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View Full Version : Split Ends, Avoidable or Unavoidable?



WaimeaWahine
September 16th, 2008, 03:36 PM
I've been reading all these books on hair, and they say you have to chop it all off and start over if you find them because you can't just trim.

Seems like with everything you can do that can damage your hair - heat, dryers, straighteners, dye, elastics, brushes, and more - that to not have them at some point would be very rare.

And who wants to start over if the end result will just be more split tends? So I'm going to live with semi-damaged hair and treat it better knowing it wont make much of a difference. :rolleyes:

Do you think split ends are common or uncommon? Can you have really long hair for most of your life and never get them?

spidermom
September 16th, 2008, 03:57 PM
Not on my head. I don't do much of anything that is known to be damaging, but I've got plenty of split ends. Most of them aren't split, though, so I try not to stress too much about the ones that are. If I see splits, I'll snip them off individually. I also have regular small trims. So far so good; it's still growing.

Beatnik Guy
September 16th, 2008, 03:59 PM
Splits come with the territory of long hair, to a greater or lesser degree. Many of us snip them off individually (search and destroy :evil:); I should do that more often as I have beaucoup splits.

Ohio Sky
September 16th, 2008, 04:00 PM
Split ends are common enough, but I think the part about trimming being insufficient is BS. You don't have to chop it all off.

As for whether you can prevent them; yes, I'd say you can prevent a lot of them but certainly not all of them and it varies from person to person. I'd say it would probably be impossible to have hair past your waist and never see a single one no matter how you treat your hair though.

Shanarana
September 16th, 2008, 04:01 PM
I don't think you can have hair long or short without a split here and there.

bunnii
September 16th, 2008, 04:02 PM
I S+D and it's still growing, if you leave them they'll just go up the hair and then you have to have cut off. Alot of these books are designed to get you into the salon so they get paid.

Angelica
September 16th, 2008, 04:16 PM
I think it depends how strong your hair is. Strong thick hair can grow longer than finer, thinner hair which is more delicate and can't endure the same sort of punishment other people's hair can take. My hair is very split, but fortunately not very noticeable. I know they are there, but since I wear it up all the time anyway I don't notice them much.

I am treating my hair very gently, but because it is so fine it does get more knotty that other peoples and it is perhaps the longest it has ever been right now. I know the ends are out of condition though because they are very dry, fortunately the rest of the hair remains very shiny despite the splits.

I think the age of the hair has a lot to do with it as well. Long hair is old hair.

I'm not sure what causes all the splits in my hair. I don't blow dry it, so perhaps do comb it too roughly at times and I am sure that putting it up constantly does cause damage at least for me. I think when I wore my hair loose when I was a lot younger I had a lot less splits. Having said that though I am too self-conscious about the lack of thickness of my hair to wear it loose any more.

Short hair will probably not have many split ends because of all the cutting it requires to keep it that short. I know loads of short haired girls who get their hair cut every month to keep it that length. Split ends don't have a chance to develop then.

I finally bought my slumber cap and am still awaiting a anti-snap conditioner that is taking forever to arrive!

I condition my hair now but still no improvements on the splits.

Boudicca
September 16th, 2008, 04:20 PM
I've noticed a huge reduction in the amount of splits I have since I started to wear my hair up more often. I still get some, they're unavoidable, I think: but I do think you can work on it.

ClareDee
September 16th, 2008, 04:25 PM
Meh, I would never reach even shoulder length hair if that were the case. I find the odd split here and there, and my hair is only 18". And that's 18" of hair that I use no heat on, that I now condition very regularly, and generally treat well.
I think there may be some hair types which are less prone, and maybe almost immune to splits, but for most people they will happen to some degree even when we care for our hair very well.

I would only get to a point where I'd "start over" if my hair was full of splits, or was breaking easily, and was noticeably damaged. Otherwise, there's no need to over-react to them. A quick snip here and there is usually sufficient ;)

misstwist
September 16th, 2008, 04:30 PM
I haven't had a trim since March (maybe February) and I've trimmed out fewer than a dozen splits since then.

My hair is "suddenly" just past bsl (lower than bottom of band is what I'm calling just past bsl) and I wear it up less than half the time. Also, I work outside in the summer and don't always contain my hair when doing so. I do, however, make sure my hair has plenty of moisture.

