Split ends are a force to reckon with when it comes to growing longer and thicker hair. When not taken care of, they will only get worse and leave your hair uneven, dry, and increasingly shorter. Read through to the end to find out how you can identify split ends, what causes them, and how you can treat hair with split ends.
What Do Split Ends Look Like?
In medical terms, split ends are referred to as trichoptilosis or schizotrichia. They happen when the ends of your hair splay into two or more. The split can be at the tips of your hair or further up and it’s a sign of damaged hair. A split strand of hair looks like a rope that’s unraveled at the ends. You can examine your hair by loosening it and putting it in front of your eyes. If you see that several hairs are forked in two or three, then you have split ends.
You can also pluck out your hair and hold it under a magnifying glass to look for splits.
If you’ve noticed that your hair is dry and tangled at the tips yet it’s smooth at the top, then it may have split ends. You can also detect split ends by plaiting your hair into braids that are about 1 inch wide each. If it tappers drastically from the top to the tip, then it’s highly likely that you have split ends.
What Causes Split Ends?
Split ends occur when the hair cuticle of your hair shaft is damaged so it loses cuticle layers, becomes weak, and splits or frays. This could be as a result of many factors that are aggressive on your hair:
Using flat-irons, curling irons, and blow dryers excessively causes split ends. Heat styling is able to change the state of your hair by breaking down the polypeptide chains in its structure. If you do this too often, it weakens your hair.
Changing your hair color may be fun since you get to tweak your looks a little bit but it’s a costly move. Hair color strips your hair of its natural moisture and oils which leaves your hair dry and vulnerable to getting split ends.
Chemicals used on hair such as relaxers and perms can also cause split ends. They work the same way as heat styling by altering the structure of the hair. If not done properly, chemicals destroy your hair cuticles so it becomes weak and prone to split ends.
Using Rubber Bands
You’ve probably noticed how much hair comes off when you remove a rubber band that you’ve used to tie a ponytail. Friction is created between the rubber band and your hair which causes the breaking and splitting of your hair ends.
Brushing and combing your hair too often will break your hair and cause split ends. Brushing your hair too aggressively also weakens your hair and splits its ends. This is because of the friction that is created between your brush or comb and your hair. Your hair will split even more when you brush it while wet because that’s when hair is at its weakest.
Washing your hair with shampoo too often strips it of its natural oils. The ends of your hair fall victim to dryness because they’re the farthest from your scalp.
When you wash your hair and dry it with an ordinary towel, it will split. The fibers on these towels are usually too rough on your hair and the friction damages it.
How to Prevent Split Ends
Here are some tips you prevent split ends from occurring:
- Trim the ends of your hair regularly to prevent split ends from getting to a point where they affect the appearance and texture of your hair
- When heat-styling, apply a heat protectant before styling your hair. You should also lower the temperature you use or let your hair dry on its own
- Before applying hair color or chemical treatments, use products that protect your hair from color damage like conditioner which reduces the drying out of your hair
- Limit how often you apply chemical treatments on your hair
- Instead of using a rubber band, use a fabric-covered hair tie or a scrunchie to reduce friction on your hair
- Limit washing your hair to a maximum of thrice a week and ensure you use conditioner to protect it from dryness
- If your hair is too detangled, avoid over-brushing it and instead use a conditioner to help with the detangling process
- Use a microfiber towel or an old t-shirt to dry your hair because they are more gentle
How to Treat Split Ends
You can treat hair with split ends using home remedies and essential oils. They will help you achieve lustrous and healthier hair that’s free of split ends.
Best Essential Oils to Cure Split Ends
Some of the essential oils that help you with split ends include:
Lavender oil can repair split ends and keep them from developing again. It conditions your hair so deeply that split ends are repaired and prevented from recurring.
Just like lavender oil, rosemary oil hydrates your hair and stops it from breaking. It also promotes the growth of healthy hair.
Clary sage oil is very good for the hair because it’s easily absorbed into the hair follicles. Once it’s in, it boosts hair growth and prevents the loss of hair through breakages.
Cedarwood is great for your hair because it stimulates the hair follicles, leading to an increase in hair growth. It also repairs split ends, makes hair stronger, and reduces frizz.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is very instrumental in treating a lot of hair conditions including split ends, cradle cap, dandruff, and lice. It also strengthens your hair so that it’s not lost.
Which essential oils promote hair growth?
Best Home Remedies to Heal Split Ends
A lot of ingredients that you can easily find at home can be used to treat split ends and they are as follows:
You can make a hair mask using egg yolk to help in healing split ends. Since it has proteins, it strengthens your hair strands, and split ends are prevented in the process. It’s also a moisturizer and conditioner so it prevents dryness that often results in split ends. You can mix the egg yolk with honey, almond oil, and olive oil for the best results.
Coconut oil is like the miracle cure for most hair problems including split ends. It’s an excellent moisturizer so it smooths your hair and prevents split ends that are caused by mechanical damage.
Spare some of your beer to apply it to your hair because it has amazing benefits. The protein and sugar in it strengthen your hair follicles and so treats split ends. It also adds to your hair thickness and is a great conditioner.
Aloe vera is not just good for your skin but your hair as well. It has enzymes that get rid of dead cells that are clogging your pores to let the hair grow. This way, it treats damaged air and split ends.
Rice papaya is very moisturizing to your hair follicles and scalp so it prevents dryness and breakages. The folic acid in it improves blood circulation so your hair will be well-nourished to promote healthy growth.
Honey is a natural humectant so applying it will help your hair stay hydrated so it won’t develop split ends caused by dryness. It also prevents split ends by strengthening your hair follicles.
Chamomile prevents the splitting of your hair tips by removing dead cells in pores to allow the healthy growth of hair. This also helps keep your hair and scalp clean.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Applying apple cider vinegar to your hair smoothes it and therefore, protects it from breakages. You can apply it soon after shampoo-washing your hair.
Hair without split ends is something that many people have tried to achieve but it has remained a pipe dream. The home remedies and essential oils above are bound to get you ahead of the game with healthy hair without any breakages. Start your hair routine today and you won’t regret it!