View Full Version : Thinning ends, what's the best thing to do? [Pics]

Shadow Walker
December 4th, 2012, 05:11 PM
Ever since my hair accident I've really been struggling with my length and thickness. For about 2 years I've been stuck in the hip to tailbone range because I end up having to trim back damage so I can get healthy ends again, but I've really been wanting more length. But no matter how much or how often I trim, in about 2 months the ends are so thin that I need a trim again, so my length really hasn't progressed much. Here's a length shot I took today, definitely not what my hair used to look like.

If I wanted thick ends again I've have to cut back to waist or even mid back, but then again it's always hard to tell just from looking at a picture. Here's another look, this is the section right above my forehead.


Any suggestions on what I should do? Would it be better for me to keep trimming an just maintain where I'm at for however long it takes, or should I just leave it and keep growing?

December 4th, 2012, 05:18 PM
I think your hair looks great! Definitely does NOT look thin on the ends. If you did trim, I would only trim like an inch. :)

December 4th, 2012, 05:43 PM
I am having the same issue as you. My ends are significantly thinner than the rest of my hair (Growing out a relaxer, so the thin ends are my relaxed hair). For the past year I've been slowly trimming to thicken the hemline but lately I've been getting a little anxious and want my ends thicker like now, which is making me consider cutting lately. My opinion is that as long as your ends are just thin but not damaged you can always just trim little by little. The chop is only necessary if you are sick and tired of looking at your ends as they are.

From the first picture though your ends look good.

December 4th, 2012, 05:48 PM
Well i agree with MrsGuther that your hair looks lovely. I can however very much sympathise with that issue if tapering as my hair does it from above bra strap these days. You could try taking MSM to see if that helps extend the anagen phase allowing more of the hairs to grow longer which would allow you more length before the tapering appears.
When it comes to hair growth issues i do tend to gall back on the Ayurvedic oils, i don't know if that appeals to you but i had great success with an oil containing bhringarag when i used it consistently on my scalp.

December 4th, 2012, 05:52 PM
I think your ends look fine, why don't you just keep growing? If you really want to trim, just take off a quarter inch a month or so. Your hair looks fine to me!

December 4th, 2012, 06:24 PM
I'm in the same boat as you. I'm sooo close to my goal of TBL, but my hair from waist down is so much thinner than the rest that I'll have to spend the next two to three years trimming. It's demoralizing, to say the least. At least I wear my hair up 99% of the time, so no-one besides me really knows the state it's in.

December 4th, 2012, 06:51 PM
O_o This is thin? Your hemline looks normal to me. It's not as thick as the rest of your hair, but it's certainly not skimpy or scraggley looking.

Personally I would trim the damage as needed because I hate busted looking ends, but honestly it doesn't look like you need to do anything to yours.

Shadow Walker
December 4th, 2012, 07:09 PM
I'm used to having much thicker ends. This is from February of this year, and you can see a considerable difference in thickness.


December 4th, 2012, 07:19 PM

Ok I can see how your ends must feel super thin in comparison to that. :(

December 4th, 2012, 07:40 PM
Have you changed anything about your care routine recently? Or have you moved? Any chance your water might suddenly have become super-hard?

The only real advice I have is the oft-repeated on LHC wear it up and avoid mechanical damage.

December 4th, 2012, 07:41 PM
I think your hair looks fine. I do understand being unhappy with your ends though, I have spent the last year trimming off all growth and I'm so tired of not getting anywhere. If you are happy with your length I would just microtrim to maintain until you are happy with length and the ends. But really I think they look fine.

December 4th, 2012, 08:12 PM
Maybe some hairs are breaking mid length? Perhaps you need some protein treatments and coconut oil treatments to strengthen the strands. Ayurvedic herbs like cassia, amla, bhringraj and henna can thicken hair strands. My hair is definitely thicker since using those herbs myself.

Shadow Walker
December 4th, 2012, 08:14 PM
Have you changed anything about your care routine recently? Or have you moved? Any chance your water might suddenly have become super-hard?

The only real advice I have is the oft-repeated on LHC wear it up and avoid mechanical damage.

Nope, haven't moved and my water quality hasn't changed. I haven't been working since my last trim a month ago (a source of damage for me since it's outdoors), and the thinning is still happening.

Shadow Walker
December 4th, 2012, 08:15 PM
Maybe some hairs are breaking mid length?

Hmm, you know, I never thought of that. I will definitely look into those treatments and see if they help. Thanks!

December 4th, 2012, 08:54 PM
I would suggest monthly microtrim dustings. I have been doing that on a Full Moon cycle mostly just to help me remember to do it. I trim off ony a teeny tiny barely noticable bit. I gain length but still keep the hemline from looking thin.

Firefly River
December 4th, 2012, 09:07 PM
Could it be because of the cold weather = drying chapped ends? Have you changed your diet or activity level or environment or nutrition since right before this thinning? My ends looked a little thin today to, but at least they felt silky, lol.

