View Full Version : Am I doing "search and destroy" wrong?

January 28th, 2012, 11:59 AM
After exploring this site, I've discovered that I've been a frequent searcher who's never destroyed. I have a bad habit of fiddling with the ends of my hair, seeking out split ends, and mourning them, then occasionally deciding to trim, and finding to my dismay that the splits are still there!
So, the past couple of days I've added the destruction to my searching. Egad, it seems that the more splits I cut off, the more I see! Some of those splits are way up the length of my hair, not just at the ends. Maybe I've overestimated the generally healthiness of my hair - I didn't know I was harboring quite this many splits.:confused:

January 28th, 2012, 12:00 PM
I know the feeling! I think I have destroyed my hemline with my new-found S&D habit.

January 28th, 2012, 12:02 PM
I know the feeling! I think I have destroyed my hemline with my new-found S&D habit.
I know - I keep checking my hemline in the mirror to make sure I don't have the zigzaggity ends it feels like I'm creating with all this snipping!:eek:

heidi w.
January 28th, 2012, 12:02 PM
This is normal to discover more splits when you go looking for them. I don't trim splits out overly often anymore. Only if they're really disturbing my hair's feel. Overtrimming can thin the hair out a tiny bit, too. And yes, splits are everywhere: usually near the hemline, but also up the hair strand miles from the ends.

I just recommend getting control on it to the point of managing things, not that it's pristine. Almost no one's hair is entirely split end free. That is a very rare reality.

Wearing hair up most of the time, really helps the hair's integrity -- to maintain it.

heidi w.

January 28th, 2012, 12:06 PM
Make sure your scissors are sharp. Dull scissors fray the hair as you cut it and create more splits.

January 28th, 2012, 12:16 PM
Fine hair splits pretty easily. Most fineys have a lot of splits. It's just a fact of life with this hair type, and chances are even a small reduction in splits will make your hair easier to handle.

If you're trimming with dulled scissors, that can make a split end problem worse. So that's probably the first thing I'd check.

Next, make sure you're actually trimming far enough back from the split. You want to make sure you're allowing about 1/2" or so of seemingly good hair to get trimmed off with the split, to make sure the new end is in decent shape. (this is part of why hair stylists frequently cut off more than 1/2" at a time...)

I also find if I have to do s&d, it's better to work on smallish sections of hair at a time. Maybe do my hair in twin braids and just do S&D on the tassels, so many of my ends are trapped in the braids. Or take a smallish chunk and just do that chunk. My eyes aren't in the greatest shape, so I often have a hard time seeing splits.

You won't ever get *all* the splits. That's fine. You just want to keep them beaten back enough that your hair is something you can live with.

January 28th, 2012, 12:51 PM
I agree with Heidi W no one is with splits and make sure your scissors aren't dull.

January 29th, 2012, 04:02 AM
before i start trimming splits i get a pair of scissors and trim the tips of some healthy hairs so make sure they're not making more splits, which you'll know if it does! then i start sectioning off my hair and do a section at a time. its easier to spot split ends when you've got nice neat small sections. then if you get fed up you sort of know where you split the hair off in sections.
i sometimes find some horrendous splits in my hair, like half way, or the end has split then split again :[ i once pulled a very scraggly feeling hair from my scalp and t had almost split to the root
i think lighting makes a difference as well, i find the computer screen gives a better light than sitting near a window so that's maybe why you sometimes notice more

January 29th, 2012, 08:05 AM
I always use a white sheet of paper and then I put the strands in front of it so it's easier to see the split ends. Also if I feel like I have a lot of split ends I do S&D like a few days in a row and then I try to wear it up in a bun more frequently. That way I make sure that I get a lot of split ends and the updos will ensure that I won't get new ones.
If you still feel like your split ends are multiplying you may want to buy new scissors.

January 29th, 2012, 09:51 AM
Thanks, ya'll have made me feel better - I was thinking that surely S&Ding should be getting rid of all the splits.
I'm fairly confident my scissors are sharp, but Jessykins, thanks for the "test" I think I'll use to ensure they're not actually causing splits.
I think if I keep at a reasonable schedule for S&D and don't obsess over it, this will keep me from doing more drastic trims of my hemline, so hopefully my hair will grow!

Silver Swan
January 29th, 2012, 01:28 PM
I've just started doing S&D - I went and purchased new embroidery scissors while saving up for real hairdressing scissors to give myself a trim. I haven't had a haircut in about a year, and am just now noticing heaps of split ends (I guess I'm doing OK considering!)

Thanks torrilin, I was wanting to know if I was cutting back far enough, and I may not have been. I'm also cutting off ends that have only just split - a 1 or 2mm split - do you think I still need to go 1/2" back from there?

Also thanks to nala89 for the tip with white paper - it is such a strain on the eyes to see fine hair!

January 29th, 2012, 02:03 PM
You have to go back fairly far, because it's quite likely that the area just above the split isn't in the greatest shape. I've on occasion found hairs where the end isn't split, but the shaft is split in a loop shape before the end. I've also found hairs where the slightest handling of the split causes it to run up the shaft an inch or so.... imagine if that happened while I was combing my hair!

Realistically, most of us have around 100,000 hairs on our heads. Even if you have a MAD burst of trimming every split end you see and spend hours on it, I doubt you'd trim more than 1000 in a day. That's around 1% of your hair. So figure it'd take more than 100 days for you to actually trim every hair on your head. That's more than 3 months. And most people grow around 0.5" per month, so you'd have to cut off more than 1.5" on every hair you trim a split from to make negative progress. (and that's assuming you have the time to be that obsessive and find 1000 splits in your hair every day... most of us have lives and other things to do!)

January 29th, 2012, 02:35 PM
I find that with fine blond hair I need to have a dark background to find my splits.

January 29th, 2012, 02:43 PM
No splits is not as rare as all that. There are more than a few members here who have reported that and there is a thread on it (not the catnip thread either).

I agree that if you have a lot of them you should not go "destroy" mad.

Trim the ones that cause the most tangling because that stresses other hair and examine your routine to figure out why you have so many.

If your hair is balanced with enough moisture, you should see less to none. Being rough on your hair (ripping through it) when detangling can tear hair and cause them too. Dryness is the biggest cause though.

ETA: I cannot find that thread and do not remember the title. The people who posted said they do not get splits and for a few have never had them. I have searched and I did read it here.

January 29th, 2012, 04:50 PM
I find that with fine blond hair I need to have a dark background to find my splits.

The ends of my hair are almost transparent. I have blonde hair And it is very fine so I just try to work with whatever background I have. I haven't tried a dark background yet, black construction paper here I come! Thanks for the tip! I usually just end up "dusting" because I can never see anything, only if there's a really bad split somewhere but I just dust the smallest bit off the ends and it seems to keeps hair in amazing shape. I don't take any length off to notice, I just can never see the ends of my hair lol!