Split ends. They are evil. Seriously. While we all have them, split ends have turned many of us level headed ladies into obsessed fanatics. OK maybe that’s just me.
At any rate, let me shatter your world early. If you are reading this to discover how to fix split ends, you will be disappointed. There is no permanent way of fixing split ends. What I’ve come to share is how to get rid of them so you can start with a clean slate as well as how you can prevent split ends from happening.
The longer I’m natural and caring for my own hair (away from a stylist’s hands), the more I focus on preventing split ends. I don’t want to see them or feel them. That is why I keep my sheers with me at all times.
There are so many types of split ends but for today, the type of splits I will focus on and share in depth are Incomplete Split Ends. These are the types of split ends that can occur anywhere along the hair shaft. Check out this video before you continue reading. It’s my personal story of dealing with incomplete split ends and I share how I use the search and destroy method to get rid of them.
When I had relaxed hair, split ends were not much of a concern. It’s not to say I never got them but they weren’t as apparent. Plus, I didn’t much care for retaining length. As long as I wasn’t Buckwheat short, I was good but I digress.
Having fine relaxed hair I didn’t feel them and I certainly didn’t see them. I also got regular trims (once every other month). Now that I’m natural, I self trim. I also don’t do trim as often because I don’t do anything that’s damaging to my hair. No combs, no brushes, no chemicals, no tight styles, no over-manipulating. Nothing. Nada.
When you choose to self trim, you have to make sure you use hair cutting sheers are sharp and that you don’t use them on anything but your hair. I have followed all but the sharp part which is why I started to get the incomplete splits. I had been using my sheers for well over a year and when I used them, I’d just throw them back in my dresser. Because they were cheap scissors, I should have either replaced them or had them sharpened.
In addition to my scissor issue, as I mentioned in the video I also believe the constant scratching of my head with my nails played a factor. I’ve since remedied both and have not experienced many incomplete splits like I did before. I will keep a watchful eye out for them but in the meantime, here’s what I’ll be doing to keep those nasty split ends, split middles and split tops from ruining my fine natural hair:
- No nail scratching the scalp. This bears repeating. Fine hair is too delicate of a fabric and can be easily damaged. Scratching your scalp with your nails starts the process of creating a split at the top of the hair shaft.
- Sealing the last 2 inches of my hair with Jamaican Black Castor Oil. JBCO is a very heavy oil which is why I wouldn’t use it all over my fine hair. Doing so would only weigh it down. It does however, do a fabulous job of sealing the ends.
- Doing the baggy method in the middle of the week. You don’t want to over moisturize your hair so I won’t do it every day. However, mid week is when the hair is between wash days so it’s more prone to drying out.
- Upping my henna sessions. Henna adds “weight” to the hair and mimics a protein treatment but oftentimes better. When I first started using henna, I did so monthly. I have since slipped to doing it on a quarterly basis but it’s time to return to what I know works.
- Cutting back on the wash and go’s. I can’t say for sure that the wash and go has caused my incomplete splits but having your hair loose every day certainly increases the tangling. I’m done with them for now.
- Low manipulation + Protective styling. The less you manipulate your hair, the less chance for breakage.
- Slathering my hair in conditioner directly before applying shampoo. I only shampoo once a month. I co-wash with a cleansing conditioner the rest of the month but when it’s time to shampoo (no sulfates), I use either a shampoo by Shea Moisture or liquefied African Black Soap). These are better for you hair and get the hair really clean but they still have a somewhat stripping effect. This can weaken the finest hair strand. Therefore, I’ll use conditioner as a buffer. Normally, I apply conditioner mixed with coconut oil and allow it to sit for hours as a pre-poo. When shampooing now, I apply conditioner just before hopping in the shower.
When you have a split end problem, you have to tackle it aggressively with trimming being the first step to getting rid of them. Then, it’s critical to follow certain practices to keep them from returning in abundance. Split ends may be a part of the natural lifespan of an aging hair strand but they shouldn’t happen prematurely if you are keeping your hair well cared for.
Do you have problems with incomplete or other types of split ends? What has helped you to reduce their instances?