Are you at the point where it seems like you had cracked the code to a luscious beard, but suddenly, beard split ends came knocking?
Instead of being proud and showing off your gains, you are now contemplating whether or not to shave off your beard.
Considering what you have conquered to this point, split ends are just another manageable hurdle.
In this article, I will take you through everything you should know about split ends, including:
- How to know if you have split ends.
- What they mean and the different causes.
- Ways to fix and prevent them from occurring.
- I will also answer popular questions about this condition.
What are Beard Split Ends?
Also referred to as trichoptilosis, split ends are a condition when the ends of facial hair start splitting, forming different shapes at the tip.
The hair tips split into two or more branches from a single strand, forming different shapes like a tree, branch, or feather.
How Do You Detect Split Ends and What are the Signs?
The first thing you should be doing is a regular inspection of your facial hairs to check if hair strands are splitting at the tips.
As long as you know how healthy, straight strands look, split ends will be easy to identify.
To do this, gently stretch a section of your beard and check the tips of individual strands.
Because it is not possible to inspect every strand, sample from different sections of your beard. And pay close attention to how the ends/tips look.
Another way to know if you have split ends is when you notice a gradual change in the feel and look of your beard hairs.
Here are the signs you should look out for:
- If your beard is getting prickier, split ends may be the cause
- You will start noticing more breakage and more tangles and knots.
- If the appearance of the beard changes and starts looking weathered and worn.
- The ends feel dryer, and styling becomes harder.
- Your beard starts feeling mushy after washing.
Causes And Preventative Measures of Beard Split Ends
Split ends are mostly caused by external aggressors, but there are people who are more prone to getting them.
Some studies show that people of African descent are more predisposed to split ends because of their hair type.
Here are the different causes of facial hair split ends.
1. The Condition Of Your Facial Hair
A common cause for split ends is the condition of the beard. If your beard is not in the best state, you are more susceptible to split ends.
This can be a result of:
If you are not eating and hydrating properly, your hair strands will be weaker, and this can cause split ends. The fix here is to stay hydrated and to increase the consumption of biotin and protein-rich food such as:
- Lean meats
- Healthy fats
- Veggies and fruits rich in vitamins A, B, C, D, and E
Dry And Rough Beard Hairs.
When hair strands are dry, they become susceptible to splitting at the ends. The different ways to soften and condition beard include:
- Using beard oil that contains either argan oil, jojoba oil, sunflower seed oil, or coconut oil.
- Applying beard balm to moisturize and condition the beard. Beard balms contain shea butter or beeswax and carrier oils such as jojoba oil, argan oil, castor oil, grapeseed oil, hazelnut oil, avocado oil, and sweet almond oil.
Length of The Beard
Note, the longer the beard, the higher the chances of developing split ends; because sebum oils can’t get all the way down to the tips. Luckily, you can fix this by regularly applying beard oil and balm.
2. Grooming and Maintenance Mistakes
Split ends can also be an indication of poor grooming or improper maintenance.
- Excessive use of shampoo. Harsh and frequent shampooing strips off all oils and moisture from strands. I recommend a gentle beard shampoo; up to 3 times a week. Also, condition your beard after washing; preferably with a leave-in conditioner.
- Excessive force when combing or brushing the beard. If you are combing and keep getting stuck, don’t force it. Instead, remove the comb and try again or use your fingers to untangle the knots.
- Over combing or brushing your facial hair. While you can comb a beard up to 5 times a day, only brush once to avoid exerting unnecessary pressure on the strands. But, make sure you are using the right brush or comb. I recommend a wooden comb and boar brush. And the teeth spacings should be suitable for your facial hair type and volume.
- Using dull tools. Blunt cutting tools will leave rough tips that can easily split. Also, make sure you are cutting at a 90 degrees angle.
- Brushing when the beard is wet. When hair is wet, it’s more fragile, and this can lead to breakage and split ends.
- You are using extremely hot water to wash or rinse. Just like excess heat from a flat iron or blow dryer, hot water strips oils from the strands leaving them dry and prone to breaking.
- Using water with high chlorine levels. High Chlorine is notorious for sucking oils from strands, leaving them rough and dry, which is a recipe for split ends.
- Frequent dyeing. When you dye your beard, the chemical treatment leaves the strands weaker because they remove the protective layer. When the strands are fragile, they can quickly start splitting at the ends.
All these fixes come down to one thing, be gentle to your facial hairs.
3. Other Possible Causes
- Friction between the beard and the pillow when sleeping. Because it’s not possible to cover the beard, sleep on a satin or silk pillow to minimize friction. Also, oil the beard before heading to bed.
- Trichotillomania and compulsive twirling. If you are struggling with the irresistible urge to pull or twirl your facial hairs, it can cause split ends. I’d recommend seeking therapy to help you manage this condition.
- When the weather is dry and harsh, there is a possibility of the follicles getting too brittle and breaking. So, try to keep your beard moisturized.
The Best Way To Fix Beard Split Ends
One sure way to fix split ends is to trim them off.
If the split ends are left to stay, the splits can extend into the skin, which will cause follicular damage.
The ease of cutting the affected strands will depend on the length of your beard. For a long beard, it is easier to spot the breaks.
You can decide to trim the ends off, leaving straight and healthy strands to grow back again.
However, this eliminates even the healthy tips and is only ideal for those with a length advantage.
The other methods are the sliding and twisting techniques. While they take time, you only get to cut the affected hair strands.
Make sure you are using sharp tools.
You can also seek the help of a professional stylist to cut the affected parts carefully.
Beard split ends are manageable if you discover them in the early stages. That’s why it’s recommended to regularly inspect your facial hairs for split ends.
On top of fixing them, make sure you have identified the causes and found a suitable remedy.
That’s it for this post.
If you have a comment or question, be sure to leave them below.
Frequently Asked Questions About Beard Split Ends
There is nothing you can do to fix the split hairs or reverse the damage. The only option is to trim the split ends out and let the beard grow back. While you can try concealing the splits, it’s not a permanent fix. If left for long, the splitting can continue, forming deeper breaks forcing you to cut off the entire strand.
It’s best to cut the splits when the hair is towel-dry. While you can cut it when it’s completely dry, the need for combing to reveal the split end makes a towel-dried hair better because it’s easier to comb.