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by Cipriana of Urbanbushbabes.com

If there is hell on earth for women trying to grow and retain length it’s split ends ends. Split ends (or Trichoptilosis; the Greek ‘tricho’ translates to ‘hair’ and the New Latin ‘ptilosis’ translates loosely to ‘feathers) is the splitting of the hair shaft due to excessive heat and manual stress. It occurs when the protective cuticle has been stripped away from the ends of hair fibers. Split ends develop mostly in dry or brittle hair. Once the cuticle is removed it cannot be replaced. Here’s everything you need to know about split ends and what you can do to keep your ends sane.

Causes of Split Ends:

Dry hair, coloring, perming, relaxing, too much heat (including blow dryers), manual stress and lack of self- induced moisture. Manual stress includes pulling a comb or brush excessively and forcefully through tangled hair.

Repairing Split Ends:

is a huge myth. There is no real way to repair split ends except to cut them off.

Sealing Split Ends:

This is a method of temporarily putting back together split ends for appearance sake. The best way to seal ends is to use serum. The split ends will seal together but this method is very much like using tape or glue to seal your ends, which can cause even more damage as the split ends can travel further along the shaft as the serum wears off — though most split ends tend to break off not far from the damaged area. I know someone might be thinking “well what is the point of cutting split ends if they simply break off regardless?” Well, after the breakage you are left with frayed ends that are more susceptible to split again. Unfortunately there is no magical mending solution to split ends.

Eliminating Split Ends:

You can trim your hair or you can take sections and do a search and destroy — checking the ends and trimming individual split strands instead of doing a blunt trim. I prefer this method since I have a low amount of split ends due to no use of heat in over 2 years. Be sure to cut split ends at least 1/8 inches above the damaged area. Most importantly always remember to use a good pair of professional hair scissors. Using dull blades can actually cause more damage to your fresh cut ends

Preventing Split Ends:

Eliminating or decreasing the amount of heat you regularly use in your routine is key for prevention. Straightening your hair only decreases the amount of natural oils (called sebum) from your already thirsty strands putting you at greater risk for split ends. Consistently moisturizing your hair is half the battle, and paying special attention to your ends (the oldest part of your hair) is a necessity. Split ends for the most part form at the ends because it is the driest area of the hair which is why sealing your ends should be incorporated in your regular hair routine.

Ridding yourself of split ends is essential in retaining length and for the overall health of your hair. Hoping they will just disappear is wishful thinking and not eliminating them immediately can cause further damage. Not only can your ends split into two but branch off into more splits along the same strand, known as “branching”. To hang on to a couple of inches of damaged ends just for length sake is insanity and will jeopardize your hair in the long run. The choice is yours but make it quickly because split ends have a way of sneaking up on you.

Ladies, how do you deal with split ends?

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46 Comments on "The Natural’s Guide to Preventing Split Ends"

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NHCN

Believe it or not, some naturalistas even contemplate on whether or not to cut their split ends (http://www.naturalhaircarenews.com/2015/02/10/doing-battle-with-split-ends-tips-on-keeping-your-ends-smooth-and-retaining-length/), but anyways, like what the article says, no real hard and fast solution when it comes to split ends, best we can do is to minimize it solution varies from naturalista to naturalista…

Anoni

Is it just me or did she not give any advice at all on how to prevent split ends? She just told us what they were… *sigh*

Princess Robinson

She mentioned using less heat, low manipulation, dry hair, and relaxing or perming…sigh”

Courtney

Still trying to stop the shedding of hair or damage.

trackback

[…] Click here for part 1 of the split end prevention series. […]

Dustin

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Star

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Charlotte
There is nothing I can do to stop my hair from getting split ends but anyhow they do not cause me a problem. One thing no one has ever spoken negatively of is my hair, ppl think it is gorgeous and that it looks healthy. Ha, they are wrong. But my hair grows like nobody’s business, and in record breaking time. I do cut my split ends off individually but I don’t really trim my length anymore unless I am getting a lot of split ends. I mean “a lot” is relative. I always have some but I see much… Read more »
Sheree

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Arletha

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Esperanza

I do accept as true with all of the concepts you’ve offered on your post. They’re very convincing and can definitely work. Nonetheless, the posts are very brief for starters. Could you please extend them a little from subsequent time? Thanks for the post.

BBQueen
Thank you for this article! It has been a little over a year since my big chop and I am excited about how fast my hair is growing. I trim my ends often, but recently straightened it and discovered inches of split ends. I am dismayed because I am happy that it is getting so long, but now I see that it has to go and I have to change my routine. Part of my reason for going natural was my desire for healthy hair, and that is what I will achieve. Length is nice but healthy hair is better!… Read more »
mary

Urgh I hate split ends…I always make sure I get a regular trim to prevent them. I even went all out and bought the whole Pro Naturals hair care line online from beyas, good thing I did though because my hair is looking awesome and I haven’t had any more split ends yet 🙂

Charlotte

This is spam. I see you everywhere.

