Split Ends: How to Spot And Prevent Them With Examples!

A mere bad hair day is enough to ruin your whole day. How about a bad hair day with matching split ends? 

Wavy, curly, or straight. No matter the hair type, we are all prone to split ends. It’s actually one of the most common hair problems people face today.

So read on and take notes because we’re about to give you a crash course about split ends; what causes them, the different types, and how to prevent them.

Using the right combination of hair care products could mean everything to your hair. Not only will they make your hair shine and glow, they can also prevent it from future damage. 

If you want to guarantee safe and effective hair care products, check out Iles Formula today.

What Are Split Ends?

Your hair may be strong and healthy but if you expose it to extreme environments, your hair will experience some wear and tear which can result in split ends.

Split ends, from the name itself, is basically when the ends of your hair split in either two or more strands. 

  • They occur when the protective outer layer of the hair shaft is damaged, leaving the inner layer of the hair exposed. 
  • Split ends can cause the hair to look dry, brittle, and unkempt. They can also lead to more serious hair problems such as breakage and thinning.1

What are the split ends?

What Causes Split Ends?

If you’re noticing a lot of split ends in your hair, keep in mind that this can be due to numerous factors. From the way you brush your hair to how frequent visitthe salon for chemical treatments, these can all result in split ends.

Excessive Heat Styling: One common cause of split ends is excessive heat styling without adequate heat protection, such as blow-drying and flat-ironing, which can cause the hair shaft to become brittle and break. Use the Iles Formula Finishing Serum to protect before styling with heated tools. It protects the hair up to 450F.

Frequent Chemical Treatments: Another culprit can be frequent chemical treatments, like coloring and perms that can weaken the hair shaft and cause it to split. The Iles Formula Shampoo and Conditioner are a colorist’s best friend for the repair they deliver to the hair in between color appointments.

Overbrushing: Believe us or not, over-brushing your hair can also be a reason you’re seeing  split ends because of the damage to the hair's outer cuticle layer. Use the Iles Formula Conditioner Distribution Comb to nurture hair and evenly distribute our Iles Formula Conditioner for instant repair.

Weather: And lastly, there’s the weather. Too much exposure to sun and wind can make your hair dry and flimsy, which is a prerequisite to split ends. Use the Iles Formula Finishing Serum to protect from all environmental aggressors including UV and humidity. 

Types Of Split Ends

Have you ever tried to look deeper into your split ends? You may notice that they can take on a variety of forms. Here are some of the most common types:

The Double Split

When we think of split ends, we first imagine a strand of hair split into two. That is called the double split.

Double splits are easily recognizable. Just take a single strand of your hair and check if you see two distinct splits at the end of it. These splits are caused by strain and friction, and frequent hair styling without adequate heat protection.

To avoid acquiring double splits, invest in premium quality conditioners like the Iles Formula Conditioner to nourish and protect your hair from damag and always protect your hair with the Iles Formula Finishing Serum

The Partial Split

This type of split is very similar to the double split that separates one strand into two, but only part of the strand is split. 

The partial split is usually more difficult to spot than the other types of split ends, as the split may not be visible to the naked eye. However, when you run your fingers through your hair and if you feel a rough or jagged area, then you may have partial split ends.

The partial split is usually caused by frequent brushing, styling, or chemical treatments, as well as environmental factors such as sun exposure. In order to avoid this type of split ends, use a wide-tooth comb when brushing your hair, make use of high quality hair care products, and protect your hair from the heat of the sun with the Iles Formula Finishing Serum

The Fork

Just as the name implies, this type of split ends looks like a fork, a three prong fork to be specific. These split ends are a sign that your hair lacks nutrients and may be dehydrated.

The Fork can be difficult to see and much more challenging to repair than other types of split ends because the damage is located near the root of the hair and not all products can penetrate that deep. Try the Iles Formula Hair Mask to further nourish and strengthen your hair. 

The Tree Split

The Tree Split is characterized by a single split that branches out into multiple splits, creating a “tree” shape. Unfortunately, having this type of split ends indicates that your hair is already damaged.

The tree split is the most difficult type of split end to repair, as the split has already branched out. To repair a tree split, the best option is to trim the hair and start fresh with a healthier hair care routine as seen in our 3-step routine within the Iles Formula Signature Collection

Incomplete Split

This happens when a certain point in a hair strand weakens and results in a split that is not completely separated from the rest of the hair shaft. This type of split end is almost impossible to detect as it is usually not as obvious as the other types. 

Incomplete splits can be caused by too much heat styling from straighteners, blow dryers, and curling irons. Again, try the Iles Formula Finishing Serum, as it is the go-to styling serum that will never weigh the hair down. 

How Do I Know I Have Split Ends?

It’s true that certain people are more prone to split ends than others so it’s crucial that you know how to identify when you have split ends.2 Here are a few telltale signs that you can look out for:

1. Frayed or ragged ends: Split ends will look frayed or ragged, as if the strands have been split in two.

2. Tangles: As split ends catch and snag on other hairs, they inevitably lead to tangling in your hair.

3. Dullness: Since the ends of your hair are no longer sealed, they can’t retain moisture anymore causing your hair to look dull and dry.

