One of the most effective ways to prevent split ends is to have the hair trimmed consistently every six weeks. Trimming the hair prevents splits from traveling up the hair shaft, causing further damage. Trimming the hair regularly helps it grow out faster, thicker and healthier.
Split ends are caused by three main factors: chemical, thermal or mechanical stress. Chemical processes such as perms, relaxers and bleaching strip the top protective layer of the hair shaft, making the hair more vulnerable to breakage. Thermal stress, in the form of hot irons and blow dryers, damages the outer layer of the hair with repeated use and should be minimized. Mechanical stress includes rough handling of the hair, including forcefully brushing or raking a comb through tangled hair.
In addition to chemical, thermal and mechanical stress, split ends are also caused by overwashing, hard water, salt water, chlorine, rubber bands, overuse of styling products like gel and hair spray, and an inferior diet that lacks nutrients essential for strong hair. In addition to trims every six weeks, it is recommended to eliminate or drastically reduce the use of chemical treatments and hot styling tools, and to treat the hair gently by allowing it to air dry, washing less frequently and using wide-tooth combs to lightly work through tangles.