What Causes Split Ends and How to Prevent Them

split ends

What Causes Split Ends and How to Prevent Them

I’m afraid there’s no way to let you down easy, we are going to have to cut right to the chase.  You can’t fix split ends once they’ve frayed.  But have no fear, we are here for you!  Just because you can’t get fix them doesn’t mean you’ve got to give up dreams of long luscious hair and have a drastic cut.  There are ways to disguise them and, more importantly, ways to prevent them from happening again.  Once you’ve got a good idea about why they occur, you’ll be much better equipped to prevent them in the future and treat them to prevent further damage down the line.  


What causes split ends?

A split end is when your hair splinters due to damage to the oldest part of the hair shaft.  If they go untreated, split ends lead to breakage, when the hair breaks at a point that makes the strand significantly shorter.  Usually that damage and breakage is caused by heat treatments, chemical treatments, colouring, dryness or just wear and tear with age.  

How can I prevent them?

1. Brush your hair gently

This might sound like a simple one but it really makes a difference.  Combing or brushing your hair with the wrong type of brush or doing it too aggressively (easily done when we’re in a rush in the morning) can cause splits.  Hair is fragile, so treat it delicately.  If you can hear a scraping or ripping sound when you’re doing it, it’s too much or too hard.  If your hair has a tendency to get particularly tangled, don’t just keep pulling at it from the root.  If your brush meets resistance start a little further down and work your way up.  Also remember that hair is much more delicate when it’s wet, so although it may feel like a great time to give it a vigorous brushing, this is when you should be most careful.  

Wet Brush do a great detangling brush and comb that will glide through even the knottiest of wet hair without causing maximum damage.    Balmain’s All Purpose Spa Brush combines 100% boar hair with stiff nylon bristles to expertly detangle while helping to repair dry hair. 



2. Keep your heat tools on low

The temperature controls on your hair straightener and curling wand really do matter when it comes to dealing with split ends.  The higher the heat, the more damage it will cause.  Not everyone needs the full 450 degrees to see results.  Turn them down to around 285 and see if that gets the job done.  If not you can work your way up.   Another top tip if you find that you don’t get the results you want at lower heats is to do smaller sections.  It will take longer but the payoff of less damage will be worth it.   

3. Only heat style clean hair 

We all love a good hair oil, but avoid slathering it on before you clamp down with your wavers.  It’s basically going to just cook your hair.   This also applies to conditioner, so make sure it’s rinsed out properly before you reach for the hair dryer.  Cooked strands equal split ends, so wash out all build up before you style.  Having said that, don’t let that scare you away from using any product on your hair.  A heat protection spray or serum that’s formulated with the right ingredients will shield your hair from hot temperature, so make sure you load it on, particularly on the ends.  The Beauty Works 10 in 1 Miracle Spray has a bucketful of benefits including protection from heat, detangling and preventing split ends.   

10-in-1 Miracle Spray 250ml

 How Do I Get Rid of Them?

Whatever you do, don’t pick!  Always good advice when it comes to anything hair and beauty related.  Picking, peeling or tearing are not a substitute for a trim.  It can be disheartening to have to go for a chop when you’re trying to grow your hair, but trust us when we say it will help in the long run.  When you snap the hair at the ends, you’re using friction to scrape the cuticle along with force to snap the ends.  When you stretch and break off the split end, you’re basically welcoming split ends at and even shorter length.  

If you are truly heartbroken at the idea of a haircut, ask your stylist to try hair dusting.  This is a technique that removes split ends without getting rid of the length.  It’s done by snipping off the very ends of your hair strands, almost like de fuzzing your clothes.    

The other option is to try and conceal them.  If you can see frazzled ends once you’ve finished styling, smooth it with a dab of serum like this Anti Frizz one from Beauty Works.  It not only eliminates frizz and adds shine but also hydrates using almond and chia seed oil.  

Beauty Works Anti Frizz Serum 50ml

Make sure you hydrate the hell out of them.  Splash out on quality shampoos and conditioners that proactively help prevent further breakage.  The Repair and Go set by Kevin Murphy contains everything you need to give your hair some serious TLC.  It features a reconstructing shampoo, a nourishing conditioner and a lightweight texturizing hairspray for volume and texture.  

If you only want to buy one product, make it a hair mask.  Or if you want to save even more money you can make your own.  Coconut oil is great for hair and will leave it shiny and smooth.  Just make sure you give it a really thorough rinse.  Kevin Murphy’s Angel Mask is an ultra-repairing treatment mask designed to restore, condition and thicken fine and damaged hair.    


If you can face it, the best thing you can do is go for a really good chop and then make sure you give your hair the best possible care in the future to try and prevent split ends as much as possible.  This can be a bit of a nightmare if you have managed to grow some decent length, but there is no point having the length if it’s going to look damaged and frizzy.  Make sure you ask us at your next hair appointment what the best products are for your hair type and how you can prevent split ends in the future.   

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