Split Ends and Hair Growth

Girl checking her own hair for split ends
Photo: Denis Orea/Shutterstock
Q: Do split ends stop your hair from growing?
A: No. Split ends are the result of stresses, daily abuse from styling and environmental factors that cause the ends of the hair to become damaged and frayed. The hair's shaft cracks along the length and splits upward, sometimes in multiple pieces. The hair will still continue to grow as it normally does.
The conflict comes because the development of split ends can damage the ends of the hair faster than the scalp can grow new length. In some cases, the hair doesn't break off fully but ends up with barbs and rough ends that lead to tangles and snarls as the hairs brush against one another. This can cause additional hair damage and breakage.
There are shampoos, conditioners and styling products that have ingredients meant to smooth the roughness and re-bond the frayed ends of the hair to give a smoother, less-frizzed look. These are good as treatment for the symptoms, but the best way to deal with the problem is to prevent it from happening.
Avoid over-brushing the hair as excessive brushing can cause split ends. The idea that 100 strokes a day is a way to keep the hair healthy is a myth. You should brush the hair only as much as needed to remove tangles.
Use conditioner every day on the hair. The hair needs protection and moisture every day. Hair that is well-conditioned will feel smooth and silky to the touch and will resist breakage and stresses better.
See also:
What split ends look like
How to repair split ends
How to get rid of split ends
Why and how you should trim long hair