December 4th, 2012, 09:09 PM
I hear microtrimming can do a lot for thinning ends. That way you won't be cutting off length and the thickness will grow down. :)

December 4th, 2012, 09:44 PM
I have nothing onthe thinning but I had to say I love your hair!

December 5th, 2012, 01:00 AM
I don't think the ends look that bad - you still have a pretty decent hemline. If it were me, I would probably trim off 2 inches to thicken up my hemline. I'm considering doing the same after cutting a V hemline that I don't like that much.

December 5th, 2012, 05:59 AM
Maybe the "hair" that is now at the end of your length went through some trauma when it was growing oh so many years ago. So now when it's hitting your ends it's more fragile than the hair that was a the end of your hemline back in February? Sorry if that doesn't make sense, I'm not sure I'm explaining it right.

Either way, I think you have gorgeous hair!

December 5th, 2012, 06:06 AM
I am of the mind that whatever is your ends takes all the damage. If you want the healthier hair to reach a long length, I would grow it, then trim back to the thicker ends.

As you can see from my sig pic, I have the same issue. I can keep nice thick ends (well, thick for me) around TBL but anything past is wispy and tapered. There are no splits, so either I have term issues going on or it is breakage. I am thinking breakage and have been attempting protein treatments. Also, I never realized how much I needed a chelating shampoo until I had one. I use Joico, it chelates but doesn't overdry. If you chelate once a month and follow with a DCT or SMT of some kind (I prefer DCT's) perhaps, in time, you will see less breakage. This is what I am attempting. It just takes so darn long to see progress.

I just trimmed an inch or so but the uneven taper is bothering me still. But I hate to go all the way back to TBL. Yet THICK ends are not in my genes, not like you have the potential for. Do you usually wear your hair loose? This is more of an issue for loose hair. The taper will be non-evident, really, for any other style.

I am not sure what hair accident you had, suspecting it has something to do with the issue?

December 5th, 2012, 06:48 AM
10 thingy...........

December 5th, 2012, 07:04 AM
I notice that in the picture of your ends that you like your hair is more gathered together down the center of your back. In the picture you don't like, your hair is more spread out across your back. Get another picture of your hair more gathered together and see if you like the appearance of the ends. If so, easy fix!

Each of us has an issue with hair as it gets longer. Mine is split ends. I keep cutting back to around hip length to get rid of squadrons of split ends, doing everything I can to take care of my hair, and by the time it is tailbone length, the split ends are back no matter what. I have a haircut appointment on Dec 22, and I keep thinking back and forth between having about 4 inches cut off and eliminating the long layers or just getting 1/2 inch off the layers. This morning I'm leaning more toward the 1/2 inch off plan. I've been wearing my hair in 2 braids around the house and snipping off the splits that pop out of my braids.

It seems we have to choose between longer length and more perfect condition. I'm really curious to see how long my hair will get, which means I may have to give up my relatively split-free dream.

December 5th, 2012, 08:58 AM
I'd agree with Spidermom here, and I'd add that no two hairs on our head will grow at the exact same rate and for the exact same length of time. And they don't even all have the same length potential. Some of my hair is at terminal even tho the strand is only 3" long or less. Other strands are over 30" long and nowhere near terminal. So if every hair was at terminal, chances are I'd have a deep V shaped hemline. This would not make my hair bad or unhealthy, just... terminal. My shed rate would equal my growth rate.

If I want to maintain a particular length, I'll trim every month or three. I'm shifting over towards maintenance footing right now coz I think my hair is getting to be Long Enough, so on the first of every month (and only on the first) I can trim. Otherwise, no scissors. If I want to gain length as quickly as possible, I can go around 9-12 months without trimming. (my actual length goal is "my braid wraps the whole way 'round my head" and I'm over 3/4 of the way around... so while I'm not there, I am very close, and judicious trimming to keep ahead of splits and keep my hair enjoyable is a very good idea)

There are all sorts of ways to keep your trim intervals reasonable. You can trim on astrologically auspicious days based on the lunar cycle or various other methods. It doesn't really matter what you pick. The main thing is the more often you trim, the slower your hair gains length. For me, the 1st works since if I don't want to trim that day, no matter what, the next day I can trim is the first of next month. A one month delay in a trim is never a big deal for me, and really, I've never had even a 3 month delay be a big deal since I stopped using heat on my hair.

December 5th, 2012, 09:05 AM
seriously your ends look fine, i wouldn't worry about cutting back - just grow onwards. If you want to see thin ends you should see mine!

December 5th, 2012, 09:20 AM
I can see how, comparatively your ends have thinned, however they do not look thin. The taper in the piece you held up, i have that but more extreme, combination of old flat iron damage, rough brushing, layers and hair fall. it seems like it'll take 2 years or so for the shortest hairs to catch up to the hemline. I've barely made progress because i've been microtrimming every 2 weeks on the journey from waist to navel. In my opinion your ends are fine to grow onwards, perhaps just let hair grow, the last 2 inches can take the damage, s&d so nothing travels up... then simply chop the 2 inches when you've gained more length. Your ends are thick enough to the point noone would think them straggly or ratty while you do this.

