Your hair’s ends are the oldest sections of your hair which also makes them the most vulnerable part. This means that they can be easily damaged which shows up in your hair as split ends. Split ends are irreversible and no amount of treatments or hair masks will resolve them, they simply have to be trimmed off.
However, instead of accepting the inevitability of split ends, there are steps you can take to prevent them instead. Here are 10 ways to prevent split ends:
1. Avoid direct heat
This type of damage is known as heat damage which if you are natural, will cause your curls to loosen or even straighten permanently. This kind of damage is unrepairable and must be cut to restore curls or to get rid of split ends.
2. Reduce overall manipulation
Most people think of braiding, twisting, or weaving hair as manipulation. Yet we also comb, style, moisturized, and slick our baby’s hair consistently in our regular hair regimens. All these activities are considered manipulation too.
Manipulation is fine in small amounts however, do not go overboard. For example, you do not need to be styling your hair and laying your baby’s hair every day. Excessive manipulation cause can result in breakage, tangles, and frizz, eventually leading to split ends.
3. Deep condition often
Deep conditioners are formulated to repair, renew, and rejuvenate the health of your hair. They will penetrate the hair with vitamins* and minerals that will be absorbed into each hair strand. Use that to your advantage and deep condition often, preferably with every wash.
You should coat your strands liberally with the conditioner ensuring that your ends are completely coated too. Let the deep conditioner sit for the allotted time with heat to allow for deeper penetration. This will allow your hair to receive the maximum benefit from the deep conditioner*.
4. Avoid chemical services like hair dyes or relaxers
Hair dyes and relaxers are formulated with chemical components that alter the natural structure of your hair strands. This damages your hair as once some of the structural bonds are broken, the strength and resilience of your hair are also affected negatively.
Of course, there are safe ways to use these chemicals that won’t affect the general length and strength of your hair but it is worth saying that at-home chemical services have a higher chance of failure than their in-salon counterparts.
The bottom line here is that if you absolutely must use chemical services, seek out an experienced stylist to achieve the desired outcome.
5. Keep your ends stretched
Natural hair experiences a lot of shrinkage as this is the nature of our coils. But this shrinkage is also responsible for a lot of single-strand knots, breakage, and ultimately split ends. To avoid this as much as possible, keep your hair, particularly your ends stretched to avoid the worst of these issues.
You can do styles such as braids/twists that keep your hair stretched in the style. You can also stretch by doing African threading, buns, and much more. Your hair will be stretched closer to its true length, so you can move on to styling your hair without the damage that causes split ends.
6. Wear your hair off your clothes to avoid snagging
Do not let your hair rub against your clothes especially if it is made of cotton or wool. These fabrics will rob moisture from your hair and cause the ends to become frizzy. In the case of wool, it also has the ability to snag your hair making it susceptible to breaking which leads to the dreaded split ends.
You have worked hard to grow your hair length which you do not want to lose over the course of a cold season while wearing your favorite wool cardigan. When wearing these fabrics, put your hair in updo hairstyles such as ponytails or buns, and wear your hair down when you wear satin or silk clothing.
7. Keep your hair covered in sunny weather
The sun’s rays can be damaging to our hair if it’s exposed to them for a long time and not protected.
If you have an active lifestyle and you like being outdoors or you like going to the beach often, you should be protecting your hair when outside.
You can wear beanies, caps, and hats over your natural hair. Of course, they should all be satin lined to protect your moisture levels, sheen, and the overall health of your coils.
8. Keep your hair moisturized
Each product is applied to your hair one after the other. This allows you to hydrate your hair, and seal it in so your hair stays moisturized for longer. Once your coils are moisturized, it will reduce the possibility of split ends.
9. Use wide tooth combs but do so carefully
To prevent split ends, you must keep your hair ends tangle free. The best way to do so is by using a wide tooth comb*, however, you must be careful.
When detangling ensure to detangle your hair in 4 or 6 sections depending on the thickness of your hair. The smaller the sections the less friction will be caused when detangling which also reduces frizz.
Remember to always detangle your hair from tips to roots using a wide-tooth comb. Starting at the tips allows you to remove most of the tangles without snagging and causing split ends.
10. Trim regularly
There is no rigid period that you should follow for trimming. You do not have to do it every month or every quarter. Your hair should be trimmed on an as-needed basis.
If there are a lot of single-strand knots, split ends, and frizzy hair ends, you need to trim them. If you don’t have these then put off the trim for another few months.