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The Natural’s Guide to Preventing Split Ends, Pt 2

• Apr 23, 2012

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

Via Spa Boutique

split end is when the hair-shaft splits or flays due to excessive heat and misuse. They happen when the protective cuticle has been stripped away from the ends of hair fibers. Split ends are more likely to develop in dry or brittle hair. Typically the hair splits into two or three strands, and can be as long or two to three centimeters in length. There is no way to repair split ends; when they occur, the hair must be trimmed.

Did you know that splitting of hairs at the ends” is also known as “Trichoptilosis”? It comes from the Greek root “tricho” meaning hair and “ptilosis” meaning “falling out of the eyelashes.”
Typical causes of damage include:
  • Vigorous brushing.
  • Excessive usage of hot styling tools and drying (irons, blow dryers, hot rollers).
  • Overuse of chemical treatments (perms, hair color and highlighting).
  • Use of inferior styling tools that rip or snag hair (cheap synthetic brushes or combs, brush rollers, etc.,).
  • Environmental damage from heat, cold, wind and other climate issues.
  • Lack of routine maintenance such as regular trimming.
  • Trimming with inferior scissors.
  • Improper de-tangling techniques.
  • Excessive use of low quality styling products such as gels, waxes and sprays.
  • Over washing.

What Split Ends Can Look Like:

Types of Split EndsTypes of Split Ends

a. Start out to look like this – the classic split end.
b. If the classic split (a) is not stopped it continues to split along the shaft
c. Multiple Splits – worse case when classic (a) and (b) is not stopped
d. The Dot looks like a piece of fluff, but doesn’t brush off
e. The Dot bends at a straight angle. This is not really a split thought, it is Trichorrexis Nodosa and is actually caused by an explosion of the cortex (2nd layer) of the hair in a single spot.
f. The hole is the most difficult split end to find. The hair shaft has developed a split in the middle. To find this one, look for a small section that is lighter.
g. When you take the hole split strand and push them together, it pushes the split apart and creates and hole.

Avoiding Split Ends – 8 Tips and Techniques:

    1. Get your hair cut or trimmed regularly. Not trimming your hair regularly is possibly the main cause of split ends. Prevention is better than a cure!
    2. Use professional hair care products that are designed to seal the splits temporarily in order to catch any splits that are shorter than the length you want to cut your hair to and to allow your hair to grow a little longer before you trim. I recommend Redken Nature’s Rescue Cooling Deep Conditioner
    3. Deep condition your hair every week, if possible and especially if your hair is prone to splitting, chemically treated or treated by ceramic straighteners. Conditioning is mandatory every time you have a chemical.
    4. Rinse and (if necessary) shampoo your hair after a workout or strenuous exercise. The salt from perspiration will erode your hair. If you work out a few times per week, consult your stylist for your particular needs.
    5. Protect your hair from extreme weather. Wear a hat on sunny days and keep hair well moisturized in the dry winter months.
    6. Avoid using heated hair appliances as much as possible! If you are using them anyway, make sure to protect your precious locks with a protective product.
    7. Excessive backcombing will definitely give you split ends!
    8. Elastic bands and all sorts of other hair accessories can damage your hair. Avoid using uncovered elastic bands since these often pull out hair when being removed. Other accessories will damage or weaken the ends of the hair.

Ladies, do you deal with split ends? What is the source and how do you prevent them?

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17 Comments on "The Natural’s Guide to Preventing Split Ends, Pt 2"

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What is backcombing?


Backcombing” is what professional hairstylists call teasing the hair.


Thanks! It never looked like a good idea to me lol.


Great article. My hair is recovering from a year of bad combing. I had to cut a lot off. My advice is to definitely keep up with your trims and comb gently.

I exercise 6/7 days week and it took a minute for me to find a way to combat salty hair issues. 🙂 I cowash with As I am cowash on Weds and Wash with As I Am shampoo on Saturdays followed by a Deep Treatment. I use a leave-in ( Kinky Curly Knot today diluted with water, aloe and few drop of lavendar oil) and seal with Jane Carter Nourish and Shine. During the week, I spray the leave-in on my hair and add a bit more Jane Carter as needed. I use absolutely no heat and I trim 1/4… Read more »
Ok so I am transitioning. I cut my split ends last week Sunday. My hair is shorter but my hair still looks a little split. I’m thinking of cutting off the rest of the ends on July 1st or August 1st. My birthday is August 15th, so I am a little curious since I will be turning 18, how I would look different for college, I’m going to a CUNY school, well staying here. Ok, I know I was off topic, but I cut off about 1in to 1 1/2 inches of hair. But there are still some split ends… Read more »

Hi Omolara!
Perhaps start with a professional cut/trim to get ALL of the splits and then start really caring for your hair with regular trims and sealing from then on. I did that and so far, it has worked for me. I started with a professional cut and then maintained my ends by trimming a bit every 3 months. At first, I was bummed about getting so much cut off, but looing back on it, it was for the best.

Good luck with college and with your hair!!


Hi Zenith, wow thank you. I was a little nervous about cutting so much off, but it doesn’t matter much to me. I will cut it off because during my transitioning stage, I never used direct heat. Just boo my go to style. But I agree with you, heat must’ve messed it up a lot. But I am somewhat ready to see all of my real texture.

Thanks for your advice and I really appreciate it.

I transitioned with braids, so I would suggest that as an option. Whenever I removed the braids I would trim small sections, and rebraid asap. This was especially useful during the winter. Kudos to you for taking the natural route. Just today, Tuesday, I told a student in the hallway how inspirational it is to see her wearing her hair sans chemicals. I only wish that I was that bold as a teen. All the best with CUNY — I’m in NYC — and happy birthday in advance, it just happens to be one of my aunts birthday on that… Read more »
Neha Gupta


Is Smoothing or rebounding is effective to avoid split ends nd for my rough hair.…

Lady Ray

OMG I have A B C D E F G ends all over. HELP!Iam the poster child for split ends 🙁


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