Chances are, you've probably had split ends in your life. Heck, I'd hazard a guess that the majority of folks you know have had split ends — it's kind of part of the deal of having hair, right? With this in mind, are split ends really a big deal considering they are so common?
For starters, it's important to understand exactly what they are, Steven DeCarlo, Senior Stylist at Mizu New York, tells Bustle, "Split ends are when one single hair strand starts to break apart at the end of the hair follicle. When this happens, over time the hair strand continues to break going further up the hair shaft. This leads to a lot of breakage and also makes the hair not look so healthy."
"A split end is when your hair starts to split at the ends and is usually caused by a few things," says Chelle Neff owner of Urban Betty Salon. "The age of the hair; over use of heat with tools; and chemical damage by color, bleach, or straighteners."
But, the million dollar question is, are split ends really a big deal?
"Yes, split ends are a big deal and they don’t go away magically like most product companies would like you to think. The longer they hang out on your head the more havoc they can wreak," says Neff. This news doesn't bode well for folks with split strands.
"Splits ends are a big deal because it can cause your hair to keep breaking, thus never appearing that it's growing," Honey Artists hairstylist Daven Mayeda, tells Bustle. "Split ends are quite noticeable amongst darker hair rather than light hair," he continues, "if you're not in a phase where growth isn't really a big deal then don't worry about them!"
Brian Zinno, Senior Education Director at Antonio Prieto Salon, also agrees that split ends are an issue. "Split ends are a big deal because if your goal is to grow your hair long and luxurious you'll never get there," he says. "Your hair will be long, but stringy. The splits at the ends have no where to go but up!"
However, DeCarlo explains that dry hair doesn't automatically mean you have split ends. He says, "A lot of people mistake dry hair for split ends. Dry hair is treatable and conditioned with masks and deep treatments — split ends, not so much." It's best to make sure that you are actually suffering with split ends before you get yourself in a tizzy.
But don't worry, it's not all doom and gloom! Neff says, "The good news is that you can prevent and remove split ends easily. The best way to remove them is through cutting them off."
If you're unsure about whether you've got split ends, book an appointment with your stylist to get to the root of the issue and find a solution for your potentially splitting strands!