How to Protect Hair from Split Ends And Breakage

Split ends – also known as trichoptilosis – can make otherwise healthy hair feel straggly, straw-like and dry. Anyone can be affected whether you have thick Afro hair or thin and straight locks. If you’re suffering from split ends, your hair can be unmanageable and weak – it may even start to break off.

Once you have split ends, they can be addressed through getting a haircut or by using any of the amazing products out there which can help to inject some life back into the hair shaft. But, as the saying goes, prevention is better than cure! The best way to solve the problem is to protect your hair, ensuring that you won’t get them in the first place.

The good news is that there are lots of ways you can help to protect your hair from split ends and breakage. Through careful maintenance and regular treatments, you can ensure your hair remains strong and healthy, with no splits or loops to compromise the integrity of your hair’s structure.

In this article, we’ll examine all the different ways you can protect hair and avoid split ends. From natural treatments to salon-favorite shampoos for split ends, we’ll look at various options for maintaining healthy tresses and never experiencing that dull, lifeless look.

Split Ends Explained

To figure out how to avoid split ends, we first need to establish what they are, and what causes them. Lots of people have a vague idea, but they don’t know why they develop – and therefore, they can’t address the cause.

A split end is a symptom of damaged hair. When hair is damaged, the outer layer (the cuticle) starts to crack, revealing the inner cortex. With the outer layer damaged, it’s harder for the hair shaft to remain healthy and intact. The hair shaft can become dry and weak, and split ends will start to appear.

A split end looks exactly as it sounds – like the end of the hair is splitting into two sections. It might take a ‘Y’ shape, or look a little like a fork in the road. They can also appear further up the hair shaft, appearing as a loop as the shaft separates.

One or two are nothing to concern you. However, if you don’t maintain and care for your hair properly, you can develop hundreds. This is when the hair starts to look rough and dry. It might get tangled more easily, and it can feel weak and brittle.

What Are the Causes of Split Ends?

Here’s where we’ll look at all the things you should be avoiding. The more of these risk factors you can stay away from, the less likely it is that you’ll develop split ends and experience unhealthy locks.

Overwashing Your Hair

You might think you’re doing your hair a world of good by washing it every day. Unfortunately, you could be doing more damage! When you wash your hair too often, you strip away all the natural oils that keep your hair and scalp protected.

It can be worse if you’re using shampoos or conditioners which are packed with artificial ingredients. When the hair is without its natural protection, it can become weak and dry, which then leads to the exposure of the inner cortex. Split ends won’t be too far behind if you wash too often.

The same goes for using too many hair products. If you overload your hair and scalp with gels, serums, sprays, and mousses, you can end up weakening the hair, as well as risking build-up on the scalp.

Exposure To Heat and Pollutants

You wouldn’t go out into strong sunshine without protection for your skin – and you shouldn’t leave your hair unprotected, either.

The heat and UV rays from the sun can cause hair to become very dry and damaged, leading to split ends. Dust and pollution from cities can also play a part in weakening the hair shaft, causing coarse and dry tresses.

Too Many Hot Styling Tools

From hairdryers and straightening irons to curling tongs and rotating brushes, there are a multitude of ways you can use heat to style your hair. Heat helps hair to ‘set’ in a certain position, keeping it curly, straight, wavy or whichever style you’ve chosen. Unfortunately, the intense heat from these products can damage hair – especially if you don’t use a heat protection formula.

Hot Or Hard Water

We’ve already established that heat is bad for the hair – that goes for the water you’re using to wash it, too. You should also check that you’re not washing your hair with hard water. Hard water is water that has a high mineral content, which can damage your hair, rather than nourishing it.

Overuse of Chemicals

Are you someone who likes to dye their hair at home?

Perhaps you regularly go for a perm and have noticed your hair starting to get weaker. Using too many chemicals on your hair can certainly cause split ends, and lead to unhealthy and lifeless locks.

Top Tips To Avoid Split Ends

Avoiding split ends is far easier than treating them once they’ve developed. Now that we know the main causes of split ends, we can look at different ways to care for our hair properly, without prompting split ends to form.

