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Types of Split Ends and How to Prevent Them

Split Ends: A Horror Story

Raise your hand if you are obsessively looking at your split ends all day long! I can’t see you, but I am sure many of you, wherever you are, did. We’ve all been there picking at our split ends for longer than we should, and then finding the world-wide hated “feathery” kind of split end. That’s it! We take out the pair of scissors (that we normally carry around with us) and we kill the little b*tch.

According to scientists, because we are all different, have different types of hair, and different treating and styling routines, in the end, there can be infinite different kinds of split ends. Humbled by science? Yep.

Did you know they can be caused by sunburn from the sun?
Read our best tips on how to prevent this.

I have good news though, there is a method to classify each of them in a specific group or category. YAY! A reason to keep us staring at them for an even longer time. Here are the most common types of split ends you can find:

The Traditional or Basic

Easy to find, because it’s the most common one. It resembles a “Y” shape, and it only splits into two. What this split is telling you: your hair needs nourishment, try The Hair Routine to nourish and replenish the hair shaft.

The Three-way split

Looks like a fork, and they are less common. As you may have guessed, these mean more damage. You could’ve probably avoided it by trimming your hair when you began finding those other two-way (Traditional or Basic) split ends. Use deep conditioning treatments at least once every 15 days, and trim when your hair starts to get thinner and unhealthy in the ends, or it could get worse. * FYI deep conditioning treatment requires you to mask your hair and let it sit for at least one hour. Pro tip: use a shower cap to retain warmth and moisture.

The Feather

The most dreaded one of them all. We hate her, we fear her, and we cannot repair her. Personal advice: when you see ONE of these, get a trim and ask your hairdresser to remove all the damage (as painful as the end result might be).

I want to add an extra one (just because I can) to the list:

The Knot-ty one

This tends to happen when you have wavy or curly hair. The shaft gets tangled and it makes a little knot at the end that will end up breaking by itself at some point. I’ve seen these a few times in my lifetime, and now I know why they get there. Are they a sign of damage? No, not really. But if you have your available scissors at hand, cut it.

How to avoid split ends?


What to do:

’till next time,


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