Smiling woman with nice curly hair in the park

Even the strongest, healthiest hair can get split ends. The hair comprises two parts. The root is the part that’s alive, while the shaft is composed of keratin and dead skin cells. Each strand of hair grows from a hair follicle, but the moment it reaches the skin’s surface, it’s no longer alive and nothing is protecting it from within. Everything that protects it from breakage and keeps it from falling out is on its outer structure or supplemented by hair care products. 

What Causes Split Ends?

The International Journal of Trichology notes that the ends of the hair are its oldest and most vulnerable part. Wear and tear can weaken the ends and damage their protective layer (the hair cuticle), which results in so-called split ends.

Apart from this, the following factors can also cause split ends:

  • Friction or force from vigorous hair brushing, pulling at the hair, or , such as headbands and ponytails.
  • Subjecting it through heat through blow-drying or using a flat iron and showering with hot water.
  • Chemical treatments such as hair dyeing, hair rebonding or straightening, and perming.

How to Prevent Split Ends

Split ends aren’t something you can “re-seal” or repair, but you can try to hold them off with a few tweaks in your hair care habits and products.

  • Wash your hair gently. Use warm water instead of hot water and don’t pile your hair on top of your head. Focus on washing the roots and scalp instead of rubbing the strand and ends.
  • Avoid brushing wet hair. Instead, detangle your hair gently with a wide-tooth comb, starting from the ends, as the American Academy of Dermatology recommends.
  • Reduce heat styling. As much as possible, air-dry your hair, or if you must use a blow-dryer, keep it at least six inches from your hair.
  • Don’t brush your hair 100 strokes a day — and it can cause breakage and damage to your hair. Brush your hair only as needed, like when styling or to make it look neat.
  • Choose your pillowcase wisely. Some women like to wrap their hair in a silk scarf while sleeping. However, if that’s too much for you, trade your cotton pillowcase with a silk one instead. It will reduce the friction with your hair and protect it while sleeping. 
  • Condition, condition, condition. Using damage control conditioners can help make hair look healthier while protecting it from external stress. Dove Intense Repair 1 Minute Serum Conditioner is formulated to reconstruct hair's internal structure. After massaging into your hair, leave it on for one minute so that it can smoothen away visible signs of damage. You can also try Dove Ultra Light Repair 1 Minute Milk Gel Conditioner. Its keratin repair actives dive deep into your hair, repairing each strand without weighing it down.

While split ends are an eventuality, you can hold them off with the right care and products. Follow the tips above and get regular trims to keep the ends of your hair strong and healthy-looking.