Split ends are a common problem that afflicts many of us, damaging the appearance and health of our hair.
They can occur due to several reasons, including excessive use of heat tools, poor moisturisation, high exposure to sunlight and the use of harsh chemicals. To deal with this problem, it is crucial to understand the causes so as to take appropriate preventive measures.
In this article we will look in detail at the different causes of split ends and give you valuable tips on how to prevent their occurrence. We will also explore the treatments available to reduce and eliminate split ends, focusing on a highly effective natural solution: the snail slime and plant keratin hair mask.
What are split ends?
Split ends are the result of the hair shaft fraying or separating into two or more fragments, and most commonly occur in long hair, when the outermost layer of the hair shaft, the cuticle, is damaged.
It's a misconception that split ends only affect the ends of the hair; the hair can in fact divide anywhere along their shaft.
Different types of split ends
Find out what kind of split ends you have in your hair and what are their causes.
- Branch split ends: They are the most common type and also the typical example of early split development. In these cases the cortical cells are still largely held together but large sections begin to separate. This type of hair breakage indicates a need for more nourishment. A hair mask could help reverse the damage, because it will nourish your hair, while also hydrating your scalp and improving the health and condition of your hair.
- Split ends with double Y: they are less common but are the example of a more damaged hair fiber due to lack of regular hydration. Your hair needs deeper conditioning mask treatments, as well as a couple more cuts a year.
- Split tree ends : In this case more damage has occurred to one side of the hair fiber than the other and, as a result, different “branches” of cortical cells begin to form. Hair needs an urgent cut and products that protect it from atmospheric agents.
- Thinning split ends: These are examples of significant loss of the outer cuticle, with no cracking having started, yet but very likely to start at any time. Your hair needs a cut and a split ends treatment or a nourishing essential oil to control the damage.
- Split knot ends: frequent in curly hair because they get tangled and create knots. When brushing, the action is likely to cause the hair in that spot to break. So, brush them gently so as not to cause breakage.
What are the causes of split ends?
Split ends are often a sign of over-processed and damaged hair. However, environmental and nutritional factors can also play a significant role.
Physical damage is the most common cause of split ends, such as for example drying them with rough towels, brushing them with stiff brushes, combing them and styling them with heat (using hair dryers, curling irons, or straighteners).
Chemical damage is also widespread. Perms, color treatments, and bleaches can all contribute to hair damage just like using the wrong hair care products for your specific hair type.
Exposure to exogenous agents of the environment, such as direct sunlight, strong winds and salt water, is also one of the factors that can cause split ends. Of course, the way we nourish our bodies also affects the condition of our hair: an unbalanced diet can make them more susceptible to damage.
How to get rid of split ends
Be careful how you dry your hair with the towel. Your hair is most vulnerable when you blow-dry it, so how you treat it post-shower will make a huge difference to the amount of split ends you are likely to experience. Apply light pressure by gently squeezing excess water out of the hair using a towel.
Be careful with the hair dryer. The longer you leave your hair exposed to heat, the more likely it is to get damaged. Avoid applying heat directly to the ends of the hair and rather focus on the roots and mid-lengths. Always keep the blow dryer moving to distribute the heat evenly. When you can, air dry your hair.
Pay attention to the heat of the plate. As the hair reaches its optimal shapeability at 180°, a higher temperature may damage it. Excessive heat burns keratin (which dissipates above 200°), which contributes to hair shine, strength and softness.
Do not use a brush. When brushing your hair It is always good to start with a wide-toothed comb and there is no need to add pressure or brush vigorously, especially when wet, because hair is much more pliable and prone to damage.
Book a keratin treatment. Keratin treatments are especially amazing if you suffer from split ends. These treatments take advantage of a large dose of protein (mainly keratin), which, when blow-dried on the hair, smoothes and strengthens brittle strands that would usually be prone to fraying.
So, how do they work? Well, they harness a large dose of protein (mostly keratin), which, when blow-dried into your hair, smoothes and strengthens brittle strands that would usually be prone to fraying.
Change your shampoo and conditioner. While there are no shampoos or conditioners that can get rid of split ends, choosing products with moisturizing ingredients can help mask them.
Book a haircut. Even if you are growing them because the longer it takes for the hair to be cut, the easier it is for breakage and split ends. For optimal hair growth, trim every 6-8 weeks.
How to hide split ends
Hair masks are deep conditioning treatments that help restore hair moisture and strengthen the hair shaft. They are great for hiding split ends and improving the overall look of your hair.
Snail slime is an extraordinary ingredient that has been proven effective in the regeneration and repair of tissues, including hair. Rich in nutrients, including allantoin, vitamins and proteins, snail slime can penetrate deep into damaged strands, moisturising them and reducing the appearance of split ends.
Its regenerating action contributes to restoring strength and elasticity to damaged hair, helping to reduce split ends.
Plant keratin is another natural solution that can help fight split ends. Being a protein similar to the one naturally present in hair, plant keratin can rebuild the structure of damaged hair and improve the strength of the ends, reducing their breakage and split ends.
How to prevent split ends
This is why prevention is essential to keep hair healthy and free from split ends. While you may not be able to completely avoid split ends, you can limit how often they develop.
Be gentle with damp hair
Wet hair is vulnerable to damage, so it's important to care for your locks gently after shampooing and conditioning.
Some people have the habit of drying their hair with a towel, but this can damage them. Frequent rubbing can cause hair breakage. It can also damage your cuticles, causing split ends or frizz.
Instead of rubbing your hair, towel dry your hair to prevent breakage and damage.
Reduce the use of hair dryers, straighteners and curling irons
The use of heated appliances on the hair, especially every day, can dry it out and change their protein structure. If possible, let them air dry after washing them, then style them without using a curling iron, straightener, or blow dryer.
If you need to use appliances (blow dryers, straighteners), try lowering the heat setting. You can also apply a heat protectant before drying or styling to avoid heat damage.
Detangle your hair
Tangled hair, either wet or dry, can be difficult to comb or brush. So always detangle them before blow drying, brushing or styling using a wide tooth comb.
The wider teeth allow the comb to glide through the hair without damaging the ends or causing breakage.
Moisturize your hair
Keeping your strands moisturized is also key to preventing split ends . Dryness can weaken hair, especially at the ends, which can lead to damage and split ends.
To add moisture to your hair use a weekly hair mask. A hair mask is a deep conditioning treatment that can infuse your hair with moisture and reduce frizz and dryness.
A mask can also reduce the risk of damage to your hair, making them softer and shinier.
The products contained in a hair mask are usually more concentrated than those you find in an instant conditioner. In addition, the mask stays on the hair longer - from 20 minutes to several hours or even overnight.
Do not use chemical treatments often or more than one at a time
Chemical treatments like dyes or perms can have a negative impact, especially if you use them often and do more than one treatment at a time.
If you need more than one type of treatment: before perming your hair, for example, wait 2 weeks before going through the colour.
Apply a hair mask once a week or use an instant conditioner every time you wash your hair.