Last week, I began “My Grow Out Challenge”. Throughout this next few weeks, we will continue to explore tips/techniques to achieve long, healthy natural hair by retaining length. Read the overview.
The key to long hair is retaining length or managing split ends. If you think your hair is not growing, you are mistaken. Your hair is growing. Average hair growth rate is an one-half of an inch per month. If you’re not noticing growth, chances are the ends of your hair are breaking or splitting which results in breakage.
Below are some reasons why you may be experiencing split or breaking ends. In the beauty world split hair or split ends is officially known as trichoptilosis. There are wide range of reasons why split ends occur.
Courtesy of Felicia Leatherwood, Celebrity Stylist & Owner of Loving Your Hair with Natural Hair Care.
Some causes include:
- Excessive use of hot styling tools (irons, hot curlers, blow dryers, hot combs).
- Overuse of chemical treatments (relaxers, perms, hair color).
- Use of inferior styling tools that rip or snag hair (cheap synthetic brushes or combs, brush rollers, etc.,).
- Environmental damage from heat, cold, wind and other climate issues.
- Lack of routine maintenance such as regular trimming.
- Improper detangling techniques.
- Use of inferior hair care products.
- Excessive use of styling products such as gels, waxes and sprays.
- Trimming with inferior scissors
Other Split Ends Causes
There are other causes for split ends beside some of the main ones mentioned above. Other causes could be excessive tangling, improper application or removal of hair extensions, headgear that snaps or rips delicate strands or even scratchy bedclothes, fingers or hands. Regardless of how you developed split ends, once you have them they will not just disappear.
Managing Split Ends
You will have to deal with them by either having them removed, wearing your hair to disguise their appearance or utilizing tricks to temporarily merge the splits together. There are a lot of myths about split ends. The number one myth is that once a split end occurs, you can actually fix it by repairing it so that the end is no longer torn. The truth of the matter is that once an end is split it is ripped apart for good. Yes, there are ways to temporarily glue the ends together and even give the appearance of healthy ends. Celebrity stylists disguise split ends all the time for their megawatt star clients. However, ultimately the only way to remove a split end is to cut it off with a proper trim.
Tina Grant says
I wanted to start locs but my natural hair suffers from a lot of split ends single knots and breaks from it. I want to loc because I feel that it would reduce manipulation. I’m just hesitant because I don’t want my locs to be weak and break off. Any suggestions on preparing for the loc process?
Tina, a good trim will get rid of split ends. Deep conditioning regularly can prevent breakage.
I have been natural for one year February 2014 I did the big chop I measured my hair two days ago and it has only grown 8 inches is this a slow growth or is this normal growth? I have 4b hair so it tangles quickly it is hard to maintain I use care free curl products to help keep it moisturize. Is there any tips for length
Hi Angelia. That is actually a little above average. Hair normally grow 6 inch per year. Congrats.
I wash & deep condition my hair biweekly and cowash on the weeks off, 2 days out the week I wear my in a twist out the other 5 days I have it in a bun w/ extentions with considerable amount of gel. Could this routine lead to breakage on my 4b/4c hair?