Here are some of the top tips:

  • Firstly, you should never drag a brush through your hair when it’s wet. Your hair is more susceptible to damage when it’s wet, and trying to untangle it can lead to breakage and split ends. Instead, use a wide-tooth comb and gently pull it through the tangles to remove them.
  • As we mentioned earlier, you should always look to protect your hair against heat. If you’re going out into the sun, use a product specially formulated to shield your hair from the harmful rays – Sun Bum Beach Formula Shine On Hair Conditioning Treatment with UV Protection is a great choice.
  • When it comes to protecting your hair against heat from styling tools, you’ll need to look for a different product altogether. We particularly like HSI Professional Thermal Protector 450 with Argan Oil. This spray is infused with plenty of vitamins, and it’s sulfate-free so that it won’t dry out your hair.
  • Don’t be too rough when towel-drying your hair. Drying your hair with a towel to get rid of any excess moisture is recommended after you wash it – but as we’ve mentioned, this is when hair is at its weakest. Be as gentle as you can. Use a soft microfibre towel or an old t-shirt if necessary. Air-drying is obviously best, but not the most convenient option!
  • Avoid chemical treatments. We’ve all seen someone who ended up with straw-like hair and hundreds of split ends because they dyed their hair a few times too many. Try to avoid dyes, perms or chemical straightening treatments as much as possible. If you have to dye your hair, make sure you choose a reputable salon who will care for your locks properly.
  • Make sure you eat a diet that’s conducive to healthy hair. You should ensure you’re getting plenty of B-vitamins, especially biotin and folic acid. These can be found in green leafy vegetables, lentils, soybeans, seeds and some fruits. If you’re struggling to get the right amount of these vitamins, try taking a supplement developed for hair, skin, and nails.
  • See your hair stylist regularly. One of the best ways to keep split ends at bay is to have the ends of your hair trimmed every few months.

Natural Ways To Keep Hair Healthy And Avoid Split Ends

As well as following the tips above, there are plenty of natural treatments you can try that will help ensure your hair stays strong, healthy and free from split ends.

We mentioned earlier that stripping the natural oils from your hair can be damaging. If you’ve been washing a little too much recently and are worried, it’s time to reach for some external natural oils. These will help nourish your hair properly, as well as helping to protect it from the elements.

Argan Oil

Argan oil is perhaps the most popular hair oil on the market right now. This oil, originally from Morocco, is rich in vitamin E, fatty acids, and antioxidants, all of which can help keep your hair healthy.

We particularly like PURA D’OR Organic Moroccan Cold-Pressed 100% Organic Argan Oil. Simply apply a few drops to wet hair and work it through properly, focusing on the ends. You can also use this oil – dubbed ‘liquid gold’ – on your scalp to promote strong hair from the root.

Prevention of damage to the hair

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is another hot favorite right now – and it’s easy to see why. This oil is readily available in many supermarkets and health food stores now – you may even have some lying around the house anyway.

Use this oil as part of a mask with natural honey to nourish your locks and help keep the split ends at bay. Majestic Pure Fractionated Coconut Oil is one of the highest quality coconut oils on the market, with great reviews from happy customers.

Here are some other types of DIY hair masks for split ends.

What If I Do Find Split Ends?

If you do start to see split ends, despite your best efforts, don’t panic. There are a plethora of great treatments out there which can help bind the split end back to the main hair shaft.

Many of these products come from enduring, trusted brands like Pantene and Tresemme. Others come from small businesses producing high-quality treatments that are quickly making a name for themselves online.

You can also use Split End Trimmers to stay on top of the problem if it develops. We like the AoStyle Split Ends Trimmer for this purpose. Simply wash your hair as normal and towel dry gently. Separate your hair into small sections and run the electronic device over the section at least three times. This will cut away any pesky split ends and restore your hair to its former glory instantly. It couldn’t be simpler!

There are also ways to repair split ends without cutting your hair.

How to repair damaged hair overnight

Avoiding Split Ends And Hair Damage Permanently

Many people think that split ends are an inescapable part of modern life.

With so many pollutants in our atmosphere, so many hot styling tools out there and diets which sacrifice vitamins for processed goods, it’s easy to see why so many people struggle. But simply by making a few small changes to your life, you can avoid hair damage completely.

We know that split ends are caused by a multitude of things. They can happen as a result of being too rough with your hair, or wearing your hair in tight hairstyles. You might get split ends as a result of too much hair dye, or too much sun exposure.

Now that you understand the causes, you can look back and assess where changes can be made. Could you avoid the sun more, or invest in a good SPF hair protection? Do you need to use your straightening irons every day? If so, are you ensuring that your hair is covered in a heat protection spray before you start?

There are also plenty of natural ways you can help stop split ends from developing. By making the most of the bountiful natural oils like argan and coconut, you can protect your tresses and experience beautiful, nourished locks permanently.

Remember: if you take all the precautions, there are no reasons why you should develop split ends. Even if you do – it’s not the end of the world! There are dozens of great treatments out there which will revive your hair in no time at all.