If I were you, I would trim the splits (that's why I trimmed in feb/mar) and make sure I got plenty of moisture. Some hair is just more split-prone than others, but what really changed for me was the amount of moisture I was giving my hair. That may work for you as well.

chrissy-b
September 16th, 2008, 04:37 PM
No matter what, you're bound to get a split at some point during your lifetime. There are things you can do to help minimize them (protective updos, gentle handling, etc.), but I would be amazed if someone found a way to keep from getting them at all. (If this exists, please...do tell.)

I used to think it was only when hair got really long that you'd get splits. But lately, while my ends are really healthy, I've been noticing splits on the shorter, new hairs that are only a couple of inches long.:shrug:

girlcat36
September 16th, 2008, 04:54 PM
I don't usually get splits, despite having fine, fragile hair. The one time I got a ton of splits was after surgery last May. I spent about two weeks in bed, and hair care just went out the window. I didn't use my silk pillowcase, and did not restrain my hair in any way. The result--LOTS of splits. Luckily I was still recuperating so that left lots of time for S&D.:D So I guess I am not prone to getting them unless I am very careless with my hair.

JessTheMess
September 16th, 2008, 05:08 PM
I think everyone gets splits, but some just get them worse than others depending on hairtype and the amount of handling.

spidermom
September 16th, 2008, 05:15 PM
I don't think the warning about splits traveling up the shaft is that big a deal, really. If you see it, you can snip it off above the split; end of problem. If you don't see it, that hair is going to be shed out eventually and replaced with a new, undamaged hair; again, end of problem.

Shelacious
September 16th, 2008, 05:29 PM
I think on some hairtypes they're unavoidable. My hair uses any old excuse to split--even though I wear my hair up most of the time, use no heat, etc. They're worse if I don't deep condition and detangle regularly, but I'll still see some.

Anlbe
September 16th, 2008, 05:44 PM
I have, and always have had, extreme split ends. Not just ends, they happen half way up and sometime turn into little christmas trees. Following all the recomendations (haven't used anything but pins and combs for ten years, silk pillow, no styling tools) I still had fairly serious split ends, I just have very brittle hair.

Deborah
September 16th, 2008, 06:23 PM
Due to no known technique or product, my extremely fine hair is not prone to split ends. I honestly don't know why. I tend to think it's genetic. I am sure that if I dyed my hair or used curling irons, etc., I could cause some damage. I'm not some 'hair saint', I am just not interested in making mechanical or chemical changes to my hair, so my haircare has always been pretty hair-healthy, from childhood on.

I sat here in front of the computer after reading this thread, and looked hard for splits. I could not find any. That doesn't mean there can't be a stray one here or there, just that I can't find them.

As a child, Mum made all five of us drink a glass of milk with every meal, until I went away to college at the age of 17. Maybe all the calcium was good for my hair. Who knows?

I guess what I am saying is that we sure can do things to damage our hair, but a lot of how our hair is, is simply what we were given. I don't feel any pride in not having splits - I don't do anything special to avoid them, I just don't get them naturally. So, if you get lots, don't feel bad and blame yourself. Unless you are knowingly doing risky things to your hair, it is probably just the hair you were given from the day you were born. Take good care of your hair, and learn to accept it's overall, natural type and condition.

Kirin
September 16th, 2008, 07:02 PM
Though my hair currently is slow growing........ annoyingly so and I have other complaints about it, I am phenomenally split free. I can't find one, and I've really really searched! Granted my hair is not enormously long yet, just at APL and has been for a while.

I don't know why I dont have splits, but thankful regardless.

Chromis
September 16th, 2008, 09:36 PM
I think it varies from head to head as well. I have loads of splits and dots and have never heat styled or straightened and treat my hair very gently. I just S&D and do the occasional microtrim to even up the hemline without making it too blunt and it grows merrily along anyhow!

ladyshannonanne
September 16th, 2008, 09:49 PM
Two letters: S and D.

Emichiee
September 16th, 2008, 09:53 PM
I've been reading all these books on hair, and they say you have to chop it all off and start over if you find them because you can't just trim.

Seems like with everything you can do that can damage your hair - heat, dryers, straighteners, dye, elastics, brushes, and more - that to not have them at some point would be very rare.

