The Causes of Split Ends - Part One

Split ends are exactly what they sound like - they are splits in the ends of your hair ! The picture above is a great illustration of a split end. Over the next few weeks we are going to look at the causes of split ends and importantly how we can get rid of them to preserve your smooth, healthy, beautiful long hair.

Split ends occur when the hair shaft splits from a single strand to multiple, usually occurring at the tip. This is typically a sign of damaged or unhealthy hair. Split ends occur in response to excessive or repeated chemical treatments, grooming habits, and various environmental exposures.

If your split ends are untreated, then your hair will become frizzy and tangled, making it difficult to maintain.After repeated exposures, the outer protective layer of the hair, the cuticle, no longer maintains its protective function. The loss of this layer renders the rest of the hair strand more susceptible to subsequent damage and breakage, resulting in the appearance of split ends.

Environmental Causes
Anything that can damage the outermost layer of the hair shaft, the cuticle, can lead to split ends. Common causes of split ends include excess heat applied to the hair, chemicals added to the hair, and physical damage.

The use of blow dryers, straightening irons, curling irons and other various heat producing tools are common thermal treatments used to manipulate the hair. Thermal treatments are effective in temporarily changing the shape of hair or speeding up the drying process. These processes can also cause damage to the hair, leading to the appearance of split ends. When heat is directly applied to the hair with the use of irons, or indirectly by a blow dryer, it removes the presence of water retained within the hair and can damage the cuticle. The lack of hydration in the hair results in the cuticle becoming brittle and more susceptible to cracking, which results in split ends. The damage process is accelerated by continuous and extreme thermal exposures.

Physical Damage
When the hair is wet, it can naturally stretch up to 30% without damage. However, if stretched beyond 30% it can lead to irreversible damage and hair fractures. Excessive combing when the hair is wet can lead to additional stretching, and consequently hair breakage. Brushing the hair when dry can also lead to the formation of split ends. This is a result of repeated friction on the hair shaft, which causes damage to the cuticle layer. When this layer becomes damaged, the small scale-like cells of the cuticle become frayed and lead to the formation of split ends.

How to Prevent Split Ends
  • Avoid excessive and aggressive brushing and combing of both wet and dry hair
  • Limit excess applied heat to the hair
  • Decrease the frequency of chemically applied hair treatments
  • Ensure proper daily nutrient requirements
  • Use moisturizing oil treatments to preserve the cuticle layer
  • Protect hair from UV sun exposure
  • Maintain hair health by getting trims several times a year - Use the Split Ender Trimmer!
Split Ender - For Split Ends and Damaged Hair
You can keep your hair looking smooth, healthy and beautiful with the Split-Ender - The ultimate cordless Split-End trimmer ! The Split Ender is easier, faster and safer than scissors. It cuts split-ends and damaged hair in just minutes and you can trims as little as 1/8" from your own hair.

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