There are few hair-related horrors worse than split ends, and anyone who has experienced them would agree. Many questions come up when it comes to the topic of split ends, so it’s great that you’ve found this article. We’re going to delve deeply into what split ends are, what causes them, whether leave-in conditioner prevents them, and more.
What Are Split Ends?
The term “split ends” refers to split hair strands. Healthy hair strands are whole, without any frayed sections. On the contrary, hair that has split ends has been damaged to the point that the hair strand has split into two or more sections.
What many don’t know is that there are several types of split ends. Some of them include:
- Traditional split ends- When a hair strand is split near the ends of the hair.
- Incomplete split ends- When the hair is weak and has begun the process of splitting, but the ends are not fully separated yet.
- Tree Split ends – When a hair strand is split all over the strand, either on one side of the strand or both.
- Deep Split ends – When a hair strand is split high up the hair shaft.
Hair strands that have split ends are fragile, and it doesn’t take much for the hair to break off completely. Leaving split ends untreated can take you from having healthy hair to uneven, brittle hair very quickly.
How Do I Know If I Have Split Ends?
Split ends are easily seen with the naked eye. So, it is easy to figure out whether you have split ends. Take a look at your hair very closely; if you have split ends, your hair will not look like a single, smooth hair strand. Instead, it will look like the hair has been split.
For instance, if you have traditional split ends, the end of your hair will look like the letter “Y”. If you have an incomplete split, your hair strand will have a small hole in it.
You may also have split ends if:
- Your hair is prone to tangles and difficult to detangle. When you have split ends, you will notice that your hair tangles easily and is hard to detangle. So, if it’s suddenly become a chore to detangle your hair, it may be that you have split ends.
- Your hair looks like it’s stopped growing. While your hair is always growing, if you have bad split ends, your hair may be breaking off at a quicker rate than it’s growing. This creates the illusion that your hair is not growing.
- Your hair looks dry and dull. Healthy hair strands are shiny and supple, but split ends give the hair a dry, dull look that you can’t ignore.
What Are the Causes of Split Ends?
If you’re wondering “Why do I have split ends?”, you are not alone. Many who develop split ends have no idea why they got them. There are several causes of split ends, and we will go over these in this section.
Tension is one of the main causes of split ends. The point where the tension was applied eventually weakens and can start to split.
Using Heat on Your Hair Without a Heat Protectant
Frying your hair regularly without adequate thermal protection damages your hair’s cuticle over time, making it prone to split ends.
Chemicals have the potential to wear away your hair’s cuticle, causing your hair to become split and frayed. Common sources of chemical damage include:
- Hair coloring
- Hair bleaching
- Hair relaxers
- Hair perms
Washing Your Hair Too Often
If you wash your hair too often, you could get split ends. Every time you wash your hair, you could potentially be washing away your scalp’s natural oils, leaving your hair overly dry. Dry hair is prone to split ends.
Mechanical damage to the hair shaft drastically increases your chance of split ends. Combing through your hair in a rough manner can tear through your hair strands, causing your hair to become brittle and split.
Split End Treatments
Once you develop split ends, it’s time to determine what you’re going to do about them. Split end treatments are everywhere.
There are many split end repair products on the market that claim to get rid of your split ends. Many of these products have hair smoothing ingredients in them. While they may help to improve the appearance of your split ends, they do not actually get rid of them.
How to Get Rid of Split Ends
The only way to get rid of split ends is to cut them off. Once the hair’s cuticle and inner layers have been torn apart, they cannot be fused back together again. This is why you have to cut the hair above the split portion of the strand to get rid of split ends.
How to Prevent Split Ends
The best way to avoid split ends is to prevent them in the first place. There are several ways to reduce your chances of developing split ends.
You can prevent split ends by doing the following:
- Refrain from washing your hair too often.
- Don’t put your hair in tight ponytail holders or rubber bands.
- Limit the use of heat tools.
- Protect your hair from the elements.
- Deep condition your hair on a regular basis.
- Be gentle when combing or otherwise manipulating your hair.
- Use a leave-in conditioner to keep your hair moisturized and protected in between washes.
If you treat your hair well, the hair’s cuticle will stay intact, and you will not develop split ends.
Does Leave-in Conditioner Prevent Split Ends?
Leave-in conditioner can certainly prevent split ends. That is, if the leave-in has ingredients in it that are nourishing to the hair. A good leave-in conditioner will moisturize and protect your hair throughout the entire day or longer.
Daily Dose Leave-In Conditioner is formulated with nourishing ingredients like:
- Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice
- Cetearyl Alcohol
- Cetyl Alcohol
This leave-in conditioner was formulated to smooth and strengthen your hair strands while moisturizing it deeply. Spraying this leave-in conditioner on your hair daily will give your hair what it needs daily to prevent split ends.
Author: Andrea Reyes
Andrea is a mother, wife, writer, and natural hair enthusiast of 15 years. Currently on her natural hair journey, she’s been trying countless products and techniques to understand and embrace her natural hair. She is the creator of NaturallyTextured.com, a new website featuring informative articles that share tips, tricks, and techniques aimed to help others learn to love their hair through proper hair care. She writes with the hope of making hair care easier to understand and implement.