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View Full Version : Splits travel up the shaft: True or False?



Stelmaria
July 5th, 2009, 02:58 PM
I always was told that a split end will ALWAYS get worse and will travel up the shaft. Then I read something somewhere that said that is not true and that trimming is for cosmetic purposes only. I don't believe everything I read, but I do trust the experiences of people on this board. So please tell me which is correct. And if splits don't travel up the shaft, how does one explain the huge splits. They must have started out small, no?

florenonite
July 5th, 2009, 03:01 PM
I do believe splits travel up the shaft. This is partially why many of us do what is known as Search and Destroy or "S&D", which is sitting in good light and individually snipping off splits that we find. I don't know that this is a universal truth, however; everyone's hair is so different that while so-and-so's splits might travel up the shaft, someone else's don't.

Kiraela
July 5th, 2009, 03:15 PM
I'm pretty sure splits do travel up the shaft - think of it like a rope with a frayed end. If you don't do something to stop it, then the frayed parts will keep getting worse.

jojo
July 5th, 2009, 03:16 PM
I found a hair last month that was was split at least 3" up the shaft, so yes they do!

Shermie Girl
July 5th, 2009, 03:24 PM
Oh yeah. Splits can definitely travel up the shaft. I have found a few pretty impressive examples in my time. :lol:

fishwich
July 5th, 2009, 04:18 PM
Some splits travel, some do not. Mine don't. Have a look at your own hair and get a good idea of how it behaves, because it varies a lot from person to person.

enfys
July 5th, 2009, 04:22 PM
I don't want the splits to travel so I find out, so I snip them off. Better to be safe than sorry.

I believe they can travel, and they can tangle and pull more which would unravel them. Maybe a hair on it's own wouldn't, but the 200,000 friends it's got...

gibsongirl71
July 5th, 2009, 04:23 PM
Mine only travel for an inch or so then stop.

thankyousir74
July 5th, 2009, 04:27 PM
Just wondering, Stelmaria, but can you recall where you read that? I'm also a strong believer that it travels up the hair shaft....I have pretty much no doubt about it, but unless I can find a source that says otherwise, then I would go on assuming that splits do travel up the shaft.

darkwaves
July 5th, 2009, 04:31 PM
I don't believe splits travel far -- at least, mine don't.

Instead, mine go for less than an inch, and then break off. The impossibly fine split strands aren't sturdy enough to last.

This likely depends on hair type.

MadPirateBippy
July 5th, 2009, 05:40 PM
Mine travel agressively- my split ends are like the drunk drivers of the split end world, going 95 on the freeway and creating havoc everywhere they go.

I've had some that have split up the entire length of the hair- which is impressive in over 40 inch locks.

Elfling
July 5th, 2009, 06:00 PM
Oh yeah. Splits can definitely travel up the shaft. I have found a few pretty impressive examples in my time. :lol:


I love finding them actually :D it's both horrifying and gratifying to get rid of them.

jivete
July 5th, 2009, 06:23 PM
Mine don't travel, but my hair is super fine. They break off before they get very far.

florenonite
July 5th, 2009, 06:25 PM
Mine travel agressively- my split ends are like the drunk drivers of the split end world, going 95 on the freeway and creating havoc everywhere they go.

I've had some that have split up the entire length of the hair- which is impressive in over 40 inch locks.

Hehe, I love your analogy!

RoseRedDead
July 5th, 2009, 06:26 PM
In my experience, yes, though I've only found one really horrifying split end... it was about two inches in length, and split in multiple places... Eek.

danacc
July 5th, 2009, 06:36 PM
I don't believe splits travel far -- at least, mine don't.

Instead, mine go for less than an inch, and then break off. The impossibly fine split strands aren't sturdy enough to last.

This likely depends on hair type.


This sounds like my hair (except I don't have curls). The longest split I've found was less than 1/2 inch. But having them travel is not why I snip it. I snip it because it catches more easily on neighboring strands. And when it catches, a tangle is more likely. Once the end splits, it is very weak, and in my hair, it's going to break off anyway. I'd rather cut it before it has any chance of getting itself into trouble with its neighbors.

Fireweed
July 5th, 2009, 06:49 PM
The last time I had a trimed was March of 08 and my hair is in the best condition it has ever been in years , all 39 inches of it. I just want to say that I don't believe that splits travel up the hair shaft. The last time I had short hair was 32 years ago and if that was the case I would be bald by now.

bridgetsgirl
July 5th, 2009, 06:51 PM
In my experience, yes, though I've only found one really horrifying split end... it was about two inches in length, and split in multiple places... Eek.

