It’s a question often asked. What causes split dead ends on our hair?
Yeah with shelves brimming with moisturizing products why do some still get split ends so easily?
You probably know some of the more common causes. Abuse from excess heat, to hard brushing, to being careless with wet hair. But have you even considered the role friction plays in this?
Not something you think about a lot, is it?
But your hair wishes you did. Because knowing about it goes a long way to answering the “how do split ends happen” question.
Fact is you can minimize split ends considerably if you cut down on the friction your hair is exposed to.
So let’s dig deeper into this underlying of cause of hair on the fritz.
Friction: The Overlooked Source of Damaged Hair
As you know the typical split end starts out life tiny.
Often the damage is done before you can even see it.
Yet over time even micro-tears grow bigger and uglier.
Dusting may not help get rid of those unseen microscopic fissures in the protective cuticle layer. But it can relieve you of the obvious splits.
Leaving you with tresses that are healthier and less susceptible to further damage.
Now you may or may not be familiar with the technique or even know how to dust your hair. Or you’ve got questions.
So if you want to know more about how to get rid of split ends at home doing the dusting thing we’ve got answers to nine common dusting questions that are beyond helpful. And they’re just a click away.
Okay but what to do about the ones so small you can’t see them?
One word. Prevention.
And by prevention I mean eliminating, or at least minimizing, sources of friction. Which will keep microscopically frayed ends from happening in the first place.
Also eliminate any other things you do that roughs up your mane.
Which may mean unlearning unhealthy habits you’ve fallen into.
Because every day we do damaging things to our locks without giving them a second thought.
For instance did you use a terrycloth towel on your tresses today?
Is a ponytail your go to style most days? Do you wear it the same way same place each time?
Last night did your hair find itself rubbing up against a cotton pillow case?
These seemingly minor insults all add up over time.
So that what seem to be harmless daily frictional encounters may eventually cause your ends to snap, crackle and pop into a full blown split.
You might call these cuticle traumas little things to think-about that you do without thinking. Often all the time. Problem is they can lead directly to raggedy looking ends.
So let’s do this. Let’s hit the high points of sources of hair stress. By looking at common and uncommon sources of friction and the corresponding friction fighters.
Easily Missed Sources of Friction
Source of Friction: Your trusty cotton pillowcase.
Friction Fighter: Go with a more “hair friendly” silk or satin alternative. If that’s not possible tie your hair up in a silk scarf. Or invest in a satin lined bonnet.
Source of Friction: Brushing aggressively. Easily done. But think what damage all that yanking is visiting on your hair.
Friction Fighter: First, be kind. Second don’t ever brush wet hair unless using something like a Wet Brush or Tangle Teezer. Each has a huge fan base. Third never pull through resistance met when brushing your hair.
Source of Friction: Teasing or backcombing.
Friction Fighter: Obvious I know. Still resolve to use this technique sparingly if your ends are the least bit frazzled.
Source of Friction: Piling hair on the top of your head when washing.
Friction Fighter: Shampooing when it’s down is superior knowing hair is super prone to damage when wet. Also to reduce friction focus on your scalp while not going at the lengths with your fingers like there’s no tomorrow.
Source of Friction: Twirling, twisting, playing with your hair all day long. The stress this unhelpful habit puts on your hair is intensely damaging to the cuticle. Done to excess it can literally shreds the ends.
Friction Fighter: Stop mindlessly playing with your hair and say buh-bye to self-inflicted dead ends.
Source of Friction: Combing with combs with seams.
Friction Fighter: Only run seamless combs through your strands if you want to avoid snags.
Source of Friction: Rough drying with terrycloth towels full of those awful, strand hating little loops.
Friction Fighter: Use microfiber towels or an old t-shirt instead. Much kinder and gentler to your mane. Plus microfiber will wick away the water faster than terry cloth ever will.
Source of Friction: Cute beanies or woolen winter hats. Pulling them down tight and then yanking them off can put a strain on your strands.
Friction Fighter: Worn to excess such hats eventually can lead to cuticle damage and traumatized tresses. So one take a break from cute as can be hats. Or two, get ones that are lined with silk or satin.
Source of Friction: Cheap quality or thin elastics.
Friction Fighter: Buy thicker ones to get less tension and more cushion. Avoid rubber bands altogether. For sure you want to avoid hair ties with those little metal connectors. But then you know that those snag and tear at your hair at the point of contact.
Source of Friction: Tightly pulled back buns, ponytails or topknots worn the same way day after day.
Friction Fighter: If your hair is prone to splitting mix things up. Go with low one day with your ponytail. High the next. A more relaxed bun the day after. This changes where the elastics come in contact with your hair. Spreading the pressure points around.
Source of Friction: Handbag straps especially metal ones.
Friction Fighter: Those with shoulder length or longer hair need to keep those strands from getting trapped under the strap. Especially if they are metal. You’d be surprised how fast these can thin out the ends of your longer hair.
Source of Friction: Wrapping or rough drying your mane while bent over with your hair hanging down? That’s a no-no.
Friction Fighter: Gently squeeze any excess water into your absorbent microfiber towel or old t-shirt.
The more of these friction factors you avoid the more likely it is you’ll ditch the split ends. Leaving you with a mane that’s secretly eyed enviously by your friends.
Sometimes it’s the little things like these that make all the difference. And if you follow our Pinterest boards you can make sure you never miss out on little but powerful ideas that can keep your tresses looking hot and sexy rather than like a hot mess.