I think I can speak for everyone when I say that Split Ends are the single most hated thing on anyone’s Hair Journey. We try to avoid them just as hard as the plague of LICE! Hate to tell you but; they are inevitable. No one is excused from this curse and there are no roads that lead around it either. I mean yes, you could take precautionary measures and treat them early on. However, that doesn’t stop them for happening, and there is no SECRET CURE. Tragic huh?
“Well now that’s out of the way, let me just lightened the mood with this good news I have to share. “
Even though signs of split ends aren’t a good thing, they aren’t necessarily a bad thing. This may seem or sound crazy but it is a proven fact. Everyone has this misconception that split ends are caused from not using protective styles. While that may be true, there’s just a little more to it. Picture this, if you were to eat something your body (stomach) is not able to digest properly it gives you a sign. Examples could range from bloating, constipation, pains, noises and etc. But if you applied something to your hair that it does not agree with. How would it tell you?? It can’t can it? Now if were to put this into retrospect, the split ends would be its way of communicating that something is wrong.
I’ve found in the past that a lot of the Products, Hairstyles, Routines that I loved my hair didn’t agree with. My hair used to be so brittle and damaged and I’d always say “I followed the instructions perfectly” like that would justify my sad attempt of being a hairstylist.. Eventually I realised that I was the problem, I wasn’t paying attention to what my hair was trying to tell me.(Not that it could actually speak of course) It was letting me know that it was time for a change, and things just weren’t’ working. This does bring us exactly to the very point I’m trying to make here.
Split Ends are beneficiary to our Hair Journeys. They can tell us a lot about our products and regimes we use on the daily. From those promising hydration to the so-called “protective styles” the possibilities are limitless. It may be hard to believe that something deemed as a ‘problem’ could be the gateway to the solution. But It’s true. Now I’m not saying “let’s get split ends”. Definitely not.
The appearance of split ends can mean several things, like the hair is unhealthy, your hairstyles are harsh or you regime (products, dying, treating) are the cause. They are a warning sign that if you don’t change up your habits, things are going to get rough soon. This is also an effective way to judge your hair’s overall health. With the more you find the lower the percentage of health. Such as going from finding a few (70%) to finding several (45%).
My issue was with Coconut Oil products. I knew the benefits of using that ingredient so I believed everything displaying this name in the title had to be good. My old resolve was “If it smelled good, had 1 good ingredient, promised good qualities” it just had to be so. NOT TRUE FOLKS. Most of these miracle products are layered with alcohols, false fragrance additives that can be both damaging and stripping. Which all added in the downfall of my hair in the past. I never had split ends before, so imagine the dismay of finding out my head was overrun with them for using all the wrong products.
It ended in me having to loose ALL my hair because the effects were irreversible. It was a learning experience on how to battle and use split ends in my journey and take a drastic advantage over my hair. Yes, their appearance can be bad, but it’s also a good thing in moderation. Especially if you’re a trendy person who loves to try that new hair masks loitering on the shelves of our favorite havens. Again I am not saying “GET SPLIT ENDS”, but instead learn from the split ends you find.
(Okay here’s a good example (this is just an example, not true!!):
I added in a new deep condition product that had “Black Castor Oil” in it.
Pros: Hair feels hydrated, soft and bouncy after treatment.
Cons: These effects by themselves don’t last
Resolve: I cover up what it lacks with my favorite leave in conditioner that I made (recipe on this blog)
I noticed some unusual shedding in spots and split ends.
Resolve: Remove the New product from my regime
I can expect things will be better, because before I tweaked my regime everything was fine.
Now If I were following my hair trends and managing everything like I said above, then I would know that something is not right. The new product I added in wasn’t so good after all. I avoided the truth about the product and went along with it trying to cover the downfalls with another. This is not good at all. But by using our hairs warning signals such as Split Ends we can diagnose these problems and fix them for the better.
Now I’m going to answer 4 very COMMON questions about split ends. For those who technically don’t really know that much about them.
What Are Split Ends?
Split Ends are the splitting or fraying of hair, also known as Trichoptilosis. There are no cultures spared from this effect. There are actually 3 types of split ends, which are only the look or pattern variation of the split.
