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View Full Version : Splits and breakage after 1/2 inch trim



Vanilla
March 21st, 2015, 08:02 AM
I am experiencing a lot of splits and breakage, even after I trimmed 1/2 inch a week ago. I trimmed a tiny amount the week before that, but aside from that I hadn't had a trim in over a year. My scissors are very sharp and only used on hair.

The breakage is happening about an inch up from the ends, both before and after the trim. I had tried to keep the splits at bay by doing S & D, but they kept on appearing in the same spots.

I wear my hair up almost all of the time, sleep with a satin cap and have tried catnip soaks to alleviate the breakage. My only sin that I can think of is that I don't vary my buns very often. I am wearing more braids recently, and am trying sectioned buns.


Here is a picture of my hair:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v481/isk8r813/Mobile%20Uploads/image_zpspr5xbwje.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/isk8r813/media/Mobile%20Uploads/image_zpspr5xbwje.jpg.html)

Should I trim a bit more?

Wildcat Diva
March 21st, 2015, 08:36 AM
Aw, so pretty.
I'm battling splits right now through S&D. One time I got upset at my kids and sat in my car for two hours snipping splits. So, even there was a few seconds between each split, that means there was a lot. Some were way up the hair AND, here is the thing, on hairs that were shorter than my hem. I have no layers, but there are all different lengths of hairs on my head.
A trim, even a one inch one, would not catch most of these.

I've had a few more sessions of S&D. It's getting progressively better, less splits.

I think a similar approach would suit you. I don't think a trim is the answer.

Anje
March 21st, 2015, 08:41 AM
How are your ends behaving?

If they're still being problematic after a cut (which I'm guessing it's why they're then breaking), you probably have a different problem like buildup, which trims won't solve. I'd suggest clarifying first, and then maybe figure out if your protein-moisture balance is out of whack or if you need to chelate or anything. You still might want to S&D or trim the splits out, but breakage is a symptom as well as problem.

lapushka
March 21st, 2015, 08:57 AM
I think judging from here, your ends look fine to me! I'd try and carefully S&D and see what that turns up. Might be just a few odd pieces that are behaving atrociously. I hope so.

Arctic
March 21st, 2015, 09:38 AM
Is your hair healthy (looks like it is) and with no, for example, old dye or heat damage?

And what is your care routine like. I'm especially interested whether your products have proteins and moisture in good balance, but tell everything you could think of possibly being helpful info for us.

Vanilla
March 21st, 2015, 09:42 AM
Thank you everyone for the advice and reassurance. My ends are pretty grabby still. I haven't clarified in a few weeks, I'll try that as well as some more S&D.

How can I tell if my moisture protein balance is off? I usually alternate between moisturizing conditioners and conditioners with protein. If my hair starts to feel a bit dry or stiff, I go back to the moisturizing conditioner. Is that right?

meteor
March 21st, 2015, 09:44 AM
How are your ends behaving?

If they're still being problematic after a cut (which I'm guessing it's why they're then breaking), you probably have a different problem like buildup, which trims won't solve. I'd suggest clarifying first, and then maybe figure out if your protein-moisture balance is out of whack or if you need to chelate or anything. You still might want to S&D or trim the splits out, but breakage is a symptom as well as problem.

I agree with this.

Also, did you change your routines at all? Or the way you wear your hair daily or to bed? Or is there more seasonal dryness where you live?

Also, did you experience splitting/breakage before your trim, too? Because if you didn't and now you suddenly do, and your routine is the same, then something is up with your scissors (even if they are brand new) - did you just get them recently?

Your hair looks absolutely amazing by the way, but things like split ends would not be visible anyway from such a distance. so only you can really know your ends well.

Vanilla
March 21st, 2015, 09:45 AM
Is your hair healthy (looks like it is) and with no, for example, old dye or heat damage?

And what is your care routine like. I'm especially interested whether your products have proteins and moisture in good balance, but tell everything you could think of possibly being helpful info for us.


I have no dye or heat damage on my hair at all. I alternate between L'oreal Eversleek moisturizing conditoner and protein conditioner. I use LOC as my leave in, and alternate between mineral oil, coconut oil, argan oil and the three nightblooming salves.

meteor
March 21st, 2015, 09:48 AM
How can I tell if my moisture protein balance is off? I usually alternate between moisturizing conditioners and conditioners with protein. If my hair starts to feel a bit dry or stiff, I go back to the moisturizing conditioner. Is that right?

Generally speaking, yes.
However, since you are noticing more splitting with unusual dryness, I'd clarify, hit hair with something super-moisturizing, like SMT or oil + honey mask and I'd definitely try oiling the braid tassel every night (or maybe every other night). If you are worried about staining your pillow/sleep cap, just put saran wrap on your braid tassel (under the hair tie) on top of that oil.

