White Tips On Hair: Why Are They There? What’s the Deal?

Woman with damaged hair
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From washing your hair regularly to applying leave-in conditioner for stronger and healthier hair, there are endless ways we can care for hair. And when there is something unusual about our hair, we can’t help but wonder what they are and why they are there.

Have you ever noticed white tips on hair? Why are they there? We are not talking about the white tip that you see when you pull out a hair strand completely from the roots. The white tips we are talking about here are the ones you’d find in the tips, away from the scalp. 

There is a term for those white dots you see on the tips of your hair. They are called trichorrhexis nodosa. They signify hair damage due to a variety of causes.

We’ll discuss it below. 


White Tips On Hair, Why Are They There?

Grab your hair and look at the tips. Do you see white spots on the tips of your hair? That’s called trichorrhexis nodosa

Those white tips weren’t there originally! They could eventually develop due to different factors. The main reason why they are there is that they signify that the hair is broken or damaged. 

The main reason why they are there is that they signify that the hair is broken or damaged. 

Sometimes, you might see a bunch of those white tips, while other hair tips have split ends. The white tips could further lead to split ends because it is damaged and the only way to prevent that is to cut them. 

Causes Of White Tips On Hair

As we’ve mentioned, the white tips on hair signify damaged hair. There are a few common causes of damage to the hair that could lead to the white tips that you see, they are as follows:

1. Friction

Did you know that friction can damage your hair and cause split ends or white tips? Avoiding friction is a great way to prevent developing white tips. 

One thing that could cause friction is your pillowcase. What kind of pillowcases do you have? Do you still use cotton pillowcases?

If you have white tips, you might want to change them into mulberry silk  or satin pillowcases. They are less likely to cause friction to your hair. 

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2. Excessive Brushing

How many times do you brush your hair? Although you can detangle your hair, excessive brushing could cause you to develop white tips on your hair. This may be due to friction or excessive brushing.

When brushing your hair, do it slowly and gently. Make sure that you start from the tip and work your way up so that you don’t pull too much on the hair.

Do it in sections, too.

3. Avoid Excessive Swimming In Pools

Another cause of damage would be the hair’s exposure to chemicals. Swimming pools or even salt water can cause your hair to dry out. When it dries out, those white tips could start to form and eventually become split ends. 

4. Lessen Chemical Treatments

It’s nice to change hair color or to add highlights to your hair. However, using chemicals to treat your hair should also be minimized if you want to avoid the white tips that form. 

5. Heat Damage 

Do you use heat stylers like flat irons or curling irons often? Although they can alter the appearance of your hair, using heat to style them can cause the hair to dry out and get damaged

Heat damage isn’t limited to the use of heat stylers. Exposure to excess UV light from the sun could cause heat damage and dryness to the hair as well! Eventually, you could develop split ends. 

What To Do With White Tips On Hair

When you see white tips on your hair, the best thing to do is to go for a trim. There is nothing that you can do to save the ends of your hair once they have formed those white tips.

When you see white tips on your hair, the best thing to do is to go for a trim. There is nothing that you can do to save the ends of your hair once they have formed those white tips.

You may also already have some split ends in some of the hair. The only thing you can do is to cut them to prevent the split from rising and ruining the rest of the hair strand. 

After that, you should identify what could have caused your hair damage and avoid it. Lessen your hair’s exposure to UV light, high heat, and other chemicals to avoid dryness and damage. 

How To Prevent White Tips On Hair

White tips on hair are a sign of damage and can be a precursor to split ends. In order to prevent them from forming, you should keep your hair healthy, strong, and moisturized

To do that, you should minimize the use of heat stylers. These are drying your hair because they use heat. Although you could use heat protectants to minimize the damage, you should still minimize using them to prevent hair damage. 

Excessive perming, straightening, coloring, bleaching, and other chemical treatments should be avoided. At first, you may not see the damage. But as time passes, you could develop white tips and split ends. 

Another thing you can do to help keep the hair healthy is to nourish it with a variety of products. There are moisturizing conditioner you can use to bring back moisture to the hair before the dryness becomes too damaging to the hair, especially the tips. 

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There are some deep conditioners and hair masks that you could use to provide the nutrients that your hair needs. In this way, you’d be able to grow your hair longer without damaging the tips. 

You should use UV protection for the hair to avoid sun damage. Sun damage can be drying the hair.

Although there is nothing else you can do to the white hair tips to bring them back, you can still save the rest of the hair strands by taking good care of your hair. 

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Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).