For some reason, in the haircare world, there’s this very persistent hair myth about split ends stopping hair growth.

There’s a lot of confusion around this question, especially because many people keep saying: if you want hair growth, you need to cut off your split ends regularly.

So naturally, people assume that if you don’t do that, your hair won’t grow. And that this must have something to do with your split ends.

Let’s clear up the confusion today once and for all!

What happens if you don’t cut your split ends?

First, let’s look at what happens if you don’t cut your split ends.

We all know that split ends usually happen at the tips of our hair.

Image of a hand holding hair ends to check for split ends

And usually this is due to a weakened hair structure. Your hair strand is the oldest at the tips, for longer hair it’s already several years old.

So it splits. And overtime, these split ends can get worse.

There have been cases of people showing how their hair had split all the way up!

So if you never cut your split ends, they might just keep splitting. So you’ll have lots of weakened hair strands, lots of breakage at the tips, and, to be honest, not the healthiest looking hair.

Related: Why do I keep getting split ends? Mystery solved!

Can your hair grow without cutting split ends?

A hand holding hair scissors, hair wrapped your hair around a finger, split ends sticking out.

Now for the question you’re actually interested in: Can you hair still grow if you don’t cut your split ends?

No matter if you cut it or not, your hair will still keep growing from the roots.

You have to understand that your hair roots don’t understand what’s happening at the tips. There’s simply not information exchange there!

The decision about how fast to grow your hair happens in the hair follicle.

Diagram of the anatomy of a hair follicle and the skin of the scalp where the hair root is

Your hair follicles are in the skin of your scalp. They’re made of various different cell types. And those use things like your hormones, messages from your immune system, and the nutrients you have available in your body to regulate your hair growth.

They DO NOT get information from further down the hair.

So this means that even if your hair is split all the way up to the scalp, you might still have hair growth.

BUT – and this is important – your hair might not actually get any LONGER.

Sounds confusing? Take a moment to consider this:

If your hair is super damaged at the ends, it will simply break off.

So even though your hair keeps growing out of the scalp, you lose all your length at the ends.

Very often you’ll hear people complain that they’ve been at shoulder length for months and their hair just doesn’t grow.

And the reason for that is simply that it’s breaking off at the shoulders. Because the hair tips are constantly rubbing on the shoulders, splitting and then breaking off.

So can your hair grow without cutting split ends? Yes. Does your hair get longer? It might not.

So does cutting off split ends help hair growth?

So, at this point, you probably know that cutting off split ends cannot speed up hair growth.

Simply because the hair follicles don’t know what happens at the ends.

However, cutting off split ends before they “travel up” the hair length, might help you gain more length in the long run. Your tips will be healthier if they’re not splitting so much, and this also means you lose less length due to breakage.

Just make sure to not cut it off faster than it grows!

Related: How to make your hair grow faster – the no BS guide

Is it good to cut off split ends?

So is it good to cut off split ends? Yes, it is. Your hair will be healthier for it.

At the same time, if you’re trying for faster hair growth, cutting off your ends too often won’t help. It might actually do the opposite.

Instead, use this technique to get rid of split ends without losing your length.

Do split ends cause hair loss?

Image of a woman with dark hair holding fallen hair in her right hand and touching her scalp with the left hand

Lastly, I want to quickly address another common question. Many people ask if split ends cause hair loss.

If you’ve read the explanations above, you’ll already know the answer. But just to make it super clear: No! Split ends cannot possibly cause hair loss.

Again, the hair follicle does not know what happens at the end of the hair. There is simply no link between the two that could make the hair fall out.

If you’re struggling with your hair falling out, read all about different hair loss causes here! And rest assured, your split ends are not it!

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Image of a hand holding hair ends, the words "Do split ends stop hair growth?" written above