There are many different ways to detect split ends. For starters if you look closely you will notice split ends do not have any pigment, therefore if the ends of your hair looks lighter than the rest of your hair then most likely the ends have split. Moreover, split ends are easier to see when in a well lit area.
The most common split many come across is just one split at the end of a hair strand. There are over 10 kinds of split ends such as double Y, deep/long, incomplete, feather, tapered and multiple splits. The sooner you treat your split ends the healthier your hair will stay.
If left unchecked split ends can begin to move up the hair strand and cause even more damage. To get rid of split ends do not try to break them off, always use a pair of scissors. Trim your ends at least every two months.