And who wants to start over if the end result will just be more split tends? So I'm going to live with semi-damaged hair and treat it better knowing it wont make much of a difference. :rolleyes:

Do you think split ends are common or uncommon? Can you have really long hair for most of your life and never get them?

The books you have read sound scary. I would put them aside because the 'chop it off' theory is wrong.

Splits are a little more complicated than

SPLITS --- and ---- NO SPLITS

That is also why they give us so much headache and frustration.

There is hair types that have a tendency for splits very much and some that don't. There is so many factors, some peoples hair is more resiliant and they will have less splits than others.

That said - treating your hair the best you can will cause less splits for everyone.

Of course hair is less likely to have a massive amount of splits at shorter length since the hair is much younger and in a better condition, but there is many people with long hair, waist and further that do not have many splits or even almost no splits.

I have watched the amount of splits on my hair at every length and I have been split free*, just a few splits and a little more splits...
So I can say from experience that treating hair good, wearing it up and S&D really lower the split level.
In times I forget about S&D I also notice splits increasing.

Keep in mind though that if someone has lots and lots of splits it will take lots and lots of S&D to show effect and I think this is where some throw the towel.

HTH Emi

Molster
September 17th, 2008, 07:04 AM
I don't know whether some hair types are just actually more liable to split than others. I'd be interested to hear any scientific theories on this.

I'm a non-trimmer (S&D's only), and my hair has had some chemical damage in the past (henna removal and a reaction between Sun-In and a metal barette - nasty), and I used to blow-fry, but I must confess that I really have to look hard for for splits.

My hair's very fine, but lots of it, and the ends must be at least 8 years old (at 47.5"). However, I have used a leave-in (cone free natural oils in the past 2 years) since my hair was about BSL, which has got to be the best part of 10 years ago, so I think that has really helped too. I do wear it up virtually all the time, too.

I would really expect to have more splits considering some of the pre-LHC abuse it had, but I guess I've just been lucky. Maybe they are just waiting to split on me at any time...

minkstole
September 17th, 2008, 08:16 AM
To the best of my knowledge I have never had a split end. Swear! But I have the breakies and the frizzies from hell, so I don´t know what´s worse.

I´m only near BSL so that may be why.

Chromis
September 17th, 2008, 09:30 AM
To the best of my knowledge I have never had a split end. Swear! But I have the breakies and the frizzies from hell, so I donīt know whatīs worse.

Iīm only near BSL so that may be why.

I've had split ends on my arm hair (which is fine and not long at all), so I'm pretty sure if you are prone to them, it doesn't matter how long the hair is!

Katze
September 17th, 2008, 09:49 AM
I think it depends how strong your hair is. Strong thick hair can grow longer than finer, thinner hair which is more delicate and can't endure the same sort of punishment other people's hair can take. My hair is very split, but fortunately not very noticeable. I know they are there, but since I wear it up all the time anyway I don't notice them much.

Fine hair isn't weak hair necessarily and it isn't necessarily thin, either. We are conditioned to think "fine=thin" but they are not the same thing; that's why we have both a hair texture and a hair thickness measurement on this site. :)

Fine hair can be incredibly strong, too, and it can be incredibly thick. I can barely get a comb through to my BF's scalp; his hair is baby fine, like mine, but curly, and super thick.



I think the age of the hair has a lot to do with it as well. Long hair is old hair.

This is true.


I'm not sure what causes all the splits in my hair. I don't blow dry it, so perhaps do comb it too roughly at times and I am sure that putting it up constantly does cause damage at least for me. I think when I wore my hair loose when I was a lot younger I had a lot less splits. Having said that though I am too self-conscious about the lack of thickness of my hair to wear it loose any more.



Angelica, I have to agree with you on putting it up. In order to contain my hair in an updo, I have to do a lot of handling and fussing with it (as opposed to just letting it hang) seems to cause wear and tear on my hair. If I just twist it up and put it up in a Ficcare, with all the front-mess held in a headband, that's a different story. But I feel the opposite as you do - I look like I have more hair when I wear it down.

As for splits, I definitely have less than I did before coming to LHC. I attribute this to better, gentler care; protecting my hair from wind, and more moisture on the end.

