IndulgenceIsKey via Naturallycurly.com;
I recently received an email asking me if split ends are able to be mended. The short answer is no. To understand why, we first need to understand what split ends are and how they are caused.
What causes split ends?
Split ends occur when the cuticle layer of your hair is damaged or removed. The cuticle layer consists of keratin or dead protein cells that make the shaft strong. These dead protein cells resemble overlapping scales which helps to hold the hair together. Once this has been damaged or removed, the inside layer of hair fibers are exposed and begin to split into two and sometimes three pieces of hair. Split ends don’t always occur at the tip of your hair shaft.
Once the hair begins to split, it cannot be permanently mended. I know there are products out there that provide temporary fixes, but the only way to get rid of split ends is the TRIM the hair at least ? an inch above where the split actually ends.
There are many other factors that can lead to split ends:
- Improper maintenance which include constant pulling, tugging, brushing, stressing the hair with chemicals, etc.
- Dryness or lack of moisture
- The environment (weather, pollution, etc.)
- Not protecting the ends of your hair
- Excessive heat from appliances
- Brushing the hair when it’s wet
Preventing split ends
It’s essential to prevent split ends in order to keep your hair healthy. Try to avoid chemicals such as relaxers, dyes, etc. If your hair is chemically treated, make sure you do not over process the hair as this will lead to split ends and breakage.
Detangle your hair when wet
Avoid using a brush whenever possible, and use a wide tooth comb or your fingers to gently comb your hair.
Keep your hair moisturized
After washing your hair, follow up with a leave-in conditioner and lock in that moisture by sealing your hair with a butter or oil that is compatible with your hair. Moisturize daily if needed.
Protect your hair from the harsh winter winds and cold temperatures by covering it until your get indoors. When there isn’t any moisture in the air, the atmosphere tends to suck all of the moisture from your hair if you don’t protect it. Harsh winds will dry out your hair and ends that can eventually lead to breakage and splits. During the summer months, try using humectants to keep the moisture drawn and locked into your hair. If possible, try wearing protective styles in order to protect your ends from the scorching summer heat.
Minimize the heat from electrical appliances
Try the cool setting on the hair dryer in order to dry the hair. If you must use heat, use the warm temperature setting and try not to blow dry one section of hair for a long period of time. Use short bursts of heat and move around the perimeter of your head constantly. ALWAYS use a thermal heat protectant when using heated electrical appliances.
Deep condition your hair at least once a week
This helps to feed your hair and scalp nutrients that they need in order to stay strong and healthy.
Routine protein treatments have a positive effect on your ends. The treatment helps to keep the hair cuticle in tip top shape. Don’t forget to follow up with a deep conditioning treatment any time you perform a protein treatment.
Trim your ends at least twice a year
This is what works for me. The frequency of trims for your hair can and will differ.
Remember, these are my opinions from my own experiences. Feel free to share any information you might have about split ends.
When i first stopped straightening my hair i was deep conditioning all the time but now that i've been slacking i can tell the difference and my ends can too.
I've been getting trims about every six weeks, stopped using heat completely when I went natural in August of last year, deep condition at least three times a week and I think the split ends are minimal at best. I think I'm going to try the trimming twice a year because I just don't think the every six weeks is helping that much.
I actually do all of this and I have seen great results, in fact I just clipped my ends for the first time last weekend and they actually looked fine but I did it anyway because I've been completly natural for 6 months and I knew a little "clip clip" wouldn't hurt.
I would like to also add that heat from your own head can cause damage! Particularly in the back of your head if you sleep or rest on your back be sure to twist or braid the hair in this areas because it is the most suceptable to breakage if not protected from the heat that your own head gives off while sleeping or resting.
I have a million+hundreds+thousands of split ends. I keep my hair braided, a majority of the time. No heat. Hardly ever. Maybe twice a year. I condition and treat my hair very good,I cannot escape these split ends. I moisturize and seal. I am not cutting my hair either..did it twice, didnt work, I have come to realize that split ends are inevitable.
You forgot factor #7 that leads to split ends….the normal wear-and-tear of hair. Split ends can't be eradicated…they can only minimized.
With that said, I get very few split ends now that I finger-comb exclusivley.