Why You Shouldn’t Pick Your Split Ends

woman looking at the ends of her hair worryingly

The harsh reality is that split ends are meant to be cut, not picked! However, we know this is easier said than done. On average, 50% of people in the UK pick their split ends, over 80% of them being women! This can be a sign of something more serious called Trichotillomania, if you think you have this you should speak to your doctor.

So are split ends really that bad? YES, besides it causing irreversible damage to the hair shaft, or if split right to the scalp, this could cause follicle damage. Something you don’t want to do if you love your hair!

What causes split ends?

There are a few contributing factors that cause split ends, heat being one of them – if you are using heated tools to style and dry your hair, without prepping the hair before & after, the heat sucks moisture from your hair, leaving it dry and susceptible to split ends.

Using shampoos with harsh soaps called sulphates – we touched on this in our ‘The Down-Low On Hair Growth: 7 Tips for Longer, Healthier Hair’ blog, a lot of shampoos have sulphates that strip your hair of moisture. We recommend shampooing less, applying it only on the roots and don’t skip using conditioner!

Dying your hair can also lead to split ends if you don’t apply an adequate amount of nourishment.

close up of hair strand with split ends

What do split ends look like?

If you’ve been lucky enough to have not seen what a split hair end looks like (we’re pretty jealous if that’s the case) then the biggest telltale sign is when the very end of the hair has split into two, they can be hard to notice, and when you do notice, it can be even harder to resist the temptation to pull it apart.

When you pull the two ends apart, you aren’t just making your hair thinner, you are damaging the core & hair cuticle leaving your hair weaker & more likely to break off.

How to fix split ends?

There is no glue that sticks them back together, once the hair is damaged, it’s damaged. The best way to fix them is to chop them off. If you can see your ends have split over an inch up the hair shaft, you’re going to have to cut more than that off to avoid it happening again and to restore strong, healthy hair.

See your hairdressers for the chop too – reaching for kitchen scissors will not give you the results you think they will. Kitchen & office scissors are not as sharp and can leave you with a frayed cut.

How do I prevent them from happening?

If you use heated styling tools daily and dye your hair regularly then split ends are more than likely going to happen, however, there are products you can incorporate into your daily hair care routine to slow down the inevitable.
We suggest:

Hair Oil Products by Kérastase & Aveda

(left to right: Kérastase Aura Botanica, Aveda Nutri-Plenish Hair Oil)

There are other ways to prevent split ends from happening or worsening:

  • Avoid brushing hair when wet, if you need to, start from ends first and work your way up.
  • Use heat protecting spray before drying & styling
  • Use hair masks weekly

Now we’ve covered all that, it’s time to get your next trim booked in!