Split ends are when hair splinters because of damage to the oldest section of the hair shaft. If you don’t address this problem, hair breakage occurs. Hair breakage is when strands break, making them significantly shorter than the unbroken ones. Unfortunately, split ends are impossible to fix since you can’t reattach the two parts of the split. Therefore, preventing split ends from happening is the best option.
What Causes Split Ends and Hair Breakage?
Split ends and hair breakage are due to premature aging of the strands due to weakened keratin. When hair is prone to breakage, it suffers damage from its root to the tip. On the other hand, split ends affect the tips only, hence their name.
The following factors can cause split ends:
- Repetitive, harsh hair treatments
- Chemical processing, such as coloring and perms
- Rough brushing, combing, braiding, and tying hair more frequently
- Using the wrong flat irons, blow dryers, and curling irons for your hair type
- Summer sun, cold temperatures, wind, and swimming in chlorinated or salt water
Split ends are a prevalent hair complaint. However, keeping hair healthy by nourishing and caring for it can prevent split ends and breakage.
Tips to Prevent Split Ends and Hair Damage
Once your hair has split ends, the only solution is to visit the hairdresser to trim it. Nevertheless, you may fix breakage that affects the other parts of your hair. Here’s how to prevent split ends and hair breakage.
Avoid Aggressive and Excessive Brushing
A simple habit like aggressive brushing and combing can cause split ends. Hair strands are fragile. Therefore, treat them delicately to prevent unnecessary breakage and keep your strands looking healthy. The best approach is to start from the hair ends and work up to detangle the strands instead of ripping the brush from its roots to the end. Once there’s no resistance, you can stop brushing to move the comb further down the hair.
Handle Your Hair Gently After Washing
Wet hair can quickly sustain damage. Therefore, be gentle with your hair after washing and conditioning. Some people use a towel to rub and dry their hair. However, frequent rubbing can break your hair and damage the cuticles, leading to frizziness or split ends. So, use a towel to blot your hair dry instead of rubbing it.
Use Heat Protection When Styling Your Hair
Heat damage often causes split ends. Therefore, applying a heat protector when styling hair with a heating tool is the best way to protect it from heat damage. A quality heat protector seals the strands to prevent heat from damaging them.
Smoothen Split Ends with Hydrating Products
While split ends are impossible to fix, you can disguise them. Some hydrating products conceal the frazzled ends, giving you a sleek, polished style without fly-aways. Hydrating products are ideal for on-the-go touch-ups that minimize the split ends’ appearance.
Detangle Your Hair
Brushing or combing tangled hair can be challenging, whether dry or wet. Therefore, use a wide-tooth comb to detangle your strands before brushing, drying, or styling. A wide-tooth comb glides through the hair without breaking it or damaging its ends.
Moisturize Your Hair
Hydrating your hair can also prevent split ends. Hair dryness weakens the strands, especially the ends, causing split ends and breakage. A hair mask can infuse moisture into your hair, reducing dryness and frizziness. Also, a quality hair mask can minimize hair damage risk, leading to softer, shinier hair. Hair masks have more concentrated ingredients than conditioners. Also, a hair mask stays on the hair longer.
Split ends can leave you with hair strands of uneven length. Thus, your hair may have thinner ends, and your stylist may have to cut off more strands during the next trim to restore the tresses to their proper health. Following the above tips and nourishing your hair will prevent breakage and split ends.