What Causes White Tips On Hair? Are They Split Ends?

white tips on hair

Spotting white tips or dots on hair can be an intimidating sign, especially if you’re in your 20s because no one wants to look older than their actual age.

While the white ends of your hair strands don’t indicate natural greying, which ensues after 30, they do signal damage or fracture to your manes.

People generally think these white hair dots result from split ends. But is it the real cause? We will see later in this post.

This article addresses the most common causes of white hair tips. Further, it also put forward a few options that can help prevent these dots on your locks.

What Causes White Dots On Hair Tips?

The hair develops white tips due to the damage or fracture to its shaft. Different factors, including excessive blow-drying or the use of chemicals, can contribute to this damage.

Any harsh hair treatment that peels off the cuticles may cause white dots. In addition, putting off a haircut for too long might result in rough and white hair ends as well.

According to a study, white hair tips arise because of a condition known as “Trichorrhexis nodosa,” in which weak points on hair fiber turn into nodes. Further, it states that the following factors may damage your hair, causing white nodes or specks on the hair.

1. Excessive Blow-Drying

Too much use of heat to style hair can put the health of your manes in jeopardy. Heat breaks hydrogen and disulfide bonds and shuffles the keratin filaments of hair. It weakens the hair strand from multiple points by ripping it off from its moisture.

So, what can you expect from this damaged hair? It will be rough and may contain white dots or tips.

Experts don’t recommend using heating tools over your hair. But if you still want to, employ them occasionally and always start with cool air.

2. Brushing Hair Too Much

According to a common notion, giving 100 brush strokes daily to your hair can stimulate hair growth, but the American Academy of Dermatology considers it a myth. Most people are unaware that excessive brushing can damage their locks.  

A study examined the frequency of hair brushing in women for four weeks and concluded that people who brushed their hair lesser had the least damaged manes. 

Also, you may not have given it a thought, but there is a wrong and right way of brushing your hair. Doing it wrong will put your hair under stress and become prone to damage. 

So, if your hair sticks up every time you try to style it or contains white dots on its ends, you probably need to look into your brushing technique. 

3. Wrong Use of Shampoo and Hair Styling Products

There are a few crucial things to consider when buying or using hair care and styling products. If you got the white tips on your hair, you need to look into the following points because they weaken and damage your manes. 

  • Use Sulfate-Free Shampoo and Hair Spray: It is common to find these products with sulfates because these chemicals are harsh cleansing agents and preservatives. Sulfates can dry out and weaken your locks. These ingredients can build up in your scalp, making your hair feel waxy and greasy even after the shower.
  • Avoid rubbing shampoo into the length of your hair when washing: Hair is more prone to damage when it is wet. Rubbing its length can cause a fracture in the hair strand, which is the leading cause of the development of white dots. 
  • Don’t shampoo your hair too often: While shampooing is necessary to clean your hair and scalp, overdoing it can lead to hair damage. Also, always use a conditioner after shampoo.

4. Brushing or Towel Drying Wet Hair

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the hydrogen bonds of keratin protein, which makes up hair strands, are broken when your hair is wet.

Therefore, a slight tug of the brush or towel can injure the hair shaft easily. And as we have mentioned before, hair strand injury develops nodes that lead to white dots, especially on the ending part f hair.

5. Not Taking Enough Zinc and Iron

Iron and zinc are two of the most crucial nutrients for hair health. Their deficiency has been linked to weak and damaged manes in studies. In addition, zinc deficiency increases the risk of premature greying of the hair.

Although this is a less prevalent cause of white hair tips, it is nonetheless something to be aware of.

6. Perming or Coloring Hair Too Often

Hair perm or color involves a lot of chemical action on your hair, and you know by any means it is not good. It weakens your hair from different points, rips off its moisture, and leaves it prone to damage.

Experts suggest that one should rest 8 to 10 weeks on her hair before getting it permed or curled again. Also, if your perm has gone wrong, wait for a few weeks before reversing it.

Getting your hair bleached and permed together can double down the hair damage and chances of getting hair with white ends.

7. Using Flat Iron

Flat irons are useful for straightening curly hair, but daily doing it will leave your hair damaged from every end. The heat from Iron raises the temperature of your locks to 300°F and breaks bonds that hold your hair shaft.

flat iron to reverse a perm

While on cooling, these bonds are reformed, the clamping rips away the hair cuticle and causes fractures to the strands. It may not only cause the white tips but dots all over the hair as well.

Do Split Ends Cause White Tips On Hair?

If you have long hair, its end might be dry and rough. Long hair has more chances of developing split ends than regularly trimmed hair.

Excessive heat and chemicals used on hair leave it dry and frayed and might rip off its cuticle on the ends. And you might see white or grey tips on your hair because the cuticle, which gives color, is removed.

So, the hair damage causes white dots, not the split ends, because if there is no damage, there will be no splits at the ends.

How To Get Rid Of White Tips On Hair?

Unfortunately, there is no way you can reverse the white tips on your hair into black. Once your hair strand is fractured, or its cuticle is removed, you can’t do anything to get it back. The only method to get rid of white ends hair is to ask your hairstylist to trim the tips. 

However, if you want to prevent the white dots on your hair in the future, you need to look out for the following things. 

  • Avoid excessive blow-drying. Use it only when inevitable and employ the lowest heat. 
  • Try to wear the natural hair texture and color, or wait for two months before getting your hair permed again.
  • Don’t rub the shampoo into the length of your hair. Gently massage it in the scalp and let the water take it down to the length. 
  • Try not to brush your hair more than twice a day. When brushing, your hair should be slightly damp and start from tips and move to the roots. 
  • Eat healthily or take certified supplements to overcome any mineral or vitamin deficiency.

What Have We Learned?

White tips on hair appear because of the damage or fracture to the hair strand. Harsh chemical treatments, heat, flat ironing, and over-brushing are some of the leading causes of damaged hair. Broken or peeled-off cuticle points develop into white dots. The best way to prevent white-end hair is to look into these reasons and find out what is causing you this problem.