Faye

Does this model know her picture is used in nearly every natural hair care post all over the internet??

Alicia

No! Do you have specific examples other than BGLH? This is a year late I realize…

K Murray
I trim A LOT and use LOTS of product on wash day; but my hair STILL seems to be tangling up lately. I am on the lookout of a natural product that can offer GREAT slip. It seems that when I find a GOOD thing, my hair will react well for a while and then start acting up again. My face is like that too. I will get compliments on how smooth my skin looks and then 2 weeks later get massive acne. Sometimes, I think all the mositurizing and sealing with oils gives me acne. Anyone else having these… Read more »
Kera

Try MOP Extreme Moisture – it’s the most moisturizing slip inducing condish I’ve ever used

Nicolé

Love love LOVE this article. Simple, easy to understand, makes so much sense. I WILL be passing this on. I’ve seen so many women with natural AND processed hair with OODLES of split ends that they’re not cutting because they want to retain length!

Dawn
split ends i don’t worry about as much as i do random breakage. since i’ve been avoiding the flat iron for the past few weeks, i seem to be noticing more broken hairs lying around after i’ve detangled on wash day. that’s the only time i put a comb in my hair, is just once a week on that day. so i don’t know. i’d used the flat iron as my method for keeping my hair stretched and detangled, and it was easier to work with it because i didn’t have to fight my hair’s overall thickness. now i’ve realized… Read more »
Mya
I have been natural for eights years, but my hair has never been past shoulder length until recently. My hair was always very moisturized and felt good to the touch, but I still had split ends. Everywhere! I used sharp, professional scissors and kept twists in my hair, but that wasn’t enough. After hair boards I realized that I have fine strands, which were very weak. Protein and henna treatments have really improved my hair. I use aphoghee 2-step protein and GVP anti-snap treatment. Now, my strands are twice as thick and strong. My hair is not as soft as… Read more »
shantrell
For the last 5 years I have been natural. I wear my hair straightened 90% of the time (because it is my preference);I have found that when I wear my hair natural to long, my ends split. I EXPERIMENTED on it over 2 months,once I straightened after wearing it for natural about a week I had to trim my ends. Long story short I had to trim my ends 3 times in approx 2 months. It didnt matter how much moisture I put on it. When I wear it straight I can go for atleast 3 months before needing to… Read more »
Letha

I used the split ender. It only trims the ends that are split. But it help to go to a salon and get a good trim and to maintain the cut with the split ender every 6 -8 weeks.

Tianna Reid
I think split ends are a fact of life. They only solution is to continue to moisturize . You want to assess the products you are using, if you tie you hair at night, if you wear more protective styles are not and how you detangle. I go hard on the essential oils. My weekly regimen is; Sunday- pre-poo, wash, saturate the scalp w/castor oil,condition w/Herbal Essence Hello Hydration, sit under steamer, rinse kimmaytube leave-in and 2 strand twist my hair wet with SheaMoisture Smoothie. Wednesday-oil scalp and seal ends with either coconut, jojoba, emu, olive or vatika oil. I… Read more »
Michelle Howard - Ethnic Beauty
I agree. Split ends can’t completely be eliminated and to be honest, even if you don’t cut them all off, your hair can still retain length. I almost never trim my hair and my hair is between arm it and bra strap length. I can’t worry about doing search and destroys. That’s too darn stressful. I don’t use heat and I follow a regimen that keeps my hair from breaking. Our regimen appears to be very similar – even the products. However I rotate HE with Aussie Moist and I rotate SM with another product I found for curl enhancing.… Read more »
Charlotte
I have hip length hair and it’s because after cutting my hair shorter due to split ends, I still found split ends afterward. So I cut no further, I just dusted them to no avail, and now, lo and behold, I have long hair, but that was several ages ago because I have cut it and grown back several times now. Maybe some ppl do not get split ends, but for the rest of us, if you want long hair you have to accept that split ends come with the package. I think you can reduce them, but you cannot… Read more »
nappy headed black girl

Thanks for pointing out that there’s no true way to repair split ends. You have to cut the damage out. The best you can hope is to camouflage the appearance, but it’s only temporary.