4. Frizz: Split ends can cause your hair to become frizzy, as the cuticles are no longer smooth and sealed.

Iles Formula Tip: If you can see a ‘V’ shape at the end, then you better start upgrading your hair care routine because you likely have split ends.

How Do You Prevent Split Ends?

Even if you think your hair is strong and healthy enough, it can still be vulnerable to damages like split ends. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to help prevent split ends.

1. Always use a heat protectant when heat styling: When styling your hair, use a heat protectant and set the styling tools to the lowest temperature setting possible.

The Iles Formula Finishing Serum

Struggling with frizzy, brittle hair? Our finishing serum is powerfully formulated to transform dry, brittle hair into sumptuous silk by blow drying it into wet hair. 

The perfect start to styling your next chignon (or any updo for that matter)!

The Iles Formula Finishing Serum serves as the ultimate protector against all environmental assaults including:

  • Heat (up to 450F)
  • UV
  • Humidity
  • Color Fade 

With hand-picked, sustainably sourced and custom blended ingredients including vitamins, nut oils, silk and ceramide, you can feed your hair with nothing but goodness!


2. Use a Wide-Tooth Comb: When detangling your hair, use a wide-tooth comb or your fingers to prevent breakage. Start at the ends and work your way up to the roots.

Trim Your Hair Regularly: Trimming your hair every 6 to 8 weeks will help get rid of split ends before they become a problem.

Use a Moisturizing Shampoo: Practicing this will keep your hair hydrated, but make sure you use products that are free of sulfates, parabens and other harsh chemicals. Make sure to check out the perfectly pH balanced and sulfate free Iles Formula Shampoo to cleanse and detangle the hair immediately. 

Protect Your Hair From the Sun: UV rays can damage your hair, and strip color too, leading to split ends. Use an umbrella or wear a hat when spending time outdoors and use a heat protectant with UV protection. Try the Iles Formula Finishing Serum.

Use a Conditioner: Keep your hair hydrated and prevent split ends. Look for a product like the Iles Formula Conditioner that is free of silicones, phthalates and parabens.

Nutrition For Healthier Hair

A healthy hair is easier to style and manage plus it enhances your look and boosts your confidence. To achieve a strong and glowing hair, good nutrition and proper hair care routine are required.

Since our hair is mostly made up of protein called keratin, adding protein-rich food into your diet can help keep your locks healthy.3 Additionally, Omega-3 fatty acids are also a key nutrient for healthy hair while B-vitamins are important for hair growth. 

Eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of lean proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. Lastly, remember to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water to keep the scalp and hair follicles moisturized.

When it comes to your hair care routine, trust only the professionals. Make sure you look for products that do not contain any harsh chemicals. With Iles Formula, you can be certain that all products are safe and made with only the best ingredients.

Best Products For Treating Split Ends

When it comes to treating split ends, the best products to use are those that are designed to target the problem directly like repairing split ends and promoting healthier, stronger hair.

If you want to take a different and more intensive approach to treating split ends, you may want to consider using a hair serum. Hair serums are usually made with ingredients such as oils, proteins, and vitamins that are the exact nutrients your hair needs. 

No need to look further, the Iles Formula Finishing Serum already contains all the essential components of a great hair serum. 

Final Thoughts

Split ends can sometimes be problematic. But having the right knowledge and tools, you can confidently combat these. Do not over-brush your hair and make sure to use a wide-toothed comb, always apply a protective serum, avoid too much sun exposure and excessive use of heat styling equipment. Also, don’t forget to get regular trims to cut those annoying split ends off of your hair.

If you want to achieve flawlessly beautiful hair, you have to nourish and care for it. Proper hair care practices and using the best products are the key to your dream hair.

Start your healthy hair journey with us! Contact Iles Formula today.

Want to know more about the most common hair problems faced by people today? Check out our latest blogs:


Is it okay to remove split ends?

It is perfectly safe to remove split ends, as long as it is done in a healthy and gentle way. Trimming your hair is the best way to get rid of split ends, as this will help to prevent further damage. 

Can you see split ends on natural hair?

Yes, split ends can occur on natural hair just like on chemically treated hair. It is important to inspect your hair regularly for signs of split ends, and to take action to prevent further damage.

What shampoo is best for split ends?

Using a shampoo specifically designed for split ends that contain ingredients such as keratin, argan oil, and panthenol, can help strengthen and protect your hair.

What deficiency causes split ends?

A lack of essential nutrients such as protein, vitamins, and minerals can cause split ends. Make sure to include plenty of protein and other essential nutrients in your diet to help keep your hair healthy and strong.

Do split ends damage roots?

Split ends can cause damage to the roots of your hair, as the split ends can travel up the shaft and cause breakage. It is important to take steps to prevent split ends, such as using protective styles and regularly trimming your hair.


  1. Higuera, V., & Cobb, C. (2020, April 1). How to prevent split ends and hair breakage: 7 tips and Techniques. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-prevent-split-ends 
  2. McDermott, A. (2017, January 12). How to get rid of split ends. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-get-rid-of-split-ends#am-i-at-risk 
  3. Robbins, C. R., & Robbins, C. R. (2012). Chemical and physical behavior of human hair (Vol. 4). Berlin: Springer.

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