Simple ways to treat and get rid of split ends

This article explains ways to get rid of split ends which are a sign of hair damage. To get rid of them, restoring hair health is necessary. It will, in turn, help in the treatment of split ends or trichoptilosis.


Split ends are an annoying hair condition as it recurs frequently. It can spoil our new hair cut, leaving our hair frizzy and unsightly. Split ends are a sign of hair damage. It makes our hair look dull and dry. There are many effective ways to prevent split ends. Most of us think that frequently trimming our hair ends or getting a hair cut is the only solution. However, there are lots of other simple tips that will help in getting rid of them. Thus, every time we see them on our hair strands, we don't have to pick a scissor to get rid of them. Instead, follow below-mentioned tips to treat and get rid of them.

Why are split ends a sign of hair damage?

Split ends is much more than unsightly recurring hair issue. It stops hair growth. It causes structural harm to hair strands by splitting them. Not taking proper care of hair can wear off cuticle of the hair. The cuticle is the outermost layer and offers protection to the hair strand. Once it is damaged, the inner layer gets exposed. Gradually hair becomes weak and dehydrated. This kind of hair damage makes hair ends to split. Split ends cause hair breakage. Thus, there is uneven hair length. Those suffering from split ends should know that split hair is not just a hair condition that can be treated by getting a hair cut but has to be taken more seriously as it is a sign of underlying hair damage.


Trichoptilosis is another name for split ends. It is a hair condition which is characterized by splitting of hair strand near the tip. This condition can affect a few hair strands. If not taken care of can occur in all of them and give hair feather-like appearance. If the condition is not timely treated, it can cause breakage of hair. Thus, one may suffer from uneven hair length as those hair strands with split ends become shorter in length due to hair breakage. In trichoptilosis, hair splits longitudinally. Splits not only look discoloured but also appear weak and thin. It is the reason hair strands with split ends breaks easily and there is the uneven length. Also, hair tangles frequently in case of those who suffer from split ends. Usually, the hair strand splits at the end. However, sometimes it also splits in the middle. Usually, the hair strand splits into 2-3 tips. Also, it is not uncommon for the tips to split further resembling branches of the tree and giving the feather-like appearance to the hair.

Causes of split ends

There are lots of causes of split ends. Below-mentioned is a list of possible causes responsible for it.

  • The heat from excessive use of hair styling appliances,
  • Too old hair ends,
  • Too much dryness and brittleness in hair,
  • Too frequent hair washes,
  • Too frequent and forceful hair brushing,
  • Use of wrong brushes and combs,
  • Frequent exposure to chemical treatments,
  • Frequent use of hair products with harmful chemicals,
  • Too frequent hairstyling with serums and gels,
  • Change in weather,
  • Too much exposure to dust and pollution,
  • Malnourishment,
  • Too frequent hair colouring,
  • Not using natural conditioners,
  • Ageing,
  • Too much exposure to sunlight,
  • Frequent hot water hair baths,
  • Use of hard water to take hair baths

Ways to treat split ends and bring back hair health

  1. Consume hair-friendly nutrients- There are certain nutrients essential in maintaining hair health. Daily fulfilling of body's requirement of such nutrients are essential to ensure our hair remains healthy and free from damage. When hair is healthy, we can easily prevent split ends which are a sign of damaged hair. Thus, daily consume a nutritious balanced diet which is rich in vitamins, healthy fats and protein. Include healthy fats such as omega-3 fatty acids in the diet. Vitamin E is particularly necessary for hair health. It is usually found in green leafy vegetables, healthy nuts, healthy seeds and vegetable oil.
  2. Get rid of split ends by regularly trimming the ends- Split ends do prevent hair growth. If not taken care in the very beginning, the split may travel the entire length of hair and divide it into two. Thus, use scissors or hair shears to cut them. Cut should be 1/4th of an inch above split end. Anything below it will make a split end to reappear again. It can be done at home if only a few hair strands are affected with split ends. However, one has to go to parlours and get the trimming done if the situation has worsened and almost all hair are looking damaged and giving that feathery look.
  3. Choose hair products carefully- When suffering from split ends, it becomes essential to use the right hair product that minimizes the damage and do more good to bring back hair health. While purchasing shampoos and conditioners purchase the ones which promise to repair, moisturize and hydrate hair. It is because the aim is to get rid of dryness from hair, and add some moisture and offer nourishment to it which will help it to become strong and healthy which will in turn treat split ends. These products cannot heal the split ends or seal them in any way. They are just meant to restore lost hair health. Do not purchase anything that causes further dryness. Relying on natural ingredients for washing and conditioning hair is a much better option to treat split ends. The lesser the hair is exposed to chemicals, better will be the healing process
  4. Deep condition them- Deep conditioning is different from regular conditioning that is done after rinsing shampoo. Deep conditioning of split ends should be done at least 2-3 times every month that enables repair and restoration from deep inside. When damage gets repaired, split ends get corrected. Deep conditioning mask should be kept on hair for 30 minutes before rinsing with water. Purchase them from the market or make them at home. Both are effective in restoring strength and moisture in hair shafts. Also, deep conditioning is one of the best ways to conceal damaged hair and split ends. With regular deep conditioning treatments, hair's appearance and health improve.
  5. Never pick at them- Most of us pick at our split ends thinking that it is as good as trimming. However, we have to understand that we are doing much worse to our hair health when we pick or peel our split ends. When we rip them apart, we are further weakening hair shaft and increasing the risk of more split ends. Thus, we should not tear split ends with force and not think that breaking off split end is as good as trimming the ends. Instead of correcting the problem, it will worsen it and invite more of them.
  6. Avoid use of harsh chemicals- It is beneficial to go all-natural. However, if that cannot be done, at least try to avoid applying hair products which are free from chemicals such as sulfates and silicones. Avoid purchasing shampoos with sulfates or sulfites in them as this chemical can further dry up hair and worsen split ends. Also, avoid purchasing the hair products if there is silicone in it. This chemical can make hair smooth but the disadvantage is that it builds upon hair over time and makes hair look dull. The bad news is that it can only be wiped away by good lather created by sulfate chemical.
  7. Use hair serums and leave-in conditioner- Good hair serums are available in the market. Apply them once a week to hair as they not only offer them a lustre but also have a conditioning ability. Apply them in the generous amount on hair ends and concentrate on split ends to treat them. Similarly, leave-in conditioner is equally effective in protecting weak hair and split ends from regular damages caused during washing, combing and drying process. It also offers protection from the harsh environment. Leave-in conditioners can be store-bought or can use natural ingredients such as almond oil, coconut oil and shea butter. Apply leave-in conditioner on hair and focus on hair ends. It will effectively smoothen the ends and give hair lustre and enough moisture that will help split ends to repair.

