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Why Does My Hair Flip Up at the Ends? Causes and Prevention

No one wants to deal with uncooperative hair. And who knows it better than those who experience flipped-up ends? It’s a common struggle, especially for those who have shoulder-length hair.

You might spend precious morning minutes combing and styling your hair hoping for a smooth look, but those stubborn hair ends have other plans. They flip up, leaving you wondering what you did wrong.

Well, this inconvenient hairstyle can happen for many reasons, like having damaged ends for instance. 

But don’t worry! We’ll explain all the other different reasons why your hair flicks up, along with everything you can do to prevent it.

Why Does Hair Flip Up at the Ends?

If your hair is flipping out or curled up though you haven’t curled it recently, the following might be the reasons behind this issue:

1. Split Ends

split ends causing hair flicked out at the ends

The most common reason for flipped-up ends is having split ends. The problem is that split ends are pretty resistant to styling, tending to go their own way. Accordingly, the ends of your hair will look messy.

That’s not all! Split ends mean that your hair isn’t all the same length. They also tend to be pretty damaged and dry.

So, when the stray ends rub against each other, hair static happens, causing your ends to look more unruly.

2. Damaged Hair

Unfortunately, split ends and damaged hair go hand in hand. Without healing and hydration, getting rid of this problem will be challenging. Even if you get a haircut to remove all the split ends, they’ll still flick out.

Generally, the ends of your hair are particularly fragile. After all, they’re the oldest parts of hair strands. In addition, they receive little to no nourishment from the scalp.

Sadly, some actions can deteriorate the situation further. That includes the following:

  • Styling your hair with heat
  • Not shielding your hair from chlorine and salt damage
  • Excessively pulling and tugging at the hair while styling
  • Not using a heat protectant while styling or going out in the sun

3. Treated Hair

treated blonde hair flick at the ends

Treated hair is one of the biggest culprits for damaged ends. In particular, bleach and chemical treatments result in frayed ends, dry hair, and a lack of luster.

If you don’t counteract this damage from the get-go, the problem won’t just be the flicking of the ends. Instead, your entire head will look like a lion’s mane!

That’s why professional hair stylists recommend taking it slowly when bleaching your precious hair. This way, you’ll have time to reverse any damage before completely dyeing your hair.

4. Hair Length and Texture

Shoulder-length hair often flicks out more than shorter or longer hair. That’s only normal, as the ends of your hair will come into contact with your shoulder and flip outward most of the time.

In addition, wavy and curly hair naturally flicks out. Even if you straighten your curly hair or use other products, your hair will likely return to its natural position.

The only way to keep your textured hair in place is to use excessive heat and other treatments. In this case, you’ll be damaging your hair, which in turn results in the flicking of your hair. Quite the loop, huh?

On the other hand, straight hair is usually finer and more prone to split ends. Without regular trimming, the ends will typically flick out.

5. Changes in Climate

climate change causing hair flick at the ends

Even the healthiest, most nourished hair can’t fight certain degrees of humidity. 

Depending on your hair’s porosity, it’ll absorb some moisture from the air. Then, the moisture causes your hair strands to swell and the cuticles to lift.

What’s more, when you’re traveling, you’re probably subjecting your hair to too much sun, salt water, and other things that can damage it.

All of these factors will cause your hair to dry and the ends to flick out.

6. Hormonal Disturbances

Hormones are a key factor in your hair’s health. They regulate scalp sebum production, which keeps the hair hydrated. They’re also responsible for hair loss.

That’s basically why you have bad hair days! If you’re taking care of your hair as you usually do but the ends won’t cooperate, the menstrual cycle might be to blame.

This is particularly true if you’re going through pregnancy or menopause. Additionally, a little stress can also wreak havoc on your hormones.

7. Inappropriate Haircut and Styling

Haircuts aren’t universal. Many women consider their face shape and hair color when getting a haircut. Unfortunately, texture and hair type are often an afterthought, despite being super important.

While layers might give fine hair texture, they thin the ends even more, making them prone to damage.

In contrast, if your hair is thick, it’ll naturally curl outward. Accordingly, thinning shears are your best friend.

Lastly, you might try everything to keep your hair from flicking out, only to discover you’ve been simply styling it wrong.

How to Keep Hair From Flipping Up

So, how can you prevent your hair from flicking out at the ends? Luckily, you can get the straight, flat ends of your dreams by following these steps:

1. Hydrate Your Hair

hydrate hair to keep away from flicking out at the ends

As we’ve mentioned, dry and damaged hair is hard to tame with regular styling methods. Therefore, fixing the root of the issue is the best course of action.

Hydration is key to repairing any kind of hair damage. You might already be using hair masks and hydrating shampoos, but implementing any of the following methods will make a world of difference:

  • Wash your hair less often.
  • Use cold water in the shower, as it boosts the hair’s moisture levels and doesn’t harm the cuticle.
  • Leave your favorite deep conditioning treatment overnight for optimal results.
  • Nourish your hair from within by taking supplements such as Omega-3 and Vitamin B.

2. Keep Away From Heat

Applying more heat and styling products to your ends might seem like an easy option. However, you’ll be damaging your hair more and more every day, rendering it unsalvageable in the long run.

For this reason, you should keep away from using heat on your hair, at least until the ends have recovered.

If you absolutely must style your hair using heat, don’t skip the heat protectant. Thoroughly saturate each hair strand with the product, let it dry, and then use your favorite styling tools.

3. Use a Nourishing Hair Oil

using oil to keep away hair from flicking out at the ends

So, you want to keep your hair in place without using heat? Instead of using hair gels, which can make your hair stiff, you can go for essential oils.

Oils are particularly helpful in humid conditions because they keep your hair from absorbing moisture. 

This solution is the simplest and most cost-friendly for flicked ends. For starters, you don’t need to buy a specific hair oil. The coconut or olive oil available in your pantry will do.

A tiny amount of oil is more than enough to make the ends of your hair shine and stay in place. 

So, don’t worry about your hair looking greasy. If these oils weigh down your hair, you can opt for canola oil since it’s not that heavy.

When using the oil, apply a drop or two to the ends of your hair, and you’ll be good to go.

4. Get a Haircut

cutting hair to keep away from flicking out at the ends

In some cases, the only way to fix split ends is to get a hair trim. While you might be sad to see your precious locks go, split ends can completely ruin your hair.

To elaborate, split ends will slowly make their way upward if you don’t cut them regularly. Then, your entire hair will be frizzy, not just the ends!

If none of this works for you to fix your ends, you can also style your flipped-out ends to make it look intentional. If your hair is already short, don’t cut it too much instead get a short flip hairstyle.


So, why does hair flip up at the ends? Well, it might be because you have split ends or your hair is damaged. It might also happen because your hair is heavily treated.

In some cases, a hormonal disturbance can lead to hair problems, including flicked-out ends. In contrast, it might happen due to something as simple as inappropriate styling.

Luckily, by hydrating your hair and using an essential oil, you can avoid this problem. You should also keep away from heat until your hair has recovered.