Vanilla
March 21st, 2015, 09:52 AM
Generally speaking, yes.
However, since you are noticing more splitting with unusual dryness, I'd clarify, hit hair with something super-moisturizing, like SMT or oil + honey mask and I'd definitely try oiling the braid tassel every night (or maybe every other night). If you are worried about staining your pillow/sleep cap, just put saran wrap on your braid tassel (under the hair tie) on top of that oil.

What kind of oil do you recommend for the oil + honey mask?

meteor
March 21st, 2015, 09:57 AM
What kind of oil do you recommend for the oil + honey mask?

Honestly, on dry and/or damaged ends, I like olive oil the most. But I'm kind of afraid to recommend it, because it can end up being greasy on many hair types. :lol: Avocado oil is nice, too. Sweet almond oil or argan oil are lighter alternatives... But you can use any oil you know your hair likes in masks! :)

-Fern
March 21st, 2015, 10:00 AM
What kind of oil do you recommend for the oil + honey mask?

This may not be a super helpful answer, but the answer is that it depends on your hair! Everyone's hair seems to work a little differently with different oils. With fine hair like yours, you might want to try something lighter like mineral oil or sweet almond oil first. Coconut oil is sort of medium, and olive oil tends to be quite heavy for most folks (my hair really likes it, but it definitely hangs around... so I prefer coconut oil). But there's a whole range. Work with what you've got in your pantry/bathroom cabinets first. ;)

Vanilla
March 21st, 2015, 10:00 AM
I agree with this.

Also, did you change your routines at all? Or the way you wear your hair daily or to bed? Or is there more seasonal dryness where you live?

Also, did you experience splitting/breakage before your trim, too? Because if you didn't and now you suddenly do, and your routine is the same, then something is up with your scissors (even if they are brand new) - did you just get them recently?

Your hair looks absolutely amazing by the way, but things like split ends would not be visible anyway from such a distance. so only you can really know your ends well.

Thanks Meteor!

The only thing changed in my routine is that I have to wash a bit more frequently due to an oiler scalp (side effect of a medication I'm going off of)

The air has been extremely dry where I live all winter, despite me running a humidifier in my room. I had the splitting and breakage before my trim as well. My scissors are a few years old, but I have rarely used them. I don't do a whole lot of S&D in general (no patience!) and I've only recently started doing self trims.

Vanilla
March 21st, 2015, 10:04 AM
Thank you all for your help! I haven't used olive oil in a mask in a really long time, maybe I'll try it this time and see if it helps. I've been doing S&D for the last 20 minutes as well. Will let you guys know how it works out!

Arctic
March 21st, 2015, 10:35 AM
Thank you everyone for the advice and reassurance. My ends are pretty grabby still. I haven't clarified in a few weeks, I'll try that as well as some more S&D.

How can I tell if my moisture protein balance is off? I usually alternate between moisturizing conditioners and conditioners with protein. If my hair starts to feel a bit dry or stiff, I go back to the moisturizing conditioner. Is that right?


I have no dye or heat damage on my hair at all. I alternate between L'oreal Eversleek moisturizing conditoner and protein conditioner. I use LOC as my leave in, and alternate between mineral oil, coconut oil, argan oil and the three nightblooming salves.

Well I am not knowlegeable enough to give you a surefire way of knowing when there is balance between protein and moisture. But I know that some hairtypes do better with protein than others. On the other hand, some hairtypes demand protein. Damaged hair often likes protein, and I imagine very long hair might also benefit from it occasionally, as a rule of thumb. But if you are using it often, and your hairtype might not like it or need it, it might be causing this breakage. (Also sometimes hair likes only certain type of protein, and not others.)

Sometimes too little protein can cause breakage too, but the way you describe yours, breaking in short bits from the ends, sounds more like a over-abundance of protein problem.


I couldn't find INCIs to the products you mentioned. If you can, post the INCIs and the shampoo too, that you use. On my hair, for example, even the protein in my shampoo can cause problems, so it's not just conditioners.

I'm not very familiar with the LOC method. I think it's where you add leaveins and oils after washing? If you use comercial leaveins/serums, they, too, might contain proteins (I have yet to see a leave-in without protein).

It also sounds like you are already using quite a bit of oils, and I personally wouldn't start using more as an attempt to solve this problem, at least not right away.

Vanilla
March 21st, 2015, 10:44 AM
Ingredients for my shampoo:
Ingredients
Aqua/Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Sodium Lauryl Sarcosinate, Glycol Distearate, Sodium Chloride, Decyl Glucoside, Parfum/Fragrance, Polyquaternium-10, PPG-5-Ceteth-20, Sodium Benzoate, Cocobetaine, PEG-55 Propylene Glycol Oleate, Propylene Glycol, Salicylic Acid, Carbomer, Benzoic Acid, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool, Benzyl Salicylate, Helianthus Annuus Seed Extract/Sunflower Seed Extract, Limonene, Benzyl Alcohol, Citronellol, Sodium Hydroxide, Citric Acid.

