Having your hair’s ends split is quite annoying. Especially if this is the first time you’ve let your hair grow a bit more, you may be caught off-guard by splits end. After all, you’ve specifically let your hair grow to become more beautiful and eye-catching, and instead, it splits and looks disastrous.
So, what do you need to know about split ends? We’ll cover everything below, from how to tell if you have split ends in the first place, to what types of split ends are there and why are split ends bad?
What are split ends?
Split ends are actually perfectly normal for longer hair. Split ends are what happens to each individual hair once it’s grown too long and too old – the external damage it has accumulated over the months and sometimes even years becomes too extensive, it’s finds it too difficult to draw nourishment from the scalp because it’s too far away from it, and so it splinters.
There are several different types of split ends:
- A basic split in two as if the hair has been cut in half along its length.
- A “candle” split where the end of the hair is still singular but it gets thinned out.
- A “tree” split where the hair’s end splits into 3-6 different endings like a tree branch.
The candle split is a bit more difficult to notice with a naked eye but the other two types are unmistakable. Whenever you notice that your hair’s ends are beginning to split, it’s time to take action. The fact that this is something normal doesn’t mean it’s “good” or that it should be tolerated.
Why are split ends bad?
There are multiple reasons why splits end should be acted upon as soon as they are seen. Most women react immediately when they notice them but many younger girls and long-haired men (we’re looking at you, metalheads), postpone dealing with their split ends for too long.
Here are the main reasons why split ends are bad:
- They are ugly – plain and simple.
- They are uncomfortable because they start snagging on each other and are harder to comb.
- Split ends will continue to split your hair if left untreated and won’t just stay at its end.
- Split ends will also indirectly cause more damage to your hair by making it harder to comb it.
- If some of your hairs have started to split that means more will split pretty soon as well.
What can cause your hair’s ends to split?
Split ends are normal for long hair because they are caused by factors that are pretty much unavoidable in our daily life. The main things that cause split ends include:
- Friction with clothes, hats, jackets and scarves, chairs and seats, and so on.
- Combing and styling your hair will also slowly cause wear and tear to your hair’s ends.
- Heat hair tools lead to split ends very quickly as they are quite damaging to your hair.
- Environmental factors also contribute – wind, sun, too humid or too dry air, and so on, will wear and tear your hair over time.
- Internal factors such as dehydration, improper diet, insufficient exercise, and stress will also lead to split ends. The longer your hair is, the better nourishment and healthy lifestyle it requires to stay in a good condition from its roots to its ends.
How to deal with and prevent split ends?
There is only one way to deal with split ends – cut them off. That’s why you need to deal with them as soon as possible because the worse they get the more of your hair you’re going to have to cut off.
As far as prevention goes, however, there’s far more you can do:
- Stay healthy – proper hydration, quality nourishment, and ample exercise are a must not only for your overall health but for your hair as well.
- Don’t use heat hair tools! These can damage your hair very quickly and severely. You don’t need to outright burn your hair off to damage it with a heating tool so either don’t use them at all or at least use them only on their lowest settings.
- Be gentle with your hair when you comb, brush, wash, or style it. Avoid playing with your hair too much and only use hair clips, barrettes, and hairbands that are sparing for the hair.
- Use hair products that don’t include too many (or any) toxic chemicals.
- Utilize protective hairstyles, especially in harsh weather such as in the winter colds or the hottest summer days.