By Chin­we of Hair and Health

You have been nat­u­ral for some time.  Your hair is grow­ing, but your ends are thin, scrag­gly, brit­tle, weak, and/or split.  If this sounds like your sit­u­a­tion, then under­stand that your ends do not have to be this way through­out your nat­u­ral hair jour­ney. Here are six tips to get you start­ed towards thick­er, stronger ends:

1. Trim away split ends and oth­er dam­age

If you want to elim­i­nate thin, brit­tle ends, then start first by trim­ming away any mod­er­ate to sev­ere dam­age.  Though this step may sound obvi­ous, many of us still hold on to such dam­age in hopes of keep­ing our length OR mag­i­cal­ly revert­ing back to healthy ends.  To put it blunt­ly, split ends need to be cut.  Severe­ly worn ends need to be cut.  The­se weak points need to be removed. (Check out this post for var­i­ous ways to trim nat­u­ral hair.)  After your trim, you can then real­ly focus on achiev­ing thick­er, stronger ends using the fol­low­ing steps …

2. Use a pro­tein con­di­tion­er on your ends

The use of pro­tein con­di­tion­ers tends to be under­rat­ed in the nat­u­ral hair com­mu­ni­ty while mois­ture is usu­al­ly at the fore­front of our minds.  Though mois­ture is obvi­ous­ly nec­es­sary, pro­tein can be ben­e­fi­cial in tem­porar­i­ly rein­forc­ing the ends of our hair, par­tic­u­lar­ly areas where the cuti­cle has been lost.  Such rein­force­ment can allow for thick­er, stronger ends in the imme­di­ate moment (due to tem­po­rary patch­ing of the cuti­cle) as well as in the long run (due to pro­tec­tion again­st break­age and splits).  Fol­low up with a mois­tur­iz­ing con­di­tion­er, if need­ed.

3. Lubri­cate your ends lib­er­al­ly pri­or to manip­u­la­tion

Many nat­u­rals already know about the impor­tance of “seal­ing” – appli­ca­tion of an oil and/or a but­ter to the ends in order to help lock in mois­ture.  How­ev­er, not as many nat­u­rals know about the impor­tance of “lubri­cat­ing” the ends, espe­cial­ly pri­or to manip­u­la­tion of any sort.  So why is this process use­ful?  Well, appli­ca­tion of an oil and/or but­ter to the ends can reduce fric­tion that might oth­er­wise cause knot­ting, tan­gling, splits, and worn ends.  Thus, it can be ben­e­fi­cial to not only apply the­se sub­stances after you mois­tur­ize but also before you style (e.g., twist your hair, bun your hair) or sep­a­rate (e.g., undo twists for a twist-out, sep­a­rate an old braid-out) your hair.

4. Keep direct heat usage to a min­i­mum OR elim­i­nate it alto­geth­er

While you may not expe­ri­ence imme­di­ate heat dam­age (that is, per­ma­nent­ly straight strands), you can accu­mu­late an abun­dance of split ends with the overuse of heat­ing tools.  Thus, it is bet­ter to keep heat usage to a min­i­mum (and that min­i­mum varies from one nat­u­ral to anoth­er) or to cut it out alto­geth­er.

5. Han­dle your ends gen­tly AND as lit­tle as pos­si­ble

The less you han­dle your hair, the less wear and tear you will expe­ri­ence, espe­cial­ly at the ends.  For some nat­u­rals, this means pro­tec­tive styling long-term while for oth­ers this means adopt­ing a sim­ple, low-manip­u­la­tion style rou­tine.  Also, when you are manip­u­lat­ing your hair, be very gen­tle at the ends; tug­ging, pulling, and ten­sion can lead to splits and faster wear.

6. Mois­tur­ize your ends suf­fi­cient­ly and reg­u­lar­ly

This last tip may seem like a no-brain­er, but how many of us can be hon­est with our­selves about being on top of our mois­ture game ALL of the time … espe­cial­ly when it comes to the very ends of our strands?  The real­i­ty is that dry ends can trans­form into bro­ken, thin ends over time, so make this tip a pri­or­i­ty!

