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How to Prevent Split Ends in Natural Hair

Updated on June 3, 2012

Just because you have natural hair doesn’t mean you cannot get split ends. I have heard of many people thinking this way.

Natural hair is not invincible. In fact it is quite fragile.

Just as much as chemically processed hair needs to be properly taken care of natural hair needs to be properly taken care of.

Even though split ends are most common in relaxed hair, natural hair can be affected as well if not cared for in the right way. It is not easier to have natural hair as opposed to relaxed hair in certain circumstances.

There are many different forms of strand damage.
There are many different forms of strand damage.

Dryness

When I say natural hair, I am referring to natural African American hair. There are so many textures of African American hair and they all are typically prone to dryness.

Dryness can lead to breakage and split ends. Also because the hair is so curly, single strand knots are just as bad getting split ends.

Natural hair is prone to breakage because the natural oils from the scalp are not able to flow freely down the hair shaft to lubricate the hair strand. This means that the hair must be manually lubricated.

All you need to do is moisturize the hair with water, apply a moisturizing product and seal the hair with and oil or butter, such as, olive oil, or shea butter. Deep conditioning is also important.

Water is your friend!
Water is your friend!

Moisturizing

When moisturizing the hair make sure you focus on the ends and then work your way up. This is an important step because the ends are the oldest part of the hair and is at more risk of splitting.

Moisture is added to the hair by opening up to cuticles so that the moisture can get into the inner most part of the hair strand. After the moisturizing process the cuticles of the hair strands need to be closed so that the moisture is locked in.

Sealing the Cuticles

It is ok to just seal the hair with oil but it will be even better if you can close the cuticles. The cuticles are the most important part that makes up the hair strand.

When the cuticles are damaged the hair loses a vital source of protection. Protection is important when fighting split ends.

You can close the cuticles of your hair by simply rinsing the hair with cool water or you can also use and acidic conditioner to close them.

This acidic conditioner can be made. Check out kimmaytube’s leave in conditioner for an idea.

2 tablespoons of YOUR preferred conditioner (silicone free)
2 tablespoons of (Whole leaf version) Aloe Vera Juice with a pH 4.0 or 4.5
2 teaspoons of Castor Oil (optional)
2 teaspoons of Jojoba Oil
Mix well.

This mixture should be applied to wet, freshly washed hair . Feel free to substitute the oils.

pH Balance

If you are going to use an acidic conditioner you need to be very careful. If your mixture is too acidic, the acid can eat away at your hair and damage the hair. You need to understand pH balance if you are going to close your cuticles this why.

I personally believe that understanding pH balance is one of the best things you can for the well-being of your hair.

The natural pH of hair is 4.5. This is the pH needed to seal the cuticles. Water has a pH of 7 and this a neutral pH.

If you follow the kimmaytube recipe you should have the correct pH for your hair. You can of course buy pH strips just to be sure.

Heat

Another cause of split ends is improper use of heat. Heat styling can be very dangerous when used on natural hair.

Heat makes the hair become dry from the inside out. Like I said above, dry hair will lead to split hair. It is best to use heat as less as possible.

I think using heat only twice a year will be a great way to achieve healthier hair.

Source

Roughness

Towel Drying

Being rough with your hair is another way the hair can split. Drying the hair with a towel by rubbing the hair together after washing causes friction, in return this will cause the hair to split.

The best way to dry the hair is by air drying but if you hate the feeling of dripping wet hair you can use a microfiber towel or a paper towel to soak up the access water.

Just make sure you don’t rub the hair together!

Combing and Brushing

Combing the hair in a rough way is another way to cause the hair to split. With natural hair detangling the hair is a step that must be taken to keep the hair from knotting or matting.

The detangling process can be frustrating but you need to make sure you are not just ripping through the hair to hurry the process. Ripping through the hair with a brush or a comb causes the hair to snap and break off, this is a sure way to get split ends.

Older Hair

When the hair gets longer and longer the ends of the hair gets older and older and naturally they will be dryer and more prone to splitting. Keeping the ends of the hair moisturized is the best way to keep them healthy and split free.

Trimming

The only sure way of getting rid of split ends is by trimming the hair. There is no way to mend the split back together. Beware of any products that claim to do so. Trimming the hair will keep the ends fresh and healthy. It is recommended that the hair gets trimmed every 6 to 8 weeks.

By keeping the trimming sessions frequent, you should be able to avoid split ends and get rid of any that have already occurred. You should also be able to gain length and there will be no need to cut off more than ¼ of an inch.

Natural hair is naturally dry and will split faster than straighter hair types. It is important to moisturize the hair consistently and keep manipulation to a minimum. Also because natural hair is extremely curly keeping it in stretched out styles with aid in preventing single strand knots.

Comments

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    • profile image

      Kaed 

      3 years ago

      These topics are so cofnusing but this helped me get the job done.

    • stacytm profile image

      stacytm 

      5 years ago from London

      This is so good, this will really help me as I have soooo many split ends :)

    • KySmith profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyndall Smith 

      5 years ago from Milwaukee

      @Mary, Thank you for your comment! I'm not really sure of where to find Pro naturals moroccan argan oil besides online. I haven't used it before. I guess if you can't find it in your local beauty supply store you can buy it online. I hope this helps! =)

    • profile image

      Mary 

      5 years ago

      Gosh kristen, now when I look back at the first image I see cinnamon sticks too! Lol! KySmith I love this article, I learn't a lot from it :) Thanks so much!!!! Where exactly is that Pro naturals moroccan argan oil at?...I've been hearing wonders about it so now I'm itching to try some to see if it can help my hair a bit....

    • KySmith profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyndall Smith 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee

      Lol cinnamon sticks! That's funny...Anyway, thank you so much for commenting, I really appreciate it. And that is true, the only way to get rid of split ends is by trimming them. Cool, I have never heard of pro naturals Moroccan argan oil but I'm glad it's working for you! =)

    • profile image

      kristen 

      6 years ago

      I'm sorry, I thought the image was of cinnamon sticks! I thought it was some kind of new remedy, lol. Anyway, great article and very useful information :) Trimming hair is the only way to get rid of split ends if you have them. To prevent them I use a brand called Pro naturals moroccan argan oil because it has no silicones and it's a heat protectant, so yeah, really helpful :D

    • KySmith profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyndall Smith 

      7 years ago from Milwaukee

      I agree Jessy, Thanks for commenting. I believe that we should try to handle situation with positivity.

    • profile image

      Jessy 

      7 years ago

      Split hair ends could be caused by a lot of reasons, some even due to hormone imbalance or emotional disturbance. One have to stay positive and handle the hair problem positively.

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