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Trichoptilosis (from the Greek τριχο- tricho- "hair" and the New Latin ptilosis "arrangement of feathers in definite areas" from the Greek πτίλον ptilon "feather"), schizotrichia, and informally split ends, is the splitting or fraying of the hair-shaft due to excessive heat and mechanical stress.[1]


Thermal, chemical or mechanical stress can cause split ends. For example, the use of curling irons and other heat treatments may cause split ends. Excessive application of hair products such as perms and hair coloring may strip protective layering off the outside of the hair's shaft and weaken the hair, making the hair prone to split ends. Mechanical stresses include pulling a comb forcefully through tangled hair and repeated combing. Split ends can be a symptom of copper transport disorders such as Menkes disease and occipital horn syndrome. Rubbing the hair up towards the scalp does not cause split ends.[2]


There is no remedy for split ends beyond trimming the affected hair.

Some products claim to heal split ends by sealing the ends back together.[citation needed]


Reducing or eliminating the causes will usually prevent split ends. Trimming the ends of the hair at least every 6–10 weeks may prevent split ends.[clarification needed] Also, hair at the highest risk for splitting can be removed.[which?]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dorland's Medical Dictionary, Pocket edition, 21st edition, 1968.
  2. ^ Kaler, Stephen G (May 9, 2003). ATP7A-Related Copper Transport Disorders. National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine.