An Asian woman inspects the ends of her hair.

Realizing your ends are in poor condition can easily ruin a good hair day. Like wrinkles, zits, and graying hair, splintering strands are inevitable due to everyday wear. Fortunately, you can follow some practices to avoid fraying or prevent further damage. Learning what causes split ends is half the battle. Here are the basics.

What Are Split Ends? 

Split ends are hair strands that fray into two or more segments. This is often a result of excessive stress or friction on your individual hair strands. Once a strand splits, it will continue to come apart until it reaches your roots or the weaker half falls off. Left untreated, split ends can result in and lots of frizz.

What Causes Split Ends? 

Are you noticing splintering on the ends of your hair but uncertain what’s causing it? Check out these habits that could be doing you more harm than good.

You wear rubber bands.

Ever notice how a few strands can sometimes snag onto a hair elastic? If you're using cheap accessories, ties, or headbands, odds are you're causing damage to your locks. Rubber bands can harm your hair due to the friction the material generates. Instead, use a gentle tie covered with soft fabric, or opt for a silk scrunchie to prevent breakage. work well, too.

You overwash your hair.

Keeping your locks clean and healthy is important; however, excessive washing and strip them of their natural oils. The result is weak, dry, and rough strands.

When washing your hair, use shampoo and conditioner that’s gentle on your tresses. But don’t stop there! Include a weekly pampering routine to nourish, repair, and protect your hair.

Look for a product like Dove Advanced Keratin Treatment Mask, which supplements hair proteins with a keratin-enriched formula, while ingredients like niacinamide and vitamin complex assist in strengthening hair as it grows. To get the most out of the product, use weekly to get salon-intensive hair breakage treatment at home.

You heat-style every day.

Lots of well-coifed women (and men) love their arsenal of flat irons, curling wands, and blow-dryers. Unfortunately, few realize these heat stylers can be the culprits behind brittle hair that's prone to breakage.

So, can you keep using styling tools and still prevent splintered locks? It’s possible if you use heat-protectant products for the hair. Look for formulas containing glycerin and . These essential humectants help lock in moisture, protecting hair from the damaging effects of heat styling.

You’ve done too many chemical treatments.

Are you loving your sleek ‘do, bouncy curls, or ombré dye job? While you may enjoy , having these treatments done too often can come with a hefty cost. Harsh chemical processes weaken hair cuticles and suck up moisture, making them susceptible to split ends.

You’re rough with towel-drying.

If you think towel-drying wet strands is a fab alternative to hair dryers, sadly, you’re wrong. This beloved technique can cause weak strands to split or snap. When you pop out of the shower, swap your coarse towel for a microfiber one or a clean T-shirt. These gentle fabrics won’t cause too much friction against your strands.

You have hair extensions.

While extensions are a great way to add length and volume to your hairstyle, they can ruin your natural locks. Attaching and maintaining them requires constant and tight pulling, which can cause follicle damage and breakage. If you want to keep your crowning glory healthy, limit the use of or skip them altogether.

Your pillowcases cause friction.

If you've been wondering what causes split ends, you may not have to look any further than your bed. A rough cotton pillowcase might be to blame for that frizzy bedhead. Try switching to , which are much smoother and absorb less moisture from your hair.

How to Stop Hair Breakage

There’s no way to fix split ends besides getting a trim. As such, the real work lies in sticking to diligent haircare habits. Here are three ways to help you nip split ends in the bud.

 1. Prevent hair damage by making a few changes.

Are you guilty of any of the bad practices above? Try making small adjustments to your haircare routine to minimize their impact on your locks.

For example, if you love heat styling, make it a habit to apply hair masks. If you often switch your hair color, look for products without harmful chemicals. Better yet, copy Paris Hilton and wear a wig. These small changes can help keep your strands healthy instead of gnarly.

2. Get your tresses trimmed regularly.

Frequent trims help your hair stay healthy as it grows. Meanwhile, skipping a regular cut can cause the split ends to travel up the cuticle and break your strands. Schedule a trim every three months to manage damage and keep your hair looking its best.

3. Detangle your locks gently.

Using just any comb to is the worst thing you can do. Get knots out with a wide-toothed comb or detangling brush. Refrain from combing through your hair hurriedly. Instead, take the time to go through it gently to minimize damage.

Finish by applying TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Shine Serum. With a non-greasy formula, this hair product gives your locks a glossy, professional finish. Its combination of keratin and marula oil fights frizz and prevents tangles, ensuring your strands don’t fray or break.

Once your tips fray, there's no magical treatment to fuse them together. Part of maintaining healthy and damage-free tresses is knowing what causes split ends in the first place. Now you have what you need to care for your locks and keep them from looking frazzled.