Q:

What causes split ends?

A:

Quick Answer

Split ends in hair are caused by mechanical heating devices, chemical hair products, over-dryness, adverse weather conditions, age, and excessive and inaccurate brushing and combing. If split ends are left untreated, they can potentially damage the entire hair shaft.

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Full Answer

Heating machines, such as blow driers, curling irons and straightening irons, dry out and damage hair. The harsh chemicals in hair dyes and perms remove the protective coating from strands of hair, weakening the shafts and making the ends prone to splitting. Excessive sun and wind also dry out hair and make the ends split. Additionally, forcing combs or sharp brushes through tangled or wet hair causes hair to tear and split.

There is no cure for split ends once they have formed. The only effective treatment is to trim hair regularly. When split ends form between trims, setting lotions and other end sealers can bind the ends together temporarily, but these remedies only hide the condition, they do not cure it. The best solution is preventive maintenance, such as using conditioners after shampooing, allowing hair to dry naturally, using wide-tooth combs and brushes with rounded bristles, and brushing hair gently by gathering it at mid-shaft before brushing out the ends. When gathering hair back, use a fabric hair tie rather than elastic or metal clips.

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