Have any of the­se steps helped your ends?


Empow­er­ing wom­en of col­or to break bar­ri­ers. Cherish.Thy.Melanin.

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31 Comments on "6 Tips for Naturals Who Want Thicker, Stronger Ends"

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This is exact­ly the infor­ma­tion I was look­ing for! Great post and tips! I think when peo­ple think of hair growth, they for­get about retain­ing the length they already have. Pro­tect­ing your ends is the way to do that. 

I will start doing pro­tein treat­ments & wear­ing low main­tence styles!

Redd Ravyn

How to Ensure Healthy Ends- Nat­u­ral Hair Care READ more at

nicole officer
The last relax­er was June 2013 I had box braids since july 2013 I redo them every six weeks before my braids I was get­ting my hair done every two weeks until it start­ed break­ing off my hair was may­be 4–6inches in length I brsid­edy hair to grow it out that usu­al­ly works for me I found that my growth is a inch a mon­th after I take the braids out I want nat­u­ral­ly grow my hair with no chem­i­cals in it what do rec­om­mend I do to keep my hair healthy and free from break­age when I tran­si­tion over… Read more »

my hair is thin in the back @the nape always have been just start­ed using cas­tor oil bought some Camille rose fresh curls revi­tal­iz­ing hair smoother Avo­cado oil /castor oil so far I real­ly like it my hair oil of choice is red palm oil mixed with organ­ic coconut oil /I switch up some­times by using wild growth .


[…] After a lit­tle explor­ing online, I found the fol­low­ing tips to main­tain thick­er ends (Via Black­girl­long­hair): […]


I’m still get­ting the knack of my ends. So far I have found that apri­cot oil is doing pret­ty good.

I fol­low tips 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6. They real­ly have helped my ends stay think and healthy-look­ing. 1. I trim 1/4 an inch every 3–4 months. 3. I seal my ends with cas­tor oil on wash day. I also seal them night­ly if I’m wear­ing a braid out or when I style my hair into a bun.  4. I use heat rarely. I do a ten­sion blow-out for my birth­day. Oth­er than that, I don’t use heat (except to deep con­di­tion). 5. I han­dle my ends very gen­tly — fin­ger-detan­gling exclu­sive­ly helps a lot in this are­na. I also… Read more »

Thanks for this article.I decid­ed to trim my ends today and I intend to use all six steps to take bet­ter care of my ends

Can I just add one? Don’t colour your hair ! I’ve had nat­u­ral hair for years and I have coloured my hair for years as well. Whilst I col­ored my hair I would do intense aphogee pro­tein treat­ments to keep my hair healthy. It would look healthy but I could always feel the dif­fer­ence in my two tex­tures. Decem­ber will make 2 years since I stopped col­or­ing my hair and I have recent­ly cut off all the old col­ored ends [img[/img] sure one pho­to is a braid out weighed in shea but­ter and the oth­er an afro but I think its clear that my… Read more »

Thank you so much. I don’t want gray hair, but I do want my hair to stay healthy.


You know what I col­ored my hair and it real­ly made it hard to keep my hair from snap­ping and split­ting. How­ev­er when the greys pop up I may have to revis­it it.


So true! I’m still deal­ing with bleach from a seri­ous (& cute) high­light­ing job 2 years ago! It looked great, but made the ends scrag­gly, rough, dry, & result­ed in a loss of curl pattern…I have been cut­ting it off bit by bit & may just be see­ing the light at the end of the tun­nel. Beware of col­or!


You are sooo right! Colour­ing your hair is so risky! My whole healthy hair jour­ney was sparked by the worst dye job. I had to big chop twice because of it. I thought my hair was nev­er going to be the same after wards! But it is health­ier now than ever. Please think , think, think, ladies about dying your hair with any­thing! If you want long healthy hair don’t Dye it AT ALL!
Thanks for the tips too! this was a very help­ful arti­cle!


