Split Ends: Causes, Treatments And Effective Tips To Prevent Them

Healthy hair is smooth in texture, voluminous, full of life and ready to confront the world. However, at some point in our lives, all of us will have to deal with split ends. Sometimes even because of everyday wear and tear, our hair becomes susceptible to breakage and forms split ends. Other times it happens because of environmental or genetic factors. Moreover, basic things such as the pillow we sleep at night, the quality of hair products, the way we towel and comb it, all of these factors can keep your hair away from looking healthy.

Split ends are not only unpleasant to look at but also as a hinder to prevent hair from growing longer. The average rate of hair growth is around one-half inch per month. Severely damaged hair split constantly, therefore, they look like they don’t grow at all. For some people, it even becomes a habit to pick their split ends. Thus according to a new study in the UK, 50% admitted that they do it. And 80% out of these people were women. There should also be a distinction between frizzy hair and split ends as these phenomena are not the same thing as many people tend to think.

There is even a medical term used for split ends known as Trichoptilosis. But if you suffer from split ends, worry not as the phenomenon is widespread and it can also be treated.

However to learn more about split ends causes, treatments and some simple tips that you can adapt to your hair routine and prevent split ends from happening scroll down this article.

Photo by Hannah Morgan on Unsplash

What are split ends?

When the tips of our hair strands are frayed or split and look like an unraveled rope, that is what we call split ends. The hair structure is composed of three inner layers: cuticle, the cortex, and medulla. Also, hair is made of the hardened protein called keratin, while melanin is the pigment which gives color to our hair. When the cuticle (the outermost layer of hair) is damaged, keratin also weakens and, our hair is prone to split. Dry and thin hair is always more susceptible to split hair than thick hair. Also, there are 4 common types of split hair: double splits, partial splits, fork splits and tree splits. The most damaged type of these four is the tree split and if your hair ends are already this much damaged maybe you shall consider booking an appointment with your hairdresser. Trimming off a few inches of the split ends will help your hair grow faster and stronger. However, if your hair is at the first phases of split ends, there are some ways that you can treat them without the need to cut it off.


Split ends treatments

Related: Split Ends Treatments: 3 Simple Remedies For Split Ends.

There are various products that you can use to treat your split ends. Leaving aside serums and shampoos, let’s focus on some remedies that it’s very likely to have in your home.


Coconut, argan and almond oil if used regularly can be very effective to treat your split ends. Coconut oil is generally known as a moisturizer and natural nourisher of hair. You can take 2-4 teaspoons of coconut oil and apply it to your hair. If possible, put a shower cap and leave it during the night. As for Argan oil, you need to apply 1-2 drops of this oil from the mid-strand of the hair below to the hair tips. Then, leave it overnight and rinse. Argan oil is rich in antioxidants, fatty acids, and vitamin E and it helps repair your split ends. Another oil you can use is almond oil. Take 4-6 teaspoons of almond oil and heat it before applying it in your hair. Then leave it 1-2 hours or overnight if possible. Then rinse your hair and you’re good to go. Using these oils 2 to 3 times a week regularly can help you combat the battle with split ends quickly.

Egg Mask

Eggs are rich in proteins and sulfur and they help to repair split ends, strengthen the hair follicles and make the hair shinier. You can either use the egg white or yolk and mix them to ingredients like coconut oil and organic honey. Take an egg white, one tablespoon coconut oil, and one teaspoon organic honey to prepare this mask. Or you can take the yolk of an egg, mix it with one tablespoon of honey and three tablespoons of olive oil and apply the mixture in your hair. Leave it for 30 minutes and wash your hair. You will see the results soon if used regularly.


Honey is another ingredient that helps you treat split ends. To prepare a honey mask for your damaged hair take two teaspoons of honey with three teaspoons of olive oil, mix them and apply it in your hair. Leave the mixture around 30 minutes on your hair, then wash your hair gently. Do the mask once or twice a week.

Split Ends Photo by Yoann Boyer on Unsplash

Split ends causes

Exposure to heat and chemicals

Overusing different tools of heat like curlers, straightening irons, blow dryers and others can damage hair cuticles and it may lead to split ends. Also, the frequent dying of hair with products that contain chemicals like perms and relaxants are culprits of split ends. Overexposure to heat and chemicals can dry away your hair’s moisture and therefore encourage split ends.

Infrequent trimming

Split ends are unavoidable although you might feel that after a fresh haircut your hair is going to stay forever that healthy. You are mistaken, hairstylists recommend to snip it off every eight to twelve weeks. Not trimming your hair off becomes risky for the split to travel up the root.


The inherited conditions such as Trichorrhexis nodosa and Trichothiodystrophy are known to leave hair weak and brittle and cause split ends.

Some other factors that can cause split ends are nutritional factors, UV rays, the quality of hair products you use and extreme weather conditions.

How to avoid split ends?

1. Don’t wash your hair daily.

2. Limit exposure to heat and chemicals, when you do – apply protective hair products beforehand.

3. Prepare 1 or 2 hair masks per week to keep your hair healthy looking.

4. Use a wide-tooth comb and don’t comb your hair when wet.

5. Don’t overuse too many accessories for your hair often.

6. Be gentle with your hair and don’t rub the towel aggressively on it.

7. Trim your hair regularly. In this way, you make sure it’s healthy and safe from split ends.


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