split ends hair

Split ends are the bane of…let’s say everyone’s existence. Constant manipulation, especially heat styling, can be cause for concern, as many of these practices cause split ends. And not just one type of split, but many types. I cringe when I look down at my strands to see double split ends or even worse, single strand knots. But instead of getting angry, let’s get proactive. Here are some of the causes for three main types of split ends and what your hair is telling you so you can try to prevent them.

Single strand knots

Single strand knots are literally tiny knots on the ends or along the length of individual strands. If you look closely at what appears to be a ball at the ends of your hair, you will probably see that it is tied into what is alternatively called a fairy knot, (because only a fairy can tie a knot that small”>. There have been whispers of women who can untie the knot with a safety pin, but it is likely that the tension from the knot has already caused damage. The best way to get rid of these is to cut them off unless you have the time, patience, phenomenal eyesight, and skill to unravel them.

What your hair is trying to tell you

  • You may be wearing your hair in its shrunken state a little too much. When your hair is in its shrunken state (e.g. wash and go”> it is much easier for the hair to get tangled into itself, causing single strand knots.
  • Be more efficient with detangling. If your hair is not thoroughly detangled, then it is much easier for your hair to tangle and create single strand knots.
  • Your hair may be on the longer side so it needs more TLC. You should be extra vigilant of all of the above to decrease the single strand knot issue. Unfortunately, your hair creates more single strand knots the longer it grows. That is just the way the cookie crumbles.


  • Stretch your hair.
  • Wear more protective styles.
  • Detangle thoroughly and reduce manipulation, especially on wet hair.

Incomplete split ends

Ugh, these are one of the worst split ends. Imagine looking at a perfectly healthy hair strand, and then smack in the middle is a hole that appears to be shredded! This is an incomplete split end. With incomplete split ends, the hair splits mid shaft, causing this mid shaft loop split ends because the hair structure starts to break down. This does not happen due to one cause, it is usually several hair maintenance techniques used over time that start to break down the hair cortex. Brushing, chemical processing, excessive shampooing, and heat are all said to cause these hideous split ends.

What your hair is trying to tell you

  • You may be using excessive heat.
  • Rough manipulation is wearing on your hair over time.
  • Your products are too harsh.


  • Eliminate heat.
  • Be gentle.

Tree split ends

Tree split ends are caused when a regular split end goes awry. When you fail to trim your split ends over time, they grow and the splits start to split hence the term tree split ends.

What your hair is trying to tell you

  • You failed to catch the standard split end at the start and now it is escalating to epic proportions, so stop procrastinating.
  • Your hair could be overly dry.
  • You may be processing or manipulating and using heat a little too much.


  • Trim your hair more often.
  • Keep your hair moisturized so you do not get split ends in the first place.

Have you ever spotted one of these nasty splits in your hair? What did you do about it? 

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