What Are Split Ends & How Can You Prevent Them?

22 March 2023 | Treatments

If you’re a compulsive checker for split ends, congratulations – you’ve just found the blog post that could change your life! A bit much? Maybe. But if you’re wondering what are split ends and, more importantly, you want to know how to prevent split ends, we have you covered.

No one likes split ends – that’s a given. But if you’re plagued by them, don’t worry because when you know what split ends are caused by, you’ll be better equipped to avoid them. Ready to kiss your split ends goodbye for good? Let’s get into it.

What Are Split Ends?

Are you suffering from schizotrichia or trichoptilosis? Yes, split ends have their own medical term and while it might be tempting to dismiss split ends as not that important in the grand scheme of things, they can still have a negative impact on your self image.

We all want our hair to look the very best it can, and when you have split ends, that’s not happening. So what are split ends? Split ends are when the fibres of the hair split or fray.

This usually happens at the ends of the strand – hence the name – but fraying can sometimes happen in the mid lengths of the hair too.

This results in the hair looking broken and asymmetrical at the ends, as well as dry and dull. That’s all thanks to the cuticles in your hair which cover the strand’s core. When the hair is split or frayed, these cuticles refuse to lie flat on the fibre.

When hair is healthy, the flattened cuticles reflect light to make it look shiny. When they’re damaged the light isn’t reflected as well, which results in the dullness we associate with split ends.

In addition to this, hair that is damaged in this way is more prone to knotting, tangling and further breakage.

What Are Split Ends Caused By?

Hopefully we’ve answered the question “what are split ends?” Now let’s take a look at what causes split ends so that you can then take the steps needed to prevent them.

While all hair types can suffer from split ends, some of us are naturally more susceptible to fraying and breakage than others. But there are certain factors that can contribute to the issue.

The way in which you style your hair can have a big impact on how healthy your locks are. And you may already know this, but we’ll say it anyway, pulling your hair back tightly from your hairline or scalp – i.e. in a tight ponytail or bun – is not making your hair happy.

Rocking an Ariane Grande high pony once in a while is fine, but constantly placing stress on your hair’s cuticles and follicles is only going to result in breakage – including the dreaded split ends.

You’re probably already aware of this too, but far be it for us to hold back: heated styling tools such as your trusty hairdryer, curlers and straighteners are also among your hair’s worst enemies.

The products you use can also cause split ends. Always check the ingredients when purchasing shampoo, conditioner and styling products. And make a promise to your locks to protect and pamper them with organic or natural products – such as this vegan nourishing conditioner for damaged hair by Davines.

Finally, while we’re asking what are split ends caused by, we should mention that your environment can also take its toll on your hair so if you spend a lot of time outside in the cold – or, less likely in this country but we’ll say it anyway! – the sun, this could also be damaging your hair. Either way, it could be time to go hat shopping…

How To Prevent Split Ends

Now we know what split ends are and what split ends are caused by, it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty. How do you prevent split ends? Luckily for you, we’ve got the answers.

Firstly, let’s start by saying that the only way to get rid of split ends is to chop them off. Split ends can’t be repaired – they can only be prevented. So your first step would be to book an appointment with your local, friendly salon (hint, hint) and then you can start from scratch.

In fact, booking a consultation with your hairdresser is a great place to start as they’ll be able to advise you on what’s causing your split ends in the first place and help you formulate a plan to banish future breakage.

You’ve had your split ends cut off? Great. Now here’s how you prevent split ends in the future.

  • Stop Towel Drying Your Hair

Split ends can be caused by you roughly towel drying your hair as this can not only weaken the cuticles but it can even break the hair’s fibres. Instead, gently squeeze excess water out of your hair using a microfibre towel or even an old t-shirt made from cotton.

  • Be Gentle When You Brush

In a similar vein, if you’re brushing your hair too harshly, you could also be weakening and breaking the cuticles and fibres. Refrain from brushing your hair when it’s soaking wet as it’s more liable to snap the strands and instead use a wide tooth comb or a paddle brush to detangle your locks once they’ve started to dry.

  • Use Heated Tools Sparingly

We’re not going to tell you to never use a hairdryer, straightener or curling tong ever again – after all, they’re the tools of our trade. But when you do use a heated tool, use it on the lowest heat setting possible. Also try to air dry your hair now and again – and ask yourself, do you really need to straighten or curl your hair today? 

  • Use A Heat Protectant

We know you’re still going to use heated tools to dry and style your hair, but if you want to know what split ends are caused by, one of the biggest culprits is heat. That’s because when the temperature is too high, it breaks the hair’s chemical bonds. Therefore, using a protectant before you flick the power switch on is crucial. Try Davines’ MELU Hair Shield which protects your hair from the stress caused by heat.

  • Use The Right Products

There are a number of great hair care products on the market that are specially formulated to help prevent the hair from breaking. So if you want to know how to prevent split ends and keep your post-salon locks in great shape, you need to consider what you’re using to wash, condition and style your ‘do. We love Davines’ anti-breakage MELU Shampoo and its matching conditioner – give them a whirl!

Kiss Your Split Ends Goodbye at Tierney Salons Hertford UK

What are split ends? It’s not a question you’ll need to ask ever again if you find the right stylist to restore your hair to its former glory by giving them the chop! 

Want a great haircut so you can start afresh? Need more advice on how to prevent split ends? The best hairdressers in Hertford should be your next stop (psst…that’s us). 

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Or feel free to jump straight in by booking an appointment today.