I know, I know. You are holding on to those ends because getting rid of those split ends will shorten your hair and for you, it takes long to retain any length. You know what? I have been there, done that. I even got a T-shirt. You know what I’m saying? Split ends don’t go away on their own. You will need to cut them and make sure they don’t come back too soon. One of the reasons your hair doesn’t seem to retain much length over the years could be the fact that you have not trimmed your ends in a very long while.
There is a time I used to just hope the splits will disappear if I treat them well, deep treat my hair and give it all the TLC it needs. And some products would even say, “Help mend split ends”. I’ve done all that. And guess what, all that did not work. No, it never worked. Deep treatments would just help my hair maintain my split ends not to fall off sooner but see through ends and lifeless hair would be what I have to contend with and that is not fun. Until I learnt that the best way to get healthy hair and actually retain more length is to trim split ends. Hear me out. Here is why.
How trimming split ends helps your hair grow.
- Split ends make the ends thin which results in weaker hair, more prone to breakage. You can’t retain length if your breakage is high as well.
- Split ends keeps splitting down the rest of the hair shaft and cutting where the split starts from helps to stop the splitting to continue giving you blunt ends that will unlikely split if your hair is being treated well and is healthy.
- Split ends makes your hair tangle even more. Getting rid of them will reduce your detangling time and also reduce the breakage that you will have when detangling
- Split ends increase the occurrence of single strand knots, also known as SSKs. And once there are knots in your hair, it is impossible to undo these knots and all you need is a scissors to get rid of them. That is why it is better to avoid them at all costs by trimming the hair before these start appearing.
- Split ends are damaged and they need to go so that they do not spoil the whole crop. You know what I mean? Damaged ends make all your hair look dull and lifeless. Once you get rid of the damaged ends, the healthier hair will have a chance to thrive and shine and also retain more length.
What causes split ends
Oh come on, wait a minute. You may be wondering, what causes split ends in the first place. Let me indulge you. As much as it may be normal wear and tear of the hair due to the time it has been on your head, there are several culprits and you may want to look at these in your routine and could save you from too many trims too often.
- over manipulation of the hair causes a lot of stress on the hair. Leave that hair alone. I know it can be hard sometimes, with the excitement of having your hair out after a long term protective style. You just want to try all those styles that have queued up in your head that you saw on YouTube the past months and figured they were not too difficult to do and would looks just as smashing as they looked on the blogger’s head. But listen closely girlfriend. Don’t over do it. It will cause damage to your ends and your hair will suffer. Take it easy on the styling.
- Wrong products used. If the products you are using leave your hair dry, tangly and unmanageable, it’s time to go shopping. Find you some products that are meant for your hair type, leave your hair looking moisturised and when detangling, the hair can glide past each other. At the end of the day, it is not the price of the product or where it comes from. It’s about how your hair reacts to the product. Using a product that is not good for your hair will cause splitting and breakage.
- Take it easy on the heat styling as well. I know there are some people with very strong hair who can get away with heat styling their hair more regularly. But for some of us, once or twice a year is okay. More than that may cause splitting and lots of damage.
- Over exposure to the sun causes split ends. The dryness and UV rays cause splitting and sometimes even mid shaft of the hair which is not good at all.
- Swimming pool water also causes a lot of damage to the hair. The chlorine and other pool chemicals can cause a lot of damage to your hair especially your ends. This leads to very dry ends which easily split and break off.
- The types of tools used to groom your hair. For natural hair, combing your hair with a fine toothed comb may cause a lot of stress on the hair. Your ends are the oldest parts of your hair and the weakest. So, any type of stressing may lead to damage and splitting.
How do you know you have split ends
As much as trimming your hair should become part of your healthy hair routine, and should be done according to schedule, say twice a year or every three months if you feel your hair needs that, here are some tell tell signs that you may be due for a trim.
- Damaged ends which look dull and lifeless. That’s obvious right?
- See through ends are also a sign that you may be experiencing a lot of breakage and split ends are normally involved in the mix.
- You have not retained much length in a long time. It may be cause your hair is breaking off as fast as it grows thus no signs of length retention.
- A lot of single strand knots are a sign your hair needs a trim because the ends can;t manage anymore. They are dying to be released at this stage.
- Your hair tangles easily, sometimes soon after. Split hair is not smooth. So it will tag on each other and tangle up into a mess. Detangling will lead to more breakage as well so the best is to just trim those ends off.
But how do I trim my hair?
This is a common question especially if you are new to this healthy hair thinging. Well, you have 2 first options. Yo can either do it yourself, DIY style or go to your trusted hair salon and have your ends trimmed of.
If you are doing it yourself or you go to a salon, you have 3 options or even more on how you are going to trim your ends. I don’t know. I only know these 3, which are,
- twisting up your hair then trimming the very end of your twist or trimming where it starts to become thin.
- blow drying your hair to make sure all the strands are reasonably straight, combing the hair to make sure all the hair is straight and the holding small sections of hair between your index finger and your middle finger, sliding these two fingers down until you get to the place where you want to trim then trim.
- Your hair can also be trimmed on wet hair and this is best done by a trained and experienced stylist. After your hair is washed and conditioned, it should be detangled and combed through. Small sections of hair are then taken, combed again and then do the index finger and middle finger thing to trim the hair.
If you don’t know where to start, well then, go to a salon and let them help you out. But always make sure to tell the stylist what you are comfortable with. There are many ways to trim those split ends and if they will not listen, show them this post.
Here is to healthy hair dear natural sisters. Lots of love, hugs and kisses.