Split ends can be pretty annoying to anyone trying to grow out their hair. They creep up the hair shaft and weaken it, then break off after a while taking the length you’re trying so hard to retain. The best way to protect your hair from split ends is by taking conscious steps to ensure you don’t end up with a problem you could have easily avoided. Here are 8 simple tips on how to avoid split ends in natural hair.
What are split ends?
Your hair ends are commonly labeled the weakest part of your hair, and with good reason. Due to various reasons, the outermost layer of your hair can sustain damage which causes it to peel back and leave the cortex exposed. The result is usually the splitting or fraying of the ends of your hair. These split ends can take different forms and so there are varying types of split ends.
What are the types of split ends?
In total, there are 16 different types of split ends which you can find in the infographic below. The most common types of split ends in natural hair are; the Knot, the candle, the basic split, and the tree.
What causes split ends?
We mostly cause split ends unintentionally through personal neglect. The impatient and harsh detangling, inconsistent deep conditioning, excessive and constant use of heat, and the lack of an effective moisturization method. Other factors that can bring about split ends are; not sleeping with a satin/silk scarf, and even some of your products which may be causing more harm to your hair than good.
From the causes of split ends, it should be clear that split ends can be avoided. So, how can you prevent split ends in natural hair?
8 Simple Tips To Avoid Split Ends In Natural Hair
- Detangle gently
You should learn to detangle very gently and only when you have a slippery conditioner in your hair. This is non-negotiable if you hope to prevent split ends
- Use your hands
When detangling your hair, it is always advisable to use your hand before going in with a wide-tooth comb. This way, you can control the force with which you tear through knots and tangles, and you save yourself from unnecessary breakage and split ends.
- Moisturize and Seal Efficiently
A lot of naturalistas don’t know how to moisturize properly and one of the consequences is split ends. Moisture is the key to keeping your hair elastic, but it can easily evaporate if you do not seal it in. Always seal in moisture with a heavy butter or some oil after application. The way you moisturize and seal is peculiar to your hair’s porosity. You can find out what style should work best for you here.
- Avoid heat
Heat can be very damaging to your hair, especially if you apply it constantly without taking measures to protect your mane. Although using heat sparingly will not damage your hair, it is better to avoid using heat whenever you can.
- Sleep on silk
Sleep with a satin or silk bonnet/scarf to protect your hair. The friction between your delicate hair strands and cotton sheets can cause them to fray and leave you with split ends. Also, cotton sheets can dry up your hair and tangle it leaving you with a problem in the morning. If you’re worried about the scarf/bonnet slipping off in your sleep, you can “bougee it up” by going for silk sheets instead.
- Deep condition regularly
This will help to restore moisture and protein to your hair and keep it healthy. Regular deep conditioning also improves elasticity and protects your hair from damage in many forms including split ends.
- Wear protective styles
Wearing protective styles from time to time will help to keep the ends of your hair safely tucked away. This way you can save your ends from the strains of everyday life and avoid split end. You should take the time to properly prepare your hair for a long term protective style first. In addition, tucking away your hair should not equate to neglecting it, you should care for your hair while it is in protective styles.
- Trim your ends
You don’t need to trim your hair every month or every other month, but trims are necessary to prevent split ends and the damage they cause. Trimming your hair every 6 months is an efficient way to stay on top of things and it shouldn’t be difficult with these easy methods to trim your hair at home.
Can you repair split ends?
The honest answer is that split ends cannot be repaired. Some products may claim to do so, but usually, they smooth together your split ends for a while and lose potency when you wash them out. The only sure-fire way to get rid of split ends is to cut them off by trimming your hair.