How to Treat and Prevent Split Ends

What causes split ends? And how do we get rid of them? Let's take a closer look at this hair issue.

Are the tips of your hair dry, brittle, and frayed? Give them more TLC because they might break and result in split ends, a sign of hair damage. And when left untreated, they can go up to your hair shaft, damaging your hair even more.

What causes split ends? Your daily styling routine plays a huge role in this. Did you know that even brushing can damage your hair? The friction between your strands and hairbrush tears away at your hair cuticle, making your hair brittle and prone to breakage. Aside from this, using heat-styling tools like curling irons and hairdryers often results in dryness and damage. So do coloring, bleaching, and chemical treatments like rebonding and perms.

Close up of split ends hair held by an Asian woman
Split ends are signs of hair damage. Credit: Shutterstock

1. Classic Split Ends

The tips of your hair split in half and form a fishtail shape. These are the most common type of split ends. 

2. Incomplete Split Ends 

When your hair strand weakens but the tips don’t fully separate, you get an incomplete split end. It looks like the eye of a needle.  

3. Tree  

Your hair strand has split not just at the tips but also at the sides. Because your strand frays at different spots, it resembles a tree branch.  

4. Feathered Split Ends 

Like the tree split, this type shows several small breaks on the hair strand, resembling a feather.  

6. Single Strand Knots 

This type is common among curly and wavy hair types. When the hair coils back, it creates a tangle on the hair strand. This tangle will eventually make the strand break at that spot when you brush or style your hair.  

1. Get regular trims. 

Asian woman with long hair that's free from split ends
Trim the tips of your hair to get rid of split ends. Credit: Dennie Ramon

Long hair is more prone to damage because as your hair grows, the tips tend to get dry and rough. Long hair has also undergone more brushing, washing, and styling. All of these contribute to damage and split ends. So, even if you want to keep your hair long, get a trim every four to six weeks to remove dry and frayed tips. 

2. Wash with care.

Split ends hair: A woman taking a shower and washing her hair.
Gently massage your scalp with your fingertips (and not your nails!) when shampooing your hair. Credit: Shutterstock

Think of your hair as silk—soft, smooth, and delicate. So, refrain from aggressively pulling and rubbing it to avoid breakage. Instead, gently massage your scalp as you shampoo. Then, run your fingers through your hair to cleanse it from the roots to the tips.

Editor’s tip: Use Dove Keratin Repair 1 Minute Serum Conditioner to revive damaged hair. It has keratin-infused serum capsules that go deep into your hair strands to repair them from the inside. It leaves your hair recovered, resilient, and beautiful in just one minute!  

3. Ditch rough towels.

Brush your hair the right way: Asian woman towel drying her long dark hair
Pat your hair dry using a smooth fabric. Credit: Hariono Halim

After washing your hair, pat it dry using a microfiber towel or a smooth fabric to avoid too much friction that can cause split ends.

4. Air dry before you blow-dry. 

Asian woman touching her damp hair
Let your hair dry a bit before reaching for your hairdryer. Credit: Natasha Estelle

Your hair is more vulnerable when it’s wet, so leave it to air-dry a little before blow-drying. This way, you limit your hair’s exposure to the heat of your blow-dryer, minimizing damage

5. Brush your hair the right way.

Brush your hair the right way: Asian woman combing her long dark brown curly hair
Use a wide-tooth comb instead of a brush when detangling wet hair. Credit: Hariono Halim

Always brush the ends of your hair first to detangle them. Then, move up and start from the mid-lengths of your hair. When you’ve smoothed out the knots, that’s the time you can brush from the roots.

Also, remember that your hair is more vulnerable when it’s wet. Use a wide-tooth comb to detangle hair after washing it. Never brush your hair when it’s wet to avoid breakage.

6. Pamper your hair.

Asian woman applying treatment product to her hair and split ends
Use hair treatments designed to repair and protect your hair from damage. Credit:

Keep your hair at its best with hair treatments. You can get one either at your trusted salon or in the comfort of your own home. With proper care and nourishment, your hair strands can recover from the stress of styling and other damaging factors. 

Editor’s tip: Protect your hair even before damage starts with Dove Advanced Keratin Treatment Mask. It is boosted with Kera-Shield Complex, which consists of a potent shot of Keratin Repair Actives and a nourishing layer of vitamins and niacinamide. These ingredients keep your hair from getting weak and damaged. Make this hair mask a part of your weekly pampering ritual, and your hair will thank you.  

You can also complement your daily hair care routine with Vitakeratin Expert Salon Treatment Deep Repair. It has salon-quality keratin to help keep your hair smooth. It is also infused with vitamin E to nourish your hair and help it get restored. This hair treatment product is also blended with argan oil to help repair damage. 

The sight of split ends on your hair may cause panic, but don’t worry. Split ends signal that your hair needs more TLC. Elevate your hair care routine to include damage repair and protection to nurse your hair back to its healthy-looking state.

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