Cipriana

Your welcome 😀 Unfortunately that is the only solution and your right it would just be “camouflaging” the problem!

vivian

thank you for the tips, are really useful. I used to have a lot of split ends and even if I cut them they appeared again, so I started to use Pro Naturals Moroccan Oil Hair Treatment with Heat Protector and my hair looks so much healthier now and split ends free. 😀

Cipriana

Your welcome Vivian 😀

Natalie
Before I knew how to look after my hair properly I would do small twists and snip off the bit that felt ragged. Now I know how to care for my hair properly. I used protective styling etc to make sure my hair could grow, from Jan to Oct and then in October I went to the hairdressers and had 3″ taken off the back and 2″ taken off the front, I only asked for 1/2″ but my hair feels so much better now and it has a proper shape to it. I’ve never been one to use heat as… Read more »
megs21

So..what to do about mid-strand splits???

I cut my hair significantly back in May, to eliminate them. I have taken great care of my hair since then, but these midsplits seem inevitable!

My length retention is not affected by it though. Hm..idk 🙁

I’ve searched numerous hair forums, but can’t find a resolution other than ignoring the problem

Cipriana

Hello Megs21. As careful as I am with my strands meaning no heat, no chemicals, finger detangling and protective styling I still experience split ends here and there but I notice more split ends when my ends are not tucked away even if the hair is in a protective style, my ends have to be tucked. You may also have to take a look at your diet since certain foods promote healthy hair. Nutrition is a big part of promoting healthy hair from within.

Also how do you wear your hair daily and what is your night time routine?

Megs21

Whoops. 1 week late.

Thank you for responding Ciprana. You are absolutely correct that nutrition is vital to promoting healthy hair. I do eat healthy foods, veggies and so on. I must admit though, I do not drink enough water. So that could be it!

As far as my hair style. I love mini twists! I moisturize and seal daily. I don’t use heat, no combs, and so on.

I wear my bonnet at night after moisturing and sealing.

Again, thank you for responding and for your suggestions!

Megs

Cipriana

Your welcome Megs21, very glad to help in any way. Also thank you so much for taking the time to read this article 🙂

Charlotte
Hi Cipriana, I have the exact same problem as the ladies above. My hair goes to my hips. I honestly took the easy route. I had my hair cut short due to splits and each time I kept finding them reoccur right after I cut and I did not want to cut again so I did tons of dusting to no avail and eventually stopped worrying about it, and now my hair is as long as can be but I am once again trying to tackle this issue. I have reduced split ends but I cannot get rid of them..,yet… Read more »
Li

I have this exact same problem. I moisturize my hair, condition and seal often and I would trim at least every three months and still get these mid-strand splits and I very rarely use heat and usually detangle with a widetooth comb and fingers and still get them. Does anyone know the actual cause of these and how to prevent them? Any info. would be great.

megs21

Precisely. Moisturize, seal, minimal heat, minimal handling..still damage.

I did read somewhere in a forum about our hair’s porosity, might be an influence

Li

What about protein deficiency? I recently started using a protein conditioner and I have noticed a difference in how my hair feels, but I also normal porosity, so I’m still not sure.

Hyspin
Very good point. The problem with split ends it seem that the split is always at the end of the strand. But I have notice in few occasions that the damage is in the middle of the strand. or 2 inches up. Now I am not a person who use heat but I still get split ends regardless even with moisturizing you know why the weather I live in Canada once autumn hits the air gets extreme dry and cold and split ends can not be prevented only reduced. I have trimming twice a year, but I am going to… Read more »
Minimah Billings

Hi there.

Organix has a serum that is awesome!! It is Coconut Milk serum and it works wonders. I also like shea butter (especially in these Fall/Winter months). It’s super think so use it sparingly.

Happy Hair Health!

Mia

Minimah Billings

*correction:

thick not think. He he! Oops.

megs21

I agree wholeheartedly, the issue of mid strand “splits” is rarely adressed.

I don’t use heat either, or use combs…

Sorry about your wreckless stylist. I hope we can both find great stylists, as I do all my trimming myself. The problem of how far up the strand should we go to cut remains, seeing as to how mid splits can be in multiple areas along the strand.

All I know is I’m tired of trimming/cutting my hair, only for this sort of damage to keep ocurring. I’m not sure what serum to recommend, but I’m still searching for resolutions

Best wishes
Megs

megs21

I agree wholeheartedly, the issue of mid strand “splits” is rarely adressed.

I don’t use heat either, or use combs…

I hope we can both find great stylists, as I do all my trimming myself. The problem of how far up the strand should we go to cut remains, seeing as to how mid splits can be in multiple areas along the strand.

All I know is I’m tired of trimming/cutting my hair, only for this sort of damage to keep ocurring. I’m not sure what serum ti recommend, but I’m still searching for resolutions

Hyspin

correction on second sentence (can’t seem type as fast as thought) : The problem with the word “split end” it seem to imply that the split is always at the end of the strand.

Kia

I usually only get single strand knots. If I ever find split ends, it’s because the hair in a knot got super damaged and split. I just cut all of the knots and splits.

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