In my case I think some splits (especially white dots) are unavoidable but with better care, and once the chemically damaged parts are gone, they will continue to be less and less.

heidihug
September 17th, 2008, 11:06 AM
A stylist I know looked at my braided hair very closely and exclaimed "You have no split ends!" Which, of course, isn't true. The occasional (very occasional) S&D plus making sure I condition and oil my hair after every shampoo helps to eliminate, or at least hide, my splits and white dotted ends.

I've come to accept, over the years, that my hair has a tendency to split, and I just have to be that much more careful with it to keep damage at a minimum.

ilovelonghair
September 17th, 2008, 02:29 PM
The one thing that is a huge problem for me are split ends, whenever I cut them all off they are back in a few days...
I really have to try the catnip method, I heard that works.

Faepirate
September 17th, 2008, 03:03 PM
For me: Definitely unavoidable. :p

Angelica
September 17th, 2008, 04:18 PM
Katze - I have to emphasise that my hair is thin - or what would be termed as low density. Before I came on this site I believed my hair to be just fine. But it is thin in the real sense of the word. There is absolutely no thickness in it whatsoever. And my hair is very delicate, there is not point in even me trying to dispute this. I know it is.

I find it so frustrating when people say their hair is fine or thin or whatever and I look at their hair or even if I am allowed to, touch it, and see for myself that theirs isn't like mine at all even though they claim it is.

I try not to obsess about split ends too much. I mean if I did that I might as well cut the whole lot off because that would be the only way I would be split end free.

For me putting the hair up is abusing it, because I honestly can't see what else could be causing the splits other than age perhaps.

With such fragile hair as mine I have no choice but to be gentle.

bunnii
September 17th, 2008, 05:04 PM
I have very fine hair as in it's like baby hair but its of medium thickness. Fineness and thinness aren't the same thing.

Speedbump
September 17th, 2008, 08:29 PM
Splits are not avoidable for me, at all. But I just snip them when I find them and I keep pretty well ahead of most of them. The ones I can't see or reach are the ones that get nasty. I totally agree with others that no way do you have to "just chop" to get rid of them "completely." For me it's a pipe dream to get rid of them completely regardless of how short my hair is so I might as well have it long and snip them individually. :)

utdesertrunner
September 17th, 2008, 09:57 PM
For me, pretty much no splits. The only places I have found them is where my hair has been highlighted with bleach. So I also think that genetics really plays into it. My hair is also up most of the time.

Melisande
September 18th, 2008, 01:25 AM
I have fine hair, medium thickness, and have no problem whatsoever with splits. I don't remember when I last saw one and I do look! I search but don't destroy because I don't find splits.

I think it's genetics because I don't do more than most members here with my hair. I do overnight oilings, use Fox' sheabutter balsam and keep my hair moisturized by misting it with an oil-water-mixture. I handle it gently, it's up most of the time in simple updos with hair friendly toys.

I henna, sleep on silk, and use gentle shampoo. I implement all the golden advice I found on this site and think it helped my hair become really nice.

Still, after reading this thread I don't think that this can be the reason for my split-lessness because others do the same and do have splits.

Maybe I'll get splits when my hair is longer - its 30.3 now (77 cm) which is around waist for me. Up to now, I keep checking an no splits yet.

Marlowe
September 18th, 2008, 07:15 AM
A good chunk of it is genetics I think, because years ago when I had BSL hair that was bleached, dyed, brushed with cheap snaggy brushes, blowdryed, and everything else that is bad for your hair I never had split ends.

Angelica
September 18th, 2008, 09:47 AM
I have very fine hair as in it's like baby hair but its of medium thickness. Fineness and thinness aren't the same thing.

I think we could literally split hairs regarding this. What I meant to say was I have BOTH these problems. I would have no problem at all in having fine textured hair if it wasn't thin as well.

I do not think ii thickness any problem. But the i (as in mine) thickness is definitely a problem.

bunnii
September 18th, 2008, 10:02 AM
Oh I see, I wasn't being nasty but then it is hard to tell on forums sometimes. I used to have i thickness but all the oiling and COing and CWCing has made my hair almost 2 inches thicker. The ends are still thinner but I do have a perma halo of new growth lol and that almost never splits.

