Dry hair or rough handling of hair is what causes split ends. To not only treat it but prevent it from forming, we have gathered some nifty little tips and tricks.
Ever wondered what causes split ends? They make your hair dry, frizzy, unmanageable and basically dead-looking – which is something none of us can afford. From unchecked heat-styling to rough towel drying, you have to change your hair habits if you want to rock a luscious mane. Well, here is a lowdown on how to banish split ends forever.
- The basics of split ends
- What are split ends and why do they happen?
- What causes split ends?
- How can you prevent split ends?
- How to treat split ends?
- What nutrition do you need to keep up with?
The basics of split ends
From hair fall and dandruff to dull hair, the list of our hair issues is simply never-ending. One such cause of our worry is split ends. Split ends are when your tresses break apart starting from the ends of your hair shaft. If not treated in time, it can get worse and be a major reason for breakage and bad hair days!
Now, since we can’t let that happen, we took matters into our own hands. With the help of renowned dermatologist and hair expert, Dr. Divya Sharma, we have mapped out everything you need to know from what causes split ends to how to take care of them.
What are split ends and why do they happen?
When the tip of your hair splits into many strands, like an unravelled rope, that’s when you know you have split ends. These are the broken and misaligned fibres visible at the ends of your hair lengths and you can simply feel them by running your fingers through your hair.
Dr. Sharma explains, “[They] travel up the hair lengths. This even causes your hair to appear browner from mid-length to tip. This colour change is mainly due to diffused light scattering from the damaged tips.”
What causes split ends?
When you blow-dry your hair or style it with heat-styling tools constantly, you run a great risk of causing split ends, as they take away all the natural moisture from your hair. So, don’t forget to use the Tresemme Heat Protection Spray to keep your hair healthy while using heat-styling tools. It has keratin and marula oil to keep your hair frizz-free, tame flyaways and keep your hair soft and protected.
According to Dr. Sharma, “Chemical treatments remove the protective hydrophilic lipid layer and hence make [hair] more susceptible to damage like split ends.” So, while we love hair rebonding, keratin treatments or adding colour to our hair, we are simply subjecting it to more and more irreparable damage.
When we harshly comb our wet hair, towel dry it roughly or forget to detangle it, we are actually causing split ends to appear in our tresses. As Dr. Sharma explains, “Increased frictional force increases damage by abrading the cuticle structure. They may also cause fractures and damage the hair shaft.” Be gentle and use a microfiber towel. And use a wide-toothed comb to divide your hair and comb it in sections when it dries.
How can you prevent split ends?
Pick a good conditioner
Split ends lead to hair knots and these tangles lead to split ends -- it’s a never-ending cycle. So, invest in a good hair conditioner like the Tresemme Detox and Restore Conditioner to prevent tangling in the first place. This paraben-free conditioner is loaded with ginseng and neem, perfect for all hair types and focuses on destressing your tresses. It nourishes damaged hair cuticles and split ends and restores your hair’s softness.
Minimise exposure to chemical treatments
To prevent split ends, you should avoid or lessen chemical treatments like bleaching and colouring your hair as much as possible. Make it an occasional practice and make sure while blow drying, you maintain a minimum distance of 45 cm between your hair and the tool.
How to treat split ends?
Switch to alcohol-free shampoos
The alcohol in shampoos can dry your hair out of its natural oils and further worsen split ends. Go for alcohol-free shampoos like Tresemme Pro Pure Moisture Shampoo instead. It is free of all harsh chemicals and contains sunflower seed oil and coconut oil to hydrate your strands and strengthen weak locks. The aloe extract in it is also known for naturally detangling hair so that you don’t end up with split ends in the first place.
Change your hair wash routine
Avoid using hot water to wash your hair as it washes away the natural hair oils, strips off the moisture and makes your hair dry. Try not to wash your hair every day. Wash it on alternate days so your hair gets time to recover its natural oils and heal the split ends.
The easiest answer to how to get rid of split ends is by trimming them off every 6 weeks. But, you must make sure to take care of your locks after getting them cut, in order to prevent split ends from occurring again and again.
Elastic bands with metal parts and metal clips are also what causes split ends in hair. Instead, go for scrunchies which are soft on the hair. And make sure you protect your hair while sleeping. Braid your hair loosely or tie it up in a bun to avoid tangling or use a silk pillow.
We love that DIY hair masks can easily treat split ends at home. Go for an egg mask by simply mixing one egg yolk with one tablespoon of honey and three tablespoons of olive oil. Leave this paste on your hair for 30 minutes and then rinse it with lukewarm water.
You can also try a papaya hair mask by blending two slices of papaya with two tablespoons of yogurt together. Leave it on for 30 minutes before washing it with a mild shampoo. You must understand that these masks don’t repair the split ends, but moisturise your hair and prevent further splits.
If these tips and tricks do not work out, you can get some expert help and opt for a low-level laser therapy to improve blood circulation and smoothen out the frayed ends. There are also dermatologist-led treatments like platelet-rich plasma therapy and platelet-rich fibrin therapy that improve the texture of the hair.
What nutrition do you need to keep up with?
While environmental and external factors are what cause split ends, lack or deficiency of certain minerals and nutrients can also lead to this hair issue. Your hair reflects your inner health and if there is a nutritional deficiency, then your hair could get damaged.
Proteins are extremely essential for healthy hair too. A diet deficient in protein can cause brittle hair and split ends. So, include protein-rich foods like meat, fish, milk, cheese, nuts and legumes in your diet.
Omega-3 fatty acids
They form the outer layer of the cuticle and since it is the area where split ends damage your hair, including omega-3 fatty acids in your diet becomes important. Eat fish, seafood, nuts, seeds and plant oils to prevent split ends.
Zinc and biotin
These nutrients help in keeping your mane healthy and shiny. Foods like red meat, salmon, pork, mushrooms, baked beans, chickpeas, nuts, avocados, bananas and raspberries are excellent to ensure the much-needed dose of zinc and biotin in your body.
Consume vitamin E-rich foods like broccoli, spinach and nuts as it stimulates oxygen intake and boosts blood circulation to your scalp thus giving you healthy, happy hair.
Iron deficiency can cause anaemia, which in turn can cause more fizziness, tangling and split ends in your hair. Eat foods like red meat, seafood, beans, dark green leafy vegetables, peas, raisins and apricots.
FAQs on what causes split ends and how to treat them
Do split ends stop hair growth?
Split ends don’t stop hair growth as your hair grows from the roots, not the tips of your hair - which is usually where split ends happen. However, split ends do cause your hair to break off, which can slow the process of hair growth as they break and split much faster than your scalp can produce new hair.
Do split ends run all the way up the hair shaft?
Yes, if left untouched, split ends can continue to split all the way up the hair shaft. This, in turn, damages your entire hair strand and constant breakage.
In the end, dry hair and rough grooming habits are what cause split ends in hair. Well, say goodbye to them with tips and tricks like nutritious food to the right haircare products as mentioned above!
Written by Lopa K on Oct 10, 2022