I've had that happen too, only it had traveled 5-6 inches up. But then, the hair in question was dyed, bleached, re-dyed and chemically straightened...:trainwreck: ...fortunately it was cut back to virgin length soon after.

redcelticcurls
July 5th, 2009, 07:43 PM
Going by the responses so far,it really seems to vary.

Mine don't travel up that far, or, if they do, they travel slowly.

The problem I DO have is that splits will catch on neighboring hairs and neighboring curls, causing increased tangling issues for me.

RancheroTheBee
July 5th, 2009, 08:29 PM
Mine travel agressively- my split ends are like the drunk drivers of the split end world, going 95 on the freeway and creating havoc everywhere they go.


I want this carved into a plaque and nailed to my door. :eek:

Anyway, mine don't travel very far up the shaft; possibly half an inch is my record. I used to really mess with my hair something awful, and never trim it, and they never got really big. Thank goodness, too, or I would have had to shave my head constantly.

eadwine
July 6th, 2009, 05:52 AM
Back when I had lots of them (loooong ago thank goodness) I learned very fast that yes, they travel up. In my case a lot of thm all the way to the scalp even. So the answer is yes.

Zindell
July 6th, 2009, 07:02 AM
I don't have many splits but I do see one now and then.
I have never seen one travel up though. They have always been max 5 mm. Usually less... like 2 to 3 mm...

KaeleyAnne
July 6th, 2009, 07:20 AM
I have splits that are located high up the hair shaft. Whether that is due to the splits traveling or to mechanical damage that causes the hair to split up that high, I don't know. I search and destroy to try to eliminate the splits.

rach
July 6th, 2009, 07:24 AM
i've had them travel and inch up before so i do believe they do. dust trims/search and cut them are the best action to take for max length in the long run when they start showing up. hate them, hate them

Rentlle
July 11th, 2009, 10:45 AM
yeah, that's true. :)

Carina
July 11th, 2009, 10:51 AM
I have seen my splits travel up the shaft.It scared me a bit to say the least.That is why I always take a peak at my ends if I have a tangle.It might be a split end that is messing with me.

Ursula
July 11th, 2009, 10:58 AM
It is tricky to say, of course, since given the large number of hairs on a head, one can't easily identify and track specific split hairs over time, to see if the split stays the same, travels up the shaft, or breaks off.

I do have some observations, however.

1. I've found that if I'm doing S&D regularly (so as to catch most splits quickly after they start) I have mostly small splits, but if I neglect S&D for a few months, I have many more deep splits. This suggests that they get deeper over time.

2. I also have more splits on shorter hairs if I'm not S&Ding regularly, suggesting that they've broken off repetedly, and I'm catching a split up high after several breaks.

3. I've noticed that if I separate a split hair out from the rest, grasp each side of the split, and give a gentle pull, it will generally pull the split longer for a certain distance, and then one side will break off. This suggests that if left in place, under the stresses of combing and daily life, a split will tend to be pulled apart, and eventually break off. When I do this, the side that is left after the break tends to be rougher and more fragile before the split/break point.

Periwinkle
July 11th, 2009, 11:33 AM
^^^ Ursula has a point there. There might not be a split end, but you might still have a broken hair.

I do think splits travel up the length of your hair, though I think it's pretty obvious that healthier hair will split less often and the splits will travel less.

Lile
July 11th, 2009, 04:42 PM
I also agree with Ursula.A small trim like in every 6 months can help a lot. At least for me.It's not a big sacrifice.

Ursula
July 11th, 2009, 05:10 PM
I also agree with Ursula.A small trim like in every 6 months can help a lot. At least for me.It's not a big sacrifice.

In my experience, a small trim every 6 months is an ineffective way to address split ends, for several reasons.

1. Six months is a long enough time for splits to get fairly deep, and travel up the length of the hair a bit. A small trim won't catch them all.

2. Trimming just the ends, you'll also wind up trimming the ends off a lot of hairs that are not split, something not necessary for addressing the issue of split ends.

3. Splits can happen not just on hairs that are at the longest part of your hair, but also on hairs that are at other points in the shed/regrow cycle, so that the ends are in the middle of your length. A small trim will miss these split ends completely.

Small trims are useful for other purposes, such as keeping your hemline even.

The most effective way to address split ends is via search and destroy missions. (S&D) Go through the length of your hair, section by section, and trim off split hairs individually, just above the split point, as you find them.

Some people avoid S&D, particularly if they find that they become unhappy or obsessive about it. Which is fine, when it works for them.

Lile
July 11th, 2009, 05:19 PM
Small trims for me every 6 months are effective.My hair is not splitting that awfully.Others' might.I don't think it's possible to check every singe hair I have.Not with my thickness(which is just avarage)
And I don't think S&D would make a visible difference.
(I don't think it does for anybody,but it's an individual choice)


...for virgin,not overprocessed hair