Yes it is!


I was con­sid­er­ing dye­ing my hair for next year sum­mer lol. I may just rethink it after all of the info I’ve been doing on it.


Nat­u­ral Hen­nas seem to be the way to go. I have GREYS! Yikes! and I don’t wont to rock that look quite yet. Kim­may­tube has a great recent video ded­i­cat­ed to Hen­na col­or­ing your greys and hair PERIOD! It is awe­some and I am going to try it. I col­or with box and real­ize it is time to let that go. My thick­ness and over­all hair health is depend­ing on it.


I don’t trim. My hair has done just fine with­out trim­ming. To me, trim­ming isn’t an ancient thing, and the peo­ple back then has done just fine. In my opin­ion, which is sub­ject to be wrong, trim­ming only makes the hair short­er. I’ve been nat­u­ral since 2009 and my hair is doing okay. I do agree with the oth­er points how­ev­er and will throw an egg in my hair with oils, let it sit, and rin­se it out for a nat­u­ral pro­tein treat­ment. Thank you. Love this site!! :)


The pur­pose of trimming,is to get rid of split nor weath­ered ends.It should not dra­mat­i­cal­ly affect the length as that is a cut and there is a dif­fer­ence.

I do under­stand the impor­tance of trim­ming dead ends, and I gen­er­al­ly don’t ever hes­i­tate to elim­i­nate them, how­ev­er, my dilem­ma is this: When I go to a salon, and it’s only to get my ends trimmed, they almost always end up cut­ting way more than need­ed, even with me telling them not to cut too much or show­ing them with my fin­gers. When I ry to trim my ends myself, I’m not always sure if I’m cut­ting cor­rect­ly or enough. For the­se rea­sons, trim­ming my ends is always anx­i­ety-induc­ing and it’s start­ing to appear as though I can’t achieve… Read more »

Awe­some tips. I pret­ty much do all of the­se except use pro­tein on my ends. It is my plan to incor­po­rate this step. My hair is pro­tein sen­si­tive and I’ve avoid­ed the use of pro­tein for the most part but I’m inter­est­ed to see how my ends only respond to the pro­tein love.
Relaxed Thairapy


I thought my hair was the only one to go through that being pro­tein sen­si­tive so now I know what to do pro­tein then put the moister back n


What pro­tein con­di­tion­ers do you rec­om­mend using on our ends?


So helpful..I final­ly trimmed my hair but soooo glad I did.For any­one that is ner­vous just go for it..your ends will thank you . It’s so free­ing not length check­ing all the time or wor­ry­ing how long my hair is.

I know length will come but I am enjoy­ing where I am now. :)

Cassandra Salamone

Thanks for the tips. Decem­ber will be my 2yr anniver­sary since I BC. Last week I trimmed off all the split ends and I’m going to take your advice and con­di­tion the ends with pro­tein con­di­tion­ers. I am also going to no longer use heat. Thanks so much :)
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Your hair is gor­geous

Cassandra Salamone

Thank you! :)

I have kind if been doing a “mois­tur­iz­ing ends” chal­lenge for the past cou­ple of months to see if it will make any dif­fer­ence with my thin hair and brit­tle ends. I have to say, I see a lit­tle improve­ment which is good! I have nar­rowed it down to prod­ucts I use exclu­sive­ly for my ends and I love them: B.A.S.K. Palm Tapoica and Oyin hand­made Burnt Sug­ar Pomade. Yes, the­se are a bit pri­cy but they will last a LONG time… a lit­tle goes a very long way. Thanks for a tip I nev­er thought of: pro­tein con­di­tion­er just… Read more »

Thanks, that is very help­ful for me.
The most chal­leg­ing goal to me is def­i­nite­ly not grow­ing my hair out of my scalp but keep­ing them healthy, espe­cial­ly the ends! This is real­ly dif­fi­cult. I am going to try every sin­gle thing here.