Do Split Ends Stop Hair Growth?

Do Split Ends Stop Hair Growth?

If you’ve been noticing that your hair has many split ends and have also been seeing decreased hair growth, or perhaps you have many split ends and want to know the potential consequences, you might be wondering whether split ends stop hair growth. This article discusses whether split ends stop hair growth, why split ends can damage your hair, and how to stop and prevent this damage.

Is it true that split ends stop hair growth?

The short answer to whether split ends, a phenomenon referred to as trichoptilosis, stop hair growth is no. Split ends by themselves cannot stop hair growth. Your hair grows from your hair roots, which are very far from the ends of your hair, so as long as your hair follicle (the part of your strand that anchors your hair to your scalp) stays healthy, your hair will continue to grow, regardless of split ends or not.

The reason why split ends sometimes seem to stop hair growth is because severe split ends can break off close to your scalp, making it appear as though the hair there has completely fallen off. In the most severe cases, the split ends are so close to the bottom of your hair strand that it breaks as quickly as it grows, adding to the illusion of decreased hair growth. 

However, the only things that split ends affect are the length and appearance of your hair. Hair that is filled with split ends can make it look dry, frayed, and messy with the varying lengths of hair. So no, split ends don’t stop hair growth, but it’s still important to be careful of them to maintain healthy and amazing hair quality.

What causes split ends?

Split ends don’t stop hair growth, but given the consequences that severe split ends are associated with, it’s important to know what causes them:

  • Blow drying, straightening, curling hair: It’s a known fact that applying heat to hair can damage it, causing more split ends. Consider removing these types of hair procedures from your morning routine to minimize the damage introduced to the hair shaft and hair root .
  • Chemical treatments: Chemical treatments like dying and bleaching your hair can also cause breakage and more split ends. These split ends are particularly worrisome as the chemicals used in these treatments can inadvertently affect the health of the hair follicle as well.
  • Washing your hair too much: Applying too much shampoo will take valuable natural oil out of your hair, causing it to be drier and more prone to breakage.

Preventing split ends

Now you know how split ends stop hair growth, let’s discuss how to get rid of them. Unfortunately, the only way to get rid of split ends is to cut them off – so if you have many split ends, consider heading to the beauty salon for a short trim, as the problem likely lies in only the ends of your hair. You might not want to change your hair’s length at this point and are looking for options on how to get rid of your split ends without cutting them off.

Split ends that are not cut off will continue to get more and more brittle until they break off completely all by themselves. But rest assured! What you can do is find ways to keep your hair healthy and prevent them from getting more split ends. Being proactive about it is key! Keep in mind that you can still get split ends even with the healthiest hair, but following these tips will enable you to greatly reduce the number of split ends in your hair. 

  • Don’t use a towel to rub your hair dry: Some people rub their hair dry with a towel, but this can damage it and cause it to break. Avoid doing this after showers to prevent unnecessary pulling on your hair and split ends!
  • Be gentle while combing: Using too much force while combing your hair can also cause split ends. Be sure to detangle your hair before combing to ensure a smoother comb and to prevent split ends!
  • Moisturize your hair: Previously, we discussed that overwashing your hair can cause dryness and more split ends. Moisturizing will help to reverse that – consider using a hair mask or hair oils to help retain water in your hair.


Now you know that the answer to whether split ends stop hair growth is that split ends don’t stop hair growth, but keeping them in check is still vital to your hair’s overall health. While the only way to get rid of split ends is to cut them off, there are many ways to prevent them from happening in the first place! We hope you will take some of our suggestions on split end prevention to guide you on your path towards happier and healthier hair!


Profile photo for Evan Zhao

Reviewed by: Evan Zhao, PhD

Evan is a synthetic biologist and chemical engineer. He completed his BS from Caltech, and his MA and PhD from Princeton University. He received the prestigious Schmidt Science Fellowship as a postdoctoral fellow at MIT/Harvard and has published in the world's top scientific journals including Nature, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Chemical Biology, and more.

Written by: Revela Editorial Team

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