The Basic Split. This is the one everyone is very familiar with and found more often than others. Its just a simple slit in one single end, and the easiest to detect.
The Candle Split. The name says it all, it’s actually the hardest form to detect because it doesn’t necessarily look like a split. That only makes this one even more of a nounsense.
The Tree Split. This is the worse of all. It says a lot about the health of your hair altogether. Usually when these forms almost the entire head will need a drastic trim. Most stylists have to trim at least 2 inches or more to insure that the split is completely cut off. If not the hair will simply begin split again.
What Causes Split Ends?
Excessive Brushing. Too much brushing of the hair is one of the causes of split ends, but also the excessive back combing of the hair is a cause, because it disrupts the epidermis. The most important cause is brushing the hair while it is still wet, because wet hair can stretch up to twenty-five percent.
Hair Dye. Coloring of the hair makes the condition of the hair worse. You should take care of your hair with hair health products if you color your hair often.
Heated Styling Tools. Heated appliances dry the hair with the result that they eventually split. Use these devices as less as possible. And if you must use, protect your sweet hair with a good hair care product.
Drying Towels. Rubbing your hair with a towel is the worst when it comes to avoiding split ends. It is better to comb the hair dry. Avoid drying your hair with a hair dryer.
Rubber Bands. Rubber bands and many fancy hair accessories will also cause damage to the hair. Avoid the use of certain uncovered rubber bands because they, when they are removed again, often pull out hairs. Other types of hair accessories can damage the hair as well.
What can I do to treat them?
As I said before there are no REAL treatments for this problem. The only way to rid them from your life, is to change your routines and products. And Cut your hair. I know its harsh but this is the reality we live in.
What can I do to prevent them?
There are a few methods, most of them I’ve found that they are not successful, but here are some that seem to work more:
Shampoo Treatments. There are shampoos out their that help with preventing split ends. Some of them actually work, some don’t. This isnt a guaranteed strategy because over shampooing your hair can lead to other problems. So I recommend just adding this into your regular wash routine to help aid in this battle.
Heat Protectant Products. We all use Heated Styling tools, and they are a huge cause for split ends. But by adding in a Heat Protectant oil, spray, etc. You can Minimize this damage and save yourself from split ends from over drying your tresses. But beware, some other these products can be littered with alcohols and protein ingredients which are even more damaging than the Heated Tools.
Trimming. The dreaded chopping session we all hate, can be beneficiary to our battles. By keeping and regular snip and trim session every 3 to 6 months, you can minimize the appearance and formation of split ends.
Proper Protective Styles. This is very simple and should change every season. It is know that in Winter and Fall the weather has a dry snip of air, that is damaging to our ends. But usuing bun hairstyles, braids, etc oyu protect those ends from that said damage. But when I say PROPER, that means that simply throwing it up in a bun is WRONG. Please use moisturizer and hydrate your scalp, this adds in a extra layer or protection. That is the PROPER WAY.
Moisturizing Routine. Were all busy day to day, but we have to make time to rehydrate our tresses. This is very important and very simple, there are a variety of products and different styles. Suchs are sprays, oils, creams, leave ins, conditioners, etc. You could simply take 3 mins and spray your way to all day hydration or massage in deep lasting sheen and health. Seems very tedious but can make all the difference in the world.
So by simply tuning our hair regimes, adding in a few extra steps we can easily combat split ends altogether. Actually it’s a lot simpler than that. By having knowledge of the causes, you can make sure you change up your habits and that you’re not making those mistakes anymore. This should give you the freedom you need from those pesky little split ends. And for those who have them and are trying to treat them, now you know the only way out is to cut them (literally) out of your life and start over. But this time we’re starting over for good.
Even though there’s no cure once you’ve found Split Ends in your own backyard. You can still Battle, Prevent, but most importantly LEARN from them. This can be something new to try in 2017, by starting earlier you can change not only the culture but the future of your journey all together.
AGAIN! I AM NOT SAYING YAY OR GET SPLIT ENDS!!
I hope that you find my advice very helpful, and if you have any questions please leave me a comment or use our CONTACT US page and send us a message. We respond no less than 24hrs.