If there is no identifiable reason for hairfall or breakage, not even a change in routine some time ago, where previous methods are now showing there damaging effects. I would go with someone elses suggestion and get a chelating poo and deepdish.

December 5th, 2012, 09:24 AM
Looks like tapering that's still in the normal range, if you ask me. Nothing to worry about. I do agree with those who've said to trim if it bugs you, but there really is no need to massively trim your hair!

December 5th, 2012, 10:17 AM
Exatly same problem but different reasons. franny went through this and came through the other ends, hers being due to hormone problems like mine but she advised me to trim a third of my growth every 3 months, this is what i plan to do. Ive gone from waist to hip and back again, i NEED nice ends, my thickness has only decreased on the ends hwich is annoying.
Nice to see you posting shadow, hope you find a solution and when you do give me a nudge eh? Keep smiling your hair is still drop dead gorgeous!

December 5th, 2012, 10:31 AM
I think your hair looks great, no need to worry. But, I will say, oils help. There are numerous to choose from. They can thicken the individual strands.

December 5th, 2012, 11:25 AM
I'd try trimming and maintaining for thicker hair. If you're more concerned about length then just grow and then maintain.

December 5th, 2012, 11:42 AM
Instead of microtrims I would suggest trimming 3 to 5 inches each 4 to 6 months, and wearing it up. If the damage goes on you could try those ayurvedic herbs treatments.
Don't worry about it anyway, mane looks great!

December 5th, 2012, 01:01 PM
in your picture you chose a piece near your forehead. Is it those pieces that are just bothering you? I tend to notice that my "front" hairs are more damaged then the rest. Your hair looks beautiful to me so it could maybe just be those front pieces that you're noticing? Sorry if this is completely wrong.

December 5th, 2012, 01:15 PM
A certain amount of thinning is to be expected - it's only a very few lucky folks who don't have any at all. I'd say your hair looks just fine, no need to do anything other than enjoy it.

December 5th, 2012, 01:59 PM
Any suggestions on what I should do? Would it be better for me to keep trimming an just maintain where I'm at for however long it takes, or should I just leave it and keep growing?
I was so sorry to read about your accident, Shadow Walker. I remember back in my college days, lighting a gas stove and the flame that jumped out at me burned off my eyebrows, lashes, and some forehead hair. It hurt! But everything grew back just fine.

If I were you, I would simply maintain for a while. Be sure and protect your ends. Before you trim back any further, that is what I would do. I think your current photo really isn't that bad.

December 6th, 2012, 12:32 AM
Shadow, your hair has always been :thudpile: thudworthy to me so I see nothing wrong with it, maybe oiling it would help to keep the ends supple so they won't break?
I hope you find an answer.

December 6th, 2012, 05:00 AM
How do I call a guy's hair lovely or beautiful? Guys are supposed to be manly! Anyway, how about your hair is "nice looking."

But YOU want your previous hair back! What's going on wear & tear, hard water, hormones, etc?

This is a good thread for the rest of us with a similar long hair problem and wondering why our ends are not even.

December 6th, 2012, 08:05 PM
You have beautiful hair! :) i love it, it looks fine to me :)
my hair has really thinned from all the medical stuff (and the braids from like 2 years ago that had extensions so it really took out a lot of hair) but even then people dont tell me it looks thin at all, just me. But it certainly looks thin when wet to me.
Maybe it is breakage?? But i assumed hair DOES look thinner as it gets longer no matter what you do except for a few rare people who don't get a lot of thinning at the ends. I thought that was normal.

hanne jensen
December 6th, 2012, 11:20 PM
Shadow, I'd go with micro-trims, aka dusting. Also, wear it up to avoid damage and drying. Don't use ponytails, no matter how hair friendly the elastics claim to be. Pressure damage and all. Avoid those mini claw clamp thingies. Again, pressure damage. I have the same problem as you, just at a shorter length.

When and if the Articles section is up, there's a really good article by Nightshade on growing out damaged hair. Read it and follow the advice. This article has saved my hair.

Good luck Shadow, and don't give up.

Shadow Walker
December 8th, 2012, 10:10 AM
Thanks for all the replies everyone. I've decided to trim again, probably 1 to 2 inches. I have a really great barber who only takes off the bad ends, so I'm sure I won't lose too much hair. I'll post an update picture next week afterwards.

December 8th, 2012, 10:27 AM
For thinning ends, I trim all new growth every 2 months. I also deep condition more. I even went to a GM Salon for the 1hr treatment. Too bad there are none close to us. I am in Illinois.
A Woman has more protective style choices like buns and updos. Men seem to wear their hair down much more with fewer protective styles which can lead to damaged hair quicker.
Your hair still looks good!

December 9th, 2012, 10:21 AM
Your hair looks very thick and healthy! Since the difference is only in the ends, I must ask if you wear a braid to keep your hair back? Maybe something as simple as varying the tassel length, or switching elastics to something more gentle is the answer. I look forward to hearing about how the trim goes.