Just like personalities, not all hair types are the same. Some are silky, smooth, and shiny, and others may be dry, brittle, and frizzy. The appearance of your tresses is the indicator of your hair health. If the hair is dry, dull, and damaged, it may be a sign of overuse of chemical products, excessive combing, or thermal treatments. Some other internal factors that can cause damaged locks may include genetics and nutrient deficiencies.
No matter what factors have damaged your hair, if you do not take care of them, they affect both the appearance and health of your hair. Split ends are one of the common indicators that your hair is not getting the care it deserves. They are the broken fibers at the end of the hair strand and they cause your tresses to look brittle, uneven, and straggly.
Regardless of the cause, split ends are preventable. Although they are irreversible, you can prevent them by following a proper hair care regime. But before we plunge into the discussion of how you can you get rid of the split hair fibers, let’s understand what they are and what causes them.
Split Ends—What Are They?
Split ends are known as schizotrichia or trichoptilosis in medical terminology. They are the result of splitting and fraying of the hair ends. Although split ends typically appear at the end of the hair strands, the splitting can go further up as well. They crop up when a hair shaft splits up into multiple hair strands at the tip. Intense hair splits are a sign of unhealthy and damaged hair.
Once your hair fiber is split, it may lead to continuous damage. Hair experts see this progressive damage as “weathering.” Your hair becomes tangled and frizzy. Repeated exposure to chemicals or styling tools on your hair affects the protective layer. As a result, the cuticles of your hair get damaged. Also, they no longer maintain their protective function. Once your hair loses its protective layer, it becomes susceptible to further damage and breakage.
Almost all hair types may get split ends due to various ethnic and non-genetic reasons. However, split ends may differ in the degree of severity. That means your hair may have split ends (more or less) depending on your hair care regime. If your hair has more split ends, you might be using intense chemical formulas/hair products, or styling tools too frequently. Sometimes, environmental conditions and lifestyle are the reasons your hair is prone to split ends.
The Different Types of Split Ends in Hair
You might not have heard this before, but there are different types of split ends. Although their origin is the same—damage and weathering—it does not mean that each split fiber is the same. All women have a different, personal, and unique way of washing, coloring, brushing, and flat ironing their tresses. According to hair experts, there are countless combinations and types of split ends.
Take a look at some of the common ones.
The Basic Split
This is one of the common types of split ends and shows the early stages of split development. In this type, the cortical cells of your hair are held together while the large sections begin to separate.
This indicates that your hair strand needs proper nourishment. Since it is the beginning stage of a split end, you can help your hair fiber seal the ends with a healthy hair-care routine.
The mini is another common type of split and one of the signs of early split end development. These split ends are comparatively shorter in length than the basic split ends. However, they indicate that your hair is deprived of the nourishment it needs. You can repair the ends before it is too late.
Fork Split Ends
As the name implies, the split ends have a fork shape. This type of split end is less common compared to mini and basic ends. The fork-shaped split ends are a sign of widespread damage to your hair. That means the splitting is significant and your hair needs hair-repair treatments such as hair masks and deep conditioning.
Tree-shaped split ends show that one side of a hair strand is more damaged compared to the other. The damaged part branches out into multiple twigs of cortical cells as they begin to separate. Hair with tree-shaped split ends needs trimming and cutting. Also, your hair needs products that can protect it from further wear and tear if it has tree-shaped split ends.
The Reasons You Have Split Ends in Your Hair
Split ends develop rapidly if they are not taken care of at the early stages. There are numerous damaging factors that can contribute to the process that degrades the end of your hair cuticles.
Physical Manipulation and Damage
As mentioned earlier, your hair goes through a lot in terms of poor physical handling and maintenance. Damaging factors include the use of styling tools and chemical products. Plus, the way you handle, touch, detangle, tie, or even brush your locks can affect their health as well. Physical damage is one of the most common reasons that cuticles break down slowly.
No other hair product damages your hair the way styling tools do. Excessive heat not only causes damage to your hair ends but also makes them fragile and prone to severe weathering.
Whether it is cold and dry, or sunny and humid, the harsh climate can take a toll on your tresses. If you are someone who has a busy outdoor schedule, you are likely to expose your hair to the environment more frequently. It can accelerate the damage.
Tips for Getting Rid of Split Ends
You can use the following tips to get rid of split ends:
- Choose the right brush type and detangle your hair gently. Know that split ends cause incremental damage over time. Handling hair vigorously can speed up the growth of split ends.
- Avoid styling tools as much as you can. Excessive use speeds up the weathering and wear and tear.
- Use heat protectors before using styling tools.
- Stay hydrated as it will help you protect your locks from environmental damage.
- Don’t forget to nourish your hair with natural deep conditioning methods and treatments. It will help fortify your hair and prevent split ends.
- Wear scarves and hats to prevent damage from the harsh climate.
- Go for a hair trimming once a month to get rid of the early broken fibers.
Overall, split ends show that your hair needs nourishment and care. You can prevent split ends by following the simple tips in this article. But if weathering is severe, it is better to cut them off.