Split ends are the bane of natural hair. You think you’re all good on this healthy hair care journey and you’ve been doing everything right for ages.
Then you inspect your ends under a light, find annoying splits and start panicking. How did this happen?
One or two split ends isn’t that big a deal and you can dust those away but if you have a lot of split ends, your hair is in trouble.
A lot of women with split ends search through high-water and Google for a way to get rid of split ends without cutting hair or repairing split ends but unfortunately, this is not possible and here’s why?
What Causes Split Ends?
Split ends are caused by dry and brittle ends. Natural hair loves moisture and protein. When this is missing, you get the snack, crackle and pop effect.
Unmanaged over a period of time, the dry ends leads to split ends especially if you continue to run combs and brushes through the dry ends. What causes dryness in this case then?
- Overuse of heat appliances will cause dryness – excessive blow drying and flat ironing
- Chemical treatments like BKT, bleaching and chemical coloring
- Irregular trimming. You don’t have to trim every month but every few months is a good idea. If you stay completely away from heat, a little dusting might be all you require.
- Products filled with bad ingredients such as sulfates and other chemicals can cause dryness.
Does this mean if you avoid all this, you won’t get split ends? Nope. Detangling with impatience can also cause split ends. Read Which is the Best Detangling Brush for Natural Hair.
Why You Can’t Repair Split Ends
When a strand of hair has split, it looks something like the picture below:-
Essentially, a strand of hair has split into two and two things will happen if left alone over time. The strands will lead to frequent tangling.
Frequent tangling will lead to the split ends traveling further down the hair shaft causing even more split ends as they wrap around and tangle healthy strands.
Split ends also make the ends of any hairstyle look like your hair had a fight with a bird.
What’s the Solution to Split Ends?
The only solution to split ends is to arrange a mating ceremony between your hair and a pair of trimming scissors as soon as possible.
The only thing products targeted towards split ends can do is help you manage the split ends while you trim away slowly over time if you have a hard time trimming it all in one go.
A hair product that will magically seal up split ends and make the strands become whole again is simply not possible and a myth.
Do not believe anyone who tells you they’ve found the elusive solution to gluing together split strands of hair. It is not possible at the current time.
Polyelectrolyte Complex (PEC) for Split Ends
There have been reports that products containing a compound known as polyelectrolyte complex (PEC) can permanently repair split ends. However, this is only a semi-permanent solution.
It may work better than other products but again, you need to remove the split ends for a permanent solution. Read Semi-permanent split end mending with a polyelectrolyte complex for more on this.
Can You Fix Split Ends Without Cutting?
No, you can’t. The only solution is cutting it off as soon as possible before it wreaks havoc on the rest of your hair.
The longer you hold onto split ends, the more hair you will have to cut off in the long run.
If you’re mad about having to give up your length because you’ve worked so hard to get it to where it is, here are a couple of things you can do in the meantime:-
1. Regular Deep Conditioning
Start deep conditioning every week. If you don’t have the time, find the time. Use a good deep conditioner likeTresemmé Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner and Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner with Peppermint and Eucalyptus.
Read Daily Conditioners vs Deep Conditioners: What Are the Differences? for more deep conditioner recommendations.
2. Hot Oil Treatments
This will help maintain moisture between deep conditioning sessions. Read Hot Oil Treatment for Natural Hair.
3. Wear Updos
Wear your hair in updo styles that have your ends tucked in as much as possible. This can control the split ends from traveling up the hair shaft temporarily.
4. Incorporate Products Created for Split Ends
You can incorporate products designed to help with split ends such as:-
- Advanced Keratin Repair Split End Fuser
- Carols Daughter Monoi Repairing Split End Sealer
- Joico K-Pak Reconstruct Split End Mender
- It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-in Plus Keratin
- It’s a 10 Miracle Deep Conditioner Plus Keratin
- It’s a 10 Miracle Shampoo Plus Keratin
- Living Proof Restore Instant Repair
- Lush Shine So Bright Split End Treatment
- Nexxus ProMend Split End Binding Leave-In Crème
- Nexxus Pro-Mend Split End Treatment Daily Conditioner
- Rita Hazan Triple Threat Split End Remedy
- Tresemme Split Remedy Leave-In Conditioner
- Tigi Bedhead Ego Boost
However, keep in mind these products will not fix the split ends irrespective of what the bottle says in the description. They will only provide temporary respite.
4. Trim/Dust Every Few Weeks
Every few weeks, take down your hair, look through and dust lightly. In case you’re thinking, “what the heck is dusting?” – Dusting is the art of trimming hair without losing length.
Examining handfuls of hair at a time and trimming the very bottom of each hair strand.
This is a time-consuming process but hey, you didn’t want to cut the split ends right off. Below is a quick video demonstrating how to dust natural hair.
If you’re doing this yourself, make sure you use a good pair of scissors. See 7 Awesome Ways to Prevent Split Ends on Natural Hair for best trimming scissors recommendations.
DIY Treatment for Rescuing Split Ends
When I first went natural, I suffered from split ends regularly and thought I could fix them. There was a home remedy I tried that tricked me into thinking my split ends were gone.
They were not. The recipe only helped keep the splits in check for a while until I was ready to trim.
Beer Rinse for Split Ends
- Can of any brand of beer
- Spray bottle
- Mild shampoo like Davines Momo Shampoo for Dehydrated Hair
- Open up the can of beer and leave out overnight. It will be flat by the next morning.
- Section your hair into 4 – 6 sections.
- Pour the beer into the spray bottle and spray generously on your hair.
- Pin up your hair, cover with a disposable cap and leave on for one hour.
- After one hour, shampoo and deep condition.
- Repeat weekly.
Why is Beer Good for Your Hair?
The malt and hops in beer contain proteins and biotin that bind to the hair. It nourishes and strengthens hair while sealing the strands. That’s why my hair looked like the split ends had disappeared.
Following these tips, you should have trimmed off all the split ends within a few months. If you still have split ends after a few months, then it’s time to give up and just start trimming.
Go in for a good trimming session with a great stylist if you can’t do it yourself. Be sure to emphasize you’re not looking for a big chop.
Do you have issues with split ends? What are you doing to overcome them? Next up, 7 awesome ways to prevent split ends of natural hair.
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Abi delved into the world of hair care after suffering from a bout of severe hair loss. She is the founder of Healthy Natural Hair Products & Natural Oils for Hair and Health, as well as the writer of the Healthy Hair Care Series. She is also the creator of the The Self-Empowerment Network Portal. Read more…