Periwinkle
September 18th, 2008, 10:08 AM
Everyone gets them; that's life. However, I think it's important to remember how few splits those of us who make an effort to avoid them normally have compared to people who don't. I was looking at a friend's hair today (bleached multiple times, straightened every day, almost always worn down) and rather than looking for splits, it was like looking for hairs that weren't splits.

aprilmay
September 18th, 2008, 11:58 AM
I always hate to see them in my hair and they encourage me to trim.

mooglewoo
September 18th, 2008, 01:03 PM
IME they will happen no matter what, but you can take precautions to get as few as possible. This (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/vbjournal.php?do=article&articleid=8) article by teacherbear is a really good one.

Angelica
September 18th, 2008, 04:01 PM
Oh I see, I wasn't being nasty but then it is hard to tell on forums sometimes. I used to have i thickness but all the oiling and COing and CWCing has made my hair almost 2 inches thicker. The ends are still thinner but I do have a perma halo of new growth lol and that almost never splits.

Hi Bunni

You are so lucky. You have beautiful hair. Unfortunately with me this is what I am stuck with. It does have a nice shine though which is nice :)

You say your hair is two inches thicker now! Wow! I won't tell you just how thick (or rather thin) mine is when drawn into a ponytail.

I wouldn't mind the straightness of my hair if it was as nearly nice as yours.

Again I think you have beautiful hair and thanks for your nice reponse.

I thought I sounded a bit sharp in my last post sorry :(

Kleis
September 18th, 2008, 04:17 PM
Everyone gets them; that's life. However, I think it's important to remember how few splits those of us who make an effort to avoid them normally have compared to people who don't. I was looking at a friend's hair today (bleached multiple times, straightened every day, almost always worn down) and rather than looking for splits, it was like looking for hairs that weren't splits.

But then again, you just described me and I don't do any of the things you listed. Never have. Some of us just have super-fragile hair by nature.

bunnii
September 18th, 2008, 04:23 PM
Hi Bunni

You are so lucky. You have beautiful hair. Unfortunately with me this is what I am stuck with. It does have a nice shine though which is nice :)

You say your hair is two inches thicker now! Wow! I won't tell you just how thick (or rather thin) mine is when drawn into a ponytail.

I wouldn't mind the straightness of my hair if it was as nearly nice as yours.

Again I think you have beautiful hair and thanks for your nice reponse.

I thought I sounded a bit sharp in my last post sorry :(

Think nothing of it :flower:

Thank you :) It's taken two years of LHC for me to be happy with my hair, and yours will get there (I'm sure it's beautiful BTW)

Samikha
September 19th, 2008, 03:03 AM
As has been said, it depends a lot on genetics. I have very few splits. My last full S&D found two split ends - two! And sore eyes and...just a waste of time. My hair has only very rarely been subject to heat, but has been worn down constantly and hairsprayed into submission for many years. I have had trims on a biannual basis.

Some people just get splits whatever they do. Most of us can reduce them significantly by treating our hair nicely. And splits don't mean that your hair is doomed to die a slow death, either. Just an extra concern.

Elbereth
September 19th, 2008, 03:33 AM
Splits come with long hair, but the amount depends on your hair type and also very much on your haircare habits. I joined longhair boards when my hair was barely shoulder length. Now it is just past waist length, and I have WAY less splits now that I did back when I had no idea on how to treat my hair gently. My hair is medium thickness and fine, and I don't think I could have grown it this long without taking good care of it. Gentle haircare is good in many ways.

I keep my hair well moisturized, especially the ends (minimal washing, oiling, occassional deep conditioning). I wear it mostly up. I wear a headcovering to protect my hair from sun, freezing cold and dirt. I don't use chemicals, blow dry or use other heat tools or brush it. If I see a split, I snip it off, and sometimes I also do S&D missions. That's it.

I accept that my hair will never probably be 100% split free. How could it be, since I don't trim it every month (or keep it in a short cut where most of the hairs would even be same length and a trim would even affect to most of my hair)? I do what I reasonably can. I also avoid listening to haircare advice that comes from people who want to sell me something. ;) That means particular distruct towards professional stylists. That distrust is just encouraged by having first hand experience that very often, doing the exact opposite of what stylists tell, is good for hair.