Dear ZedHair, how do I get rid of split ends?

Dear ZedHair, I have a TWA and I just discovered that I have split ends. Cutting my hair is the last thing on my mind right now. Please help!

There are many types of split ends.

There are many types of split ends.

Split ends can lead to bushy, frizzy hair but even worse than that they can cause permanent incremental damage to the hair strand, breakage and a reduced ability to retain moisture. The sad part is that split ends shouldn’t really occur as often as they seem to for many women (and men), they certainly should not be plaguing those with TWA’s or Teeny Weeny Afro’s. Cutting your hair might be the last thing on your mind but it is the only solution to permanently getting rid of split ends. Thankfully there are some simple tried and tested ways to prevent or reduce their occurrence.

Use the proper hair tools

Natural hair is fragile and can easily be damaged by snagging on combs and brushes. Make sure you use seamless, wide tooth combs to help prevent split ends. You could also try combing and brushing your hair while it is saturated with conditioner for thorough detangling and your fingers the rest of the time. Any styling tools that you use must also be free from sharp bits that might get caught on the hair causing it to rip and split.

Reduce manipulation

This is related to using proper tools but also includes practices such as repeated manipulation from styling regularly and wearing hairstyles that may aggravate the hair strand. Our hair likes to be left alone. Unless you are on the set of a movie there really is no need for daily manipulation of your hair. Try sticking to the same hairstyles for at least a couple of days, if for example, you’d like a twist out, twist your hair and keep it in that style for a few days before unravelling. You could also try low manipulation hairstyles such as buns or puffs.

Use protein conditioners to strengthen the hair strand

We all know that conditioning is the holy grail of natural hair care but did you know that once you get into your second year as a natural head you should consider regular protein treatments to strengthen the hair strand? Hair that is well moisturised and strengthened by protein treatments is less likely to split.

Search and destroy

Cut those split ends as soon as you see them. Search and destroy is the term used in the natural hair community to describe the act of literally searching for and destroying split ends and single strand knots. Splits cannot be repaired and once they are discovered it is best to cut them off before they continue down the rest of the hair strand and cause more destruction.

How do you combat split ends?

Do you have a natural hair related query? Send it in to mwanabibi@zedhair.com and if I haven’t answered it before I’ll address it in this column.

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3 responses to “Dear ZedHair, how do I get rid of split ends?

  1. I have found aphogee protein treatments a godsend for my split ends; Both the two minute keratin reconstructor and the super heavy duty 2-step treatment. I use the two-step treatment once every 3-6 months, more frequently for greater damage and then maintain with the two-minute keratin reconstructor once every two weeks. I CANNOT stress enough, follow the directions to a ‘t’ and make sure to watch how your hair responds and decide accordingly. And balance your protein with moisture, absolutely necessary!!!

    Two-step treatment: http://aphogee.com/two-step-protein-treatment-for-professional-use/

    Two Minute Keratin Reconstructor: http://aphogee.com/keratin-2-minute-reconstructor/

    PS. I know aphogee products can be found in Abuja and Lagos.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for sharing. I’ve heard aphogee is great for strengthening although I haven’t had the chance to use it myself.

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      • Aphogee works great for certain but not all hair types. Based on my research and conversations with friends who have tried it, the thicker and kinkier the hair the more it appreciates Aphogee. Lighter or thinner stranded hair types may find it too harsh or inappropriate for their needs. Again pay attention to how your hair responds.

        I kicked my Aphogee habit in early 2012 and it took about two years before I found that I needed to go back to it. It has helped to tremendously reduce my split ends and my shedding has also visibly reduced.

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