be directly related to your diet, hormones, and vitamins or minerals. Nutritional/Dietary stresses are usually an excess or deficiency of vitamins, mineral or even hormone that promote healthy hair.
- Excessive use of hot styling tools (irons, hot curlers, blow dryers, hot combs)
- Overuse of chemical treatments (relaxers, perms, hair color).
- 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 and deep conditioning treatments
- Improper detangling techniques (Brushing Wet Hair)
- Overwashing or using a clarifying shampoo too frequently
- Use of inferior hair care products
- Excessive use of styling products such as gels, waxes and sprays
- Trimming with inferior scissors
- Scratchy bedclothes, fingers, or hands.
Regardless of how you developed split ends, once you have them they will not just disappear. You can semi-permanently repair them but ultimately you must remove them with a proper trim. This is the first and most important step to preventing split ends.
According to author, celebrity stylist, and creator of Hair Rules products Anthony Dickey, hair naturally begins to fray and split every 3-4 months. The best defense against split ends are regular trims around that time. In addition to trims, your best line of defense is to prevent or minimize split ends and their damaging effects.
Here are the top ways to prevent split ends: