Focus on split ends

28 May

Today’s article is about split ends.  Split ends are the splitting or fraying of the hair shaft.  They occur when the cuticle layer of your hair is damaged or removed.  I have had issues with split ends many times before I became serious about hair care.  I can recall many times when I have had such thin and split ends that I’ve had to cut my hair substantially.


Minimal breakage and split ends are inevitable, everybody gets them.   Hair will split regardless of what you do because like anything else, with time and aging, things breakdown and deteriorate.  Split ends can be exacerbated by a variety of things including the use of excessive heat as well as mechanical stress.  Mechanical stress includes the ends of the hair brushing against fabric, rough combs or brushes as well as rough handling of the hair.


You cannot mend split ends! Though there are products that claim to mend split ends, all these products do is smooth the split ends for some hours.  The only remedy for split ends if to cut them off.  I remember coming across an analogy (pity I can’t remember the website) where they compared split ends to a broken finger nail.  You can use products that will temporarily mend the nail but once a nail is broken it is now fragile and will eventually break off.

One of the ways to curb split ends is to trim the hair lightly (about 0.5cm) regularly (every 6 to 8 weeks).  This is also called ‘dusting’ because you remove so little hair it looks like dust when is falls on the floor!  I  get a light trim each time I get my hair relaxed (every 12 weeks).  I have also purchased hair shears so I can start trimming my hair myself.  If you trim too much, you will negate any extra length you had gained so make sure to trim lightly.  Once you begin to trim regularly make sure to protect the ends of the hair that is left to keep split ends at a minimum.  Split ends can lead to breakage higher up on the hair shaft, so getting regular trims is important to your hair’s health.

Take a look at the chart below that shows the different ways hair can split.



10 Responses to “Focus on split ends”

  1. Ms Z. 28 May, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

    Reblogged this on Soul Canvas and commented:
    All you need to know about split ends courtesy of African Hair Blog! 🙂

  2. kangopie 01 June, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

    split ends! the bane of my existence… I just got a trim and i am thinking of getting another one… is there anything i can do to slow down the Split ends?

    i think i am struggling to get my hair settled into winter

    • Tendayi 01 June, 2012 at 4:51 pm #

      Try to keep your ends moisturised as well as keeping away from heat. You can’t eliminate them completely but you can keep them at bay.

  3. Nonde 22 June, 2012 at 4:06 pm #

    where did you purchase your shears? How much did they cost? I am thinking of buying some shears> thank you!

    • Tendayi 22 June, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

      Hi Nonde

      I live in South Africa. I purchased my shears in Dischem. I think they cost me R80 (about US$10).

      • Nonde 25 June, 2012 at 7:22 am #

        Did you find it in the aisle with all the flat irons and hair products? I also live in South Africa, in Pretoria.

      • Tendayi 25 June, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

        I got it from Dischem at Brooklyn mall. It was by the combs and brushes.

  4. Djohn132 18 October, 2012 at 11:24 am #

    I came upon your site and I am happy I did. I been having this problem lately with my ends breaking off every time I just run my hands through my hair. I wash and condition every week. I get a relaxer every 10-12 weeks. My first stylist use to put my relaxer on my already processed hair, so I stop going to her and every since then my hair been breaking no matter what i did. I get trims regularly. My hair seems like it is not making process it is just staying the same length. I use heat maybe twice a month if that. When you look at my hair it looks find. it is shoulder length and thick. When I looked at it closer today I see there are some split ends but I also have those split ends where your hair bend like a right angle and see the break, It is not every hair strand. It is so frustrating because I have gotten my hair cut before and it was growing. Now I am here again …. What should I do? I have stressing about it alot!

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