Tips to avoid causing damage to split ends

Below-mentioned precautions will prevent breakage of split ends and further weakening of hair shafts.

  • Pillowcases should be smooth and not coarse. Thus, use the one which is made with silk or satin to avoid causing the friction and breakage of split ends. Egyptian cotton is also an alternative. We may end up tearing our split ends if we sleep on cotton or linen pillowcases.
  • Let the hair dry naturally. Trying to dry hair using hair dryer can worsen the split ends and increase dryness in hair shafts. Also, avoid using hair straighteners, curlers and other styling equipment unless the hair is restored to its original health.
  • Hairs with split ends are weak. Do not comb or brush forcefully. Thus, brushing or combing should be done with correct technique to prevent tearing and hair breakage. Always begin combing at the ends and gradually work in an upward direction. Always work with a small section at one time.

Frequently Asked Questions

How regularly should one trim hair to prevent split ends?
Hair splits approximately 3 months. Thus, it is beneficial to trim hair quarterly to prevent split ends and avoid all the damage that split ends can cause to the hair.
Why do frequent hair washes cause split ends?
Too frequent hair washes mean that too frequently hair will be ripped from natural oil. Consequently, hair becomes dry and brittle and becomes susceptible to developing split ends easily.
How to differentiate between split ends and dead ends?
Split ends are the splitting of hair at the ends and gradually progressing upwards. However, in split ends the hair does not lose its original texture. Whereas in dead ends, hair becomes dry and rough in texture.
What should be the temperature of water for hair wash?
Cold water showers are good for hair. In the winter season, use lukewarm water but do not engage in hot showers. Cold water seals the hair ends and cuticles and prevents split ends.
Why is hot water damaging to the hair with split ends?
Hot showers cause swelling of hair cuticles. This will increase the risk of the formation of more split ends. Thus, avoid hot water showers as much as possible.
Is hard water damaging to split ends?
To prevent split ends, hair should be able to absorb moisture. Hard water makes that difficult because it contains a high amount of calcium and magnesium in it that settles on hair and prevents absorption of moisture leading to split ends.
How to shampoo hair with split ends?
Never scrub the hair ends with too much force while shampooing. Instead, focus on cleansing the scalp. Only shampoo twice a week and rinse with cold water at the end.
Does oil help in split ends?
Oils nourish the hair and keep them well moisturized which will prevent split ends. Also, those already having split ends can use oil in a small amount to conceal their split ends and give a healthy look to their hair.
Why do my split ends look white?
When the hair is subjected to fracture then it makes split ends appear white. Only when hair is damaged to great extent, its ends appear white.
What is the right way to dry hair with split ends?
Use a microfiber towel to wrap your hair after showering. Be gentle while patting hair with the towel to avoid hair breakage and damage. Only brush or comb after the hair is dry and do it gently.


Author: Swati Sharma22 Nov 2020 Member Level: Gold   Points : 2

Very helpful tips given by the author of the article. In today's time, due to a poor lifestyle, we are not able to pay attention to ourselves at all. Poor eating affects our health as well as our hair. If you lack care for your hair, then your hair starts getting damaged and split. And once this problem has happened, why should you try any more then you do not get rid of this problem so easily. Your split ends point towards damaged hair.

To keep the hair shiny and healthy from the roots, there is a strong need for good food. Take the appropriate amount of proteins and vitamins in your daily diet. Healthy fats like omega-3s give hair a shine and make it strong. For healthy hair, include sources of vitamin E in your diet, such as green vegetables, walnuts, almonds, peanuts.

Author: Dr. Sanchita Ranjan22 Nov 2020 Member Level: Gold   Points : 2

Very nice article written by the author from a health point of view.
Nowadays, healthy hair is going to be a dream for many of us. I noticed that most of the people having a hair problem. Baldness is seen as a common problem in people either man or women. Split ends are also a common problem in the same manner. It is true that for keeping healthy hair we need a lot of care. There are many reason behind damage hair such as lack of balanced diet, unhealthy lifestyle, use of chemical added hair product, much exposure to heat, not proper washing of hair etc.
There is a great need to be cared for keeping healthy hair. Else, our hair would get damage before time. Healthy diet especially protein and vitamin E rich food as well as a chemical-free hair product is an essential requirement for good and shiny hair.

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