Conditioner with protein:
Ingredients
Aqua/Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil/Sunflower Seed Oil, Behentrimonium Chloride, Glycerin, Cetyl Esters, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Parfum/Fragrance, Quaternium-87, Isopropyl Alcohol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Candelilla Cera/Candelilla Wax, Propylene Glycol, Olea Europaea Oil/Olive Fruit Oil, Caprylyl Glycol, Benzoic Acid, Citric Acid, Argania Spinosa/Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool, Benzyl Salicylate, Limonene, Benzyl Alcohol, Citronellol, Triethanolamine.

I can't seem to find the ingredients for the other conditoner without protein right now.

The way I do my LOC routine, I use water as my liquid, oil next, and then panacea next. One of her formulas doesn't contain protein.

Arctic
March 21st, 2015, 11:14 AM
The conditioner INCI you posted, maybe I'm blind but I can't see any proteins in there. Weird. However there are coating agents and the glycerin (a humectant) is quite high, which might make your hair dryer if there is not much moisture in the air.

The shampoo doesn't seem to contain any obvious proteins either, but I admit I am not an expert when it comes to reading INCIs. I do think I recognize a protein though. The shampoo has several milder surfactants and some coating agents.


So looking at these ingredients, my theory of the protein overload might be wrong.

When you clarify, I trust you do it with a proper clarifying shampoo, and lather your ends too?

Vanilla
March 21st, 2015, 11:56 AM
Artic, I think you're right about the lack of proteins in there. It's labeled as a restructuring conditioner, which made me think that there was protein in it.

I usually clarify with a shampoo bar with no additives in it, then use a citric acid rinse. I usually lather my ends as well. I find that the shampoo bar does a better job of clarifying than other liquid clarifying shampoos I've used.

truepeacenik
March 21st, 2015, 12:06 PM
Do you get the sense that the candellia wax rinses away, or is that the restructuring ingredient?
I use candellia in lip balm. It sticks around.

Vanilla
March 21st, 2015, 12:26 PM
I find that my hair is usually pretty moisturized by the time I go for my next wash, so I think the wax does stick around with the S&C and LOC

Did the olive oil and honey mask after clarifying and only rinsed my hair. It's pretty greasy right now, so I just braided it am intending on ignoring it. Will have to wash tomorrow night though, I cannot go to work on Monday with hair that looks like this.

meteor
March 21st, 2015, 12:33 PM
Do you get the sense that the candellia wax rinses away, or is that the restructuring ingredient?
I use candellia in lip balm. It sticks around.

Yep, the wax jumped to my attention, too. :agree: It really builds up fast. I sure hope clarifying is going to fix some of the problem.
Sorry, the honey+oil mask made your hair greasy - it can certainly do that, esp. if not followed up by a good shampooing. :(

Also, Vanilla, you mentioned washing more frequently because of oiliness due to (going off of) medication.
So I see 2 potential concerns here:

1) If you are taking other forms of medication, they could certainly affect even things like split ends indirectly, in the long run - if they make you produce less sebum or different quality of sebum (say, waxier). You might need different kinds of hair products to match the hair's changing needs.

2) Washing more frequently could be drying out your ends - due to overexposure to detergents and excessive wetting/drying/manipulation of hair ends.
You could look into dry shampoos to stretch washes or, even better, scalp-only washes to tide you over between your regular scheduled full washes.
Partial scalp-only wash (presented by LauraLongLocks): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VBOVM-dHlc

Arctic
March 21st, 2015, 01:26 PM
Yeah, there are several coating agents, which might buildup. I have no personal experiences with shampoo bars, but I've seen many report having waxy buildup over time, which might contribute to the problem (at first they love those bars as they make hair feel and look thicker, but it quickly builds up). Your normal shampoo and conditioner might cause cumulative buildup too, the shampoo might lack cleaning power. Plus you use so many oils, if you never/rarely remove them properly, they buildup too. If you do have persistent buildup, it would prevent your hair from getting moisture, which in a way could be said that the protein-moisture balance is off. Buildup can also cause breakage.

I really recommend a proper clarifying shampoo, it should strip your hair of all the possible waxy and other buildup. Then a really intensive moisturizing program. I would try that first.

Since you use citric acid rinses, depending how often you do them, we might be able to rule out hard water/mineral buildup. Although different acids remove different mineral buildup, and if your water happens to have a kind of mineral citric acid doesn't remove, it doesn't help much (calcium is not the only problematic mineral in water).


ETA: Since the reconstructing conditioner doesn't have proteins, it looks like the effect is based on those coating agents.

