Split Ends 101: Causes & Treatments

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Ah, split ends. While some have been able to spot a split end since grade eight, others (the lucky ones) may not have encountered this side-effect of styling, sun, and dehydration on strands until later on in life. No matter when you first learned about split ends or noticed them on yourself, you may not actually know what they are and why they occur. 

Today, we dive deep into what split ends are, what causes split ends, and how you can avoid this pesky problem with the right hair repair products

What Are Split Ends? 

Split ends occur when the hair fiber splits or breaks due to damage. So if you’ve been wondering how to know if your hair is damaged, split ends are a key indicator. If you were to look at a split end, it would appear frayed or look like a wishbone coming off of the end of the hair shaft. This typically happens at the very tips of the hair strand, but anyone who has picked a split end (don’t do this) knows it can split and break away from the hair at any point. The higher up it splits, the more damaged the hair strand.

What Causes Split Ends? 

Split ends are the result of damage, and damage can occur to the hair for a variety of reasons. While no one is immune to split ends, some people suffer more of them for these reasons. If you are asking yourself“why do I get split ends?”, you will likely find your answer below.

Dryness 

Hair needs moisture, and when it lacks moisture it is prone to hair breakage. Dry ends, especially, will separate and break off easily. 

How To Avoid: Treat your hair with a restorative hair mask for damaged hair that will instantly infuse each strand with both nourishment and strength, such as our Restore Repair Mask. After just one 5-minute treatment, hair will be 20 times stronger and more resistant to breakage from styling damage.

The Environment

The weather can cause damage to your strands as well and lead to split ends. The sun’s rays, harsh winds, and air pollution are all damaging to the hair follicle. 

How To Avoid: While you can’t control the weather or the air quality, you can protect your strands from these environmental factors. Seal your ends with Restore Perfecting Spray, a featherweight leave-in that features marine-derived UV protection to keep hair protected from the sun. If you live somewhere with high levels of pollution, you may also want to work a scalp treatment into your routine as well.  

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Roughness 

Wet hair is fragile and prone to breaking, so roughly drying your hair with a towel or brushing it straight from the shower can actually cause the hair fibers to separate, break, and leave you with damaged strands and split ends. 

How To Avoid: Always be gentle with your hair. Use a leave-in conditioner after showering to increase slip and moisture and detangle with a wide tooth comb. Our Restore Repair Leave-In not only leaves hair silky and smooth for easy detangling but also helps to prevent up to 93% of new split ends typically caused by styling.In addition, it strengthens hair, leaving it 15 times stronger after just a single use.

Heat Styling

Curling irons, blow dryers, and flat irons can all cause heat damage. When heat is too high, it breaks the chemical bonds between the hair cuticle and the cortex. This parches strands and can cause the cuticle layer to break off.

How To Avoid: Heat protection is essential whenever you style with heat. Spritz your strands with a heat protectant spray before drying or styling with hot tools, such as our Restore Perfecting Spray, which features natural, beet-derived heat protection to help protect hair while styling up to 400° F or 200° C. Always use your blow dryer and hot tools on the lowest setting when possible as well. 

What Cures Split Ends?

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While you can do everything in your power to prevent split ends, the only true cure for how to fix damaged hair, once split ends occur, is to get a haircut. Once an end is split, the split can easily travel up the hair shaft and cause the strand to break much farther up. Getting a trim will not only prevent this from happening but also get rid of the damaged portion of hair to help hair look more even and grow more healthily.  

To maintain healthy looking and feeling locks that are less prone to hair damage and split ends, incorporate our Strength + Repair Collection into your routine. The nourishing shampoo and conditioner, leave-in products, and mask will all help repair dry, damaged hair and keep split ends at bay. Now that you know how split ends occur, find our hair products online and start your journey to healthier hair today. 

Sources:

https://www.oglf.org/prevent-split-ends/