Putting an End to Split Ends: How to Prevent and Treat Them

11th Dec 2023

Prevent Split Ends

Everyone’s had split ends at one time or another. They’re a normal part of hair growth, but if you’re not taking care of your hair they can multiply, leaving you with hair that’s weak, brittle and prone to breakage. It can also affect how shiny your hair looks and how easy it is to stay in style.

There are lots of myths and half truths around when it comes to split ends, so let’s set the record straight with a deep dive into stopping split ends from affecting your hair.

What are split ends?

Split ends happen when strands of your hair become split or frayed after the protective outer layer of the hair is damaged or wears away over time. This leaves the inner cortex of your hair exposed, leading to hair that weakens and splits into two or more strands at the tip.

Hair can end up being tougher to style, lacking in shine and prone to breakage, needing harsher styling techniques, which leads to more damage and breakage.

What causes split ends?

Split ends are caused by damage to your hair, so anything that affects the health of your hair can also increase the number of split ends you have. Here’s the usual suspects when it comes to hair damage, and increased spit ends:

Heat styling - excessive heat can be a big cause of damaged hair and split ends, though it can be tempting to use heat to smooth out flyaway split ends this should be avoided as often as possible. Keeping heat to a minimum, only using it when you need to and using a good heat protector’s important when you’re heat styling to keep hair in good condition.

Chemical treatments - chemical treatments like perms, straightening, colouring and bleach can all weaken your hair and strip it of natural oils, making it dry, brittle and more likely to split.

Rough handling - being heavy handed when you’re brushing or combing can snap or split your hair. The same goes for using tight hair ties that can pull or tear your hair.

Can you repair split ends?

We’ll get straight to the point on this one. You can’t repair split ends permanently (sorry). When it comes to splits, you’re better off preventing them so that you can deal with any minor splits, temporarily smoothing them down.

The only way to get rid of split ends once they’re there is with regular trims. This means cutting off the damaged parts of your hair, preventing the splits from travelling further up your hair and getting worse. This means your hair stays strong, rather than splitting or breaking further.

Don’t be tempted to pull apart split ends to create “two” hairs or remove one half of the split. When you pick at any split ends, all you end up doing is making your hair strand thinner, plus damaging the cuticle and the core of your hair. They’re responsible for keeping your hair strong, so you end up just causing more damage to your hair.

Is snipping off your own split ends ok?

You might have seen TikTok hacks showing people snipping off individual split ends as they spot them, or twisting their hair up and cutting off any hair that escapes the twist. Unlike getting a trim, this just cuts off one half of the split.

This isn’t great for the same reasons as above, plus you might actually be chopping off normal, healthy ends of your hair. If you aren’t using sharp, professional scissors you can pull at or tear your hair too, leading to more breakage or damage. All of this can leave you with uneven, weak and thinner hair in the long run.

We’re not saying that snipping off the one stray hair here and there’s a problem in the short term but if you’re doing it regularly, over time it will affect the thickness, strength and style of your hair.

How to prevent split ends

Since you can’t repair them, the best option is to prevent split ends from happening in the first place. Here’s how you can prevent split ends:

Handle with care

Being gentle goes a long way to preventing split ends. That means when you’re brushing and detangling, after shampooing and styling. Just be gentle if you’re dealing with tangles or tying up your hair. Same goes for pulling or twisting your hair - go easy.

Turn down the heat

Embrace your hair's natural texture and limit the use of hot styling tools where you can. When you do use them, always apply the Pro:Tect Mist to shield your strands and try to turn down the heat where you can. You don’t always need to have it on max heat, most hair tools now come with temperature control, so you should use lower settings where you can.

Get your hair care routine on point

Using the right shampoo, conditioner and products for your hair definitely goes a long way to healthier hair with less split ends and breakage. Our  Re:Nourish Shampoo and Re:NourishConditioner are packed with natural, hydrating ingredients that support healthy hair, especially if it’s prone to frizz and breakage. Plus, they’re vegan, sulphate-free and skip the ingredients that aren’t good for your hair.

Protect your hair

Protecting your hair when you sleep is really important. All that tossing and turning can affect your hair, especially if you’re leaving it loose overnight. Tie it up (loosely) when you’re asleep and add a silk pillowcase into the mix to reduce overnight friction on your hair. It’ll help stop breakage, tangles and damage.

Ease off on chemical processes

Harsh chemical processes like bleaching, dyeing, perming or relaxing your hair all change its structure and can cause damage. Make sure any chemical processes are applied properly. We’d always recommend visiting a professional so there’s less damage to your hair. If you’re colouring or processing your hair, applying it to your roots only is the way forward if you’ve previously done an all-over application.

How to treat split ends if you get them

Split ends are normal, and however solid your routine is, day to day life just means you might get some. But you don’t need to stress about it. There are some fixes that you can use on your ends while you’re waiting for your next trim - these won’t fix your split ends forever but they’ll keep them in check:

Nourish your hair with a balm

Our split end saviour, Un:brokenEnds, is your balm bestie when it comes to replenishing your hair and dealing with split ends. It uses plant-derived proteins and moisturising panthenol to reduce the appearance of split ends and give a moisture surge to dry, dull hair that’s struggling with splitting. It’s suitable for all types, uses 92% naturally derived ingredients and it’s 100% vegan.

Use a hair oil

A hair oil goes a long way to smoothing down split ends, sealing the cuticle closed and stopping frizz. We love the All:InOil for satin-like frizz-free hair. Not only does it smooth out your hair, it helps to improve the condition and manageability of it too. Made with organic tangerine, clove and patchouli oils it nourishes the hair with a beautiful blend of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to protect your hair.

Add a hair mask

A hair mask can help to deep condition your hair, leaving smoother and softer hair with less visible split ends. The Re:Plenish Conditioning Mask’s a must when it comes to hydrating hair that tends to get dry and damaged. Add this into your routine every week, or as often as you feel that your hair needs a deep conditioning treatment.

Shop our collection for dryand damaged hair collection to moisturise, nourish and revive.