What are split ends?
Known in the medical world as "trichoptilosis" or "schizotrichia", split ends are result of fraying or splitting of the hair fibre, most typically at the end of the strand, although splitting can occasionally occur further up the hair.
Does everyone get split ends?
Not to the same degree. All hair types can suffer from split ends due to other, non-genetic/ethnic reasons. You may have more or less split ends than your neighbour due to how you style your hair, how intensely, what products you use, or if you use heated tools. Certain environmental conditions like the weather (wind, rain, sun), pollution and lifestyle can also affect the quality of your hair, making it more prone to damage which can cause split ends.
How do split ends affect your hair's appearance?
Split ends and broken hair fibres can cause the hair to look dry, straggly and uneven at the ends, with the lengths looking flat and dull. Why? When the cuticles (the overlapping scales that cover the hair strand's core) are damaged, they don't lie down flat against the fibre. This means the light does not reflect as well off the hair, which is why people with split ends often notice a lack of luminosity and depth. These damaged cuticles are also less supple, which means they do not lie smoothly against one another, but have a tendency to tangle, create knots, and break even further.
How can you prevent split ends?
Wondering how to get rid of split ends? When the hair strand is split or fractured, the only solution to restore a healthy fibre is a visit to your hair stylist for a trim. Once neatly cut off, however, you can start your prevention plan.
Split ends are caused by the weakening of the hair shaft and the splitting of the fibre, therefore prevention comes in the form of damage avoidance and control, as well as an adapted haircare routine to keep the hair shaft moisturised and supple. Pro Longer from Serie Expert is a range specifically formulated with amino acids, which are proteins that can help protect the hair from future damage.
An often-unknown cause of split ends or damage to the hair is towel drying and harsh brushing. Rubbing against the hair too roughly can weaken the cuticles and even break the fibre. Instead, it is recommended to squeeze out excess moisture using an old cotton t-shirt before blow-drying on a low heat, and using a wide paddle brush only once hair has begun to dry. For essential detangling, a wide-toothed comb with a detangling spray can help minimise damage and breakage. This lightweight multi-benefit spray will help to detangle fine hair prone to knots, enhance shine and leave hair supple and full of vitality.
Heat is also a culprit that can result in split ends. Heat damage is one of the major causes of split ends and fly-aways because, when too high, it breaks the chemical bonds, which normally provide strength to the hair fibre. This is why professionals recommend you avoid using curling irons and straighteners where possible, always apply a heat protectant, and turn your hairdryer to its lowest temperature. Mythic Oil Original has added heat protection of up to 230°C - infused with Argan Oil, it will add shine and radiance to hair, whilst its lightweight formula is ideal for detangling wet hair. For long hair suffering from thinned ends, Pro Longer Renewing Blow Dry Cream for lengths and ends, helps renew the fibre instantly and protects hair from heat up to 230°C. Its professional formula leaves the hair fibre feeling strong and shiny and ideal to use before styling.
How to care for damaged hair
Whether it be due to heated styling, the environment or naturally weak hair, the best way to repair damaged hair is through a tailored haircare routine. The Absolut Repair haircare range from Serie Expert contains a shampoo, conditioner, serums and a mask all designed to nourish and reinforce weakened hair. This range has been formulated for damaged hair to smooth cuticles and restores shine and body, with a reduced risk of split ends developing.
Split end take-away: if you notice split ends, get the tips trimmed at your hairdresser's, then (now that you know what causes split ends) start a preventative anti-breakage haircare routine at home using the right haircare.