Wildcat Diva
March 21st, 2015, 01:33 PM
S&D may take a few sessions. I've been at it a couple of weeks here and there. Before that, I never really did
it.

I am finally starting to notice fewer splits now. Takes time.

Vanilla
March 21st, 2015, 01:47 PM
Thank you guys so much for your responses. I have tried scalp washing, and I've had a bit of limited success with it. I usually have to do a full length wash the day immediately after a scalp only wash. I use dry shampoo two days after I do a full length wash, and then I've got to wash that evening. Blonde hair is not very forgiving when greasy.

I'll get a different clarifying shampoo than the other liquid ones I had been using. I think another thing I should be doing is to find another conditioner without that particular wax in it so it's not building up as much.

I'll keep at the S&D as well. Can't hurt.

The water where I live is fairly soft.

spidermom
March 21st, 2015, 02:07 PM
Another consideration - if your wash method is CWC, that could be causing a problem. Shampoo has a negative charge and conditioner has a positive charge (or the other way around). When there is both a negative and positive charge on your hair at the same time, the particles attract and cling to each other and to your hair. I thought CWC was a great method for years, but by the time my hair got to around tailbone length, it was grabby and snarly and split all to hell on the ends until I discontinued CWC. (p.s: I did clarify about every other month or so) Now I only use coconut oil as a prewash treatment, then do a simple diluted shampoo wash followed by massaging and finger combing conditioner through the bottom half of my length, marinate for a few minutes, then rinse. About every 10 days, I follow washing and conditioning with a small dab of coney serum massaged through ends only. I haven't changed much else about my routine, and I'm finding that this time around tailbone, my ends aren't nearly so grabby or damaged as they were in the past.

Vanilla
March 21st, 2015, 02:32 PM
Thanks for the input, spidermom. I have occasionally done CWC, but I will stop doing it in the future.

Vanilla
March 22nd, 2015, 04:46 PM
I ended up needing to shampoo my hair yesterday. I also did another 2 hour S&D session today. Put my hair in an English braid, dampened the ends and put some mineral oil on them as they were already feeling dry.

I got neutrogena's anti residue shampoo and a small bottle of a fekkai olive oil conditoner that doesn't have cones, proteins or waxes in it. Any other recommendations for conditioners that don't build up as much?

molljo
March 22nd, 2015, 05:10 PM
When looking at your shampoo, salicylic acid really jumped out at me. The only good reason I can find for it to be in a shampoo is for treating dandruff, and it's recommended that you don't use it at every wash. Especially since you said you've been doing a full length wash, this may be a huge culprit in causing your breakage.

Vanilla
March 22nd, 2015, 05:21 PM
Thanks for the input, I'll defintely be switching up the current routine including my shampoo.

Crumpet
March 23rd, 2015, 11:50 AM
One other suggestion: maybe your hair would prefer more frequent microtrims to occasional larger trims? I made this change and my hair really seems to prefer it. You could microtrim 1/4 inch every three months or so and see if that helps you.

Vanilla
March 23rd, 2015, 05:17 PM
Great advice, crumpet :). I think I microtrimming more often will help too.

Vanilla
March 23rd, 2015, 08:20 PM
Here's the ingredients for the glossing conditoner. I didn't realize it had cones in it, oops! Good thing I only got a small container of it.

Water/EAU, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Fragrance/Parfum, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Stearyl Alcohol, Quaternium-18, Bis-Aminopropyl Dimethicone, Cetearyl Alcohol, Hydroxypropyl Guar, Oleyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Polysorbate 60, EDTA, Citric Acid, Yellow 5, Blue 1.

bonbon58
March 23rd, 2015, 08:50 PM
hey vanilla!! sorry to hear about the splits. i don't have any other tips to add to all the great advice :shrug: if you want help with trimming them off, let me know :flower:

Vanilla
March 23rd, 2015, 08:57 PM
Thanks bonbon, I really appreciate the offer to help :). Maybe we'll have to have another meet in the next few months :)

gwenalyn
March 26th, 2015, 05:00 PM
Doesn't honey have something similar to bleach in it? As far as I understand it, honey can actually be damaging--I know you've already done the oil/honey mask, but I would avoid it in the future, if I were you (unless you like the lightening effect).

Vanilla
March 26th, 2015, 07:16 PM
Honey has peroxide that is destroyed after microwaving. I microwaved the oil and honey mixture before putting it on my hair so it was moisturizing. I seem to not be finding many more split ends since clarifying and changing conditioners.

Arctic
March 26th, 2015, 07:41 PM
That's wonderful news!!!

meteor
March 27th, 2015, 12:26 PM
I seem to not be finding many more split ends since clarifying and changing conditioners.

That's just awesome, Vanilla! :joy: Congrats! :D

Vanilla
March 27th, 2015, 07:36 PM
Thanks guys! Couldn't have done it without your great advice.