4C hair can be gorgeous, thick, and luxurious looking when well-maintained. Unfortunately, like all hair, 4C hair is prone to split ends and in this article, we show you just how to get rid of them.
Split ends can be avoided in 4C hair by gently washing and detangling your hair, avoiding excessive heat, and doing regular trims.
What Are Split Ends?
Split ends are those pesky strands of hair that seem almost as if they’re breaking apart.
They are, in essence, damaged hair where the strand has broken up completely or partially. There are many kinds of split ends in your hair, including:
- Traditional split ends that look like a Y
- Baby split ends that look like mini Y’s
- Triple split ends with 3 split ends
- Double Y
- Incomplete split ends
- Long split ends
- Right angle
- Taper, which looks like thinning hair, and is most common in 4C hair
These split ends usually happen, as the name suggests, at the very end of your strands.
However, it is possible to have breakage and incomplete split ends in the middle of your hair.
What Causes Split Ends?
Split ends are caused when your hair becomes dry, brittle, and broken.
The ends of your hair are the oldest and weakest parts of your hair and so are more susceptible to damage than the newer hair on your scalp.
Split ends can’t be 100% prevented, but it’s important to know what causes them so you can avoid more split ends than normal.
Below are some common causes for split ends in 4C and other hair:
1. Heat Damage
One of the most common causes of split ends is heat damage through excessive heat treatment.
Anything from blow-drying, flat-ironing, curling, and treating your hair with heat can cause your hair to become super dry and brittle.
It’s best to avoid using too much heat to prevent split ends or at least use minimal heat settings or heat protectant on your hair.
2. Environmental Damage
Many of us have experienced going out on a hot, humid day only to have our hair become frizzy and hard to manage.
Well, the excessive moisture in the air causes the hydrogen bonds in your hair to break apart. This leaves you with frizzy hair that’s prone to split ends.
Other environmental factors, such as dry, excessively hot, or even cold environments can all cause your hair to dry out and be prone to split ends and frizz.
3. Lack of Moisture
We know by now that dry hair is a haven for split ends.
Unfortunately, if you don’t use a leave-in conditioner, wash your hair excessively and dry out your scalp, or aren’t very hydrated, all these can cause your hair to be dry and lead to split ends.
4. Certain Medical Conditions
Our hair is a symbol of our health. If you suffer from certain health conditions, you might be more susceptible to hair loss, damaged hair, and split ends.
According to University Hospitals, some medical conditions that can cause thinning or damaged hair include:
- Heart disease
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Skin disorders
- Some medication
If you notice more split ends and unhealthy hair, you might need to speak to your doctor. This is because the underlying cause of your split ends has to be addressed.
We all want to be able to style our hair every single day using products, brushes, hair ties, and much more.
Although it can be fun to style your hair (especially 4C hair) over-styling causes trauma to the hair and causes split ends to form.
6. Being Too Rough
Even if you’re not styling your hair every day, simply brushing it using a brush that’s too rough can cause split ends to form.
This is especially true if you have tight curls or coarse hair such as 4C hair.
Being too rough is one of the most common reasons your hair develops split ends.
7. Using Chemicals
Nowadays, it’s easy to go on Youtube and look up how to bleach your hair, how to dye and perm it.
Unfortunately, if you use chemicals on your hair and aren’t a professional stylist, this can cause you to use too many chemicals. This can lead to dry, brittle, and damaged hair with split ends.
Even if you do visit a salon, chemicals they use such as perming solution, bleach, and hair dye can cause serious damage to your hair if done excessively.
8. Not Trimming Enough
Who would’ve thought not cutting your hair and letting it grow would actually end up being a bad thing?
As we mentioned, split ends 4C hair has usually developed at the end of the hair strands. This is the oldest and most vulnerable part of the hair.
Without trimming these ends of your hair, split ends can quickly get out of hand and continue to form and travel up your hair from the bottom of your strands.
Also Read: How To Stretch 4c Hair (Step By Step Guide)
Best Way To Prevent Split Ends
Now that you know what causes split ends, perhaps the easiest way to prevent split ends is to avoid doing all of the above items on the list! In addition:
1. Avoid excessive heat
It’s generally recommended to only flat-iron or treat your hair with heat once a week.
However, if you notice you’re having a lot of split ends, it’s okay to take a week or more before flat-ironing your hair again.
2. Use a leave-in conditioner to keep hair moisturized and prevent split ends.
There are so many great 4C leave-in conditioners on the market today that smell amazing and that will quench your hair’s thirst.
You should do a deep-conditioning treatment at least once a week to get the best results and lock in moisture.
3. Minimize manual and chemical styling to prevent split ends.
It’s important to prevent trauma to your hair follicles either from chemicals or from being too rough with your hair.
For 4C hair, some cute styles you can try that require minimal products and styling are Bantu knots, twist-outs, and braid-outs.
4. Detangle your hair using gentle methods.
Such as using just your finger for 4C hair, or using a wide-toothed comb.
Always remember to detangle your hair only after it is conditioned, in order to prevent breakage and split ends.
5. Protect your hair from the elements.
Such as excessive dry or humid conditions, or freezing conditions.
You can do this by wearing protective styles like crochet braids, faux locks, twists, and more.
If you’re going to expose your hair to heat, you can purchase 4C heat protectant spray to add a layer of protection.
6. Eat a healthy diet or talk to a doctor if you notice your hair is damaged due to a medical condition.
By eating a healthy diet, increasing vitamins such as B vitamins and vitamin C, and staying hydrated, you can ensure you (and your hair) stay healthy and split-end free.
What is 4C Hair?
All hair is assigned a type from 1-4 that describes the shape their hair follicle has when it grows out of their scalp.
If you’re not sure whether you have 4C hair or not, it’s good to compare your hair to different hair types when it’s wet, clean, and not stylized. For the 4 types of hair:
- Type 1s are straight
- Type 2s are wavy
- Type 3s are curly
- Type 4s are coily
In addition, these hair types also are assigned a letter from a-c that describes the width of the curl, wave, or coil, with a being the largest and c being the smallest width.
This means for type 4C hair, the texture is very coiled with tight, small curls.
Keep in mind that although you have 4c hair, you might also have a combination of 4C along with 4B hair.
How To Get Rid of Split Ends in 4C Hair
There are many serums and conditioners that can reduce the look of split ends, effectively ridding them from your hair.
Some treatments for getting rid of split ends include serums that use silicone, peptides, and moisturizing ingredients such as argan oil.
For 4C hair, split end treatments that use moisturizing ingredients are best.
Should You Trim Your Hair?
Although using serums can reduce the look of split ends, there’s no way to get rid of split ends unless you cut them off.
Split ends that go untreated will eventually work their way up to the root of your hair, so it’s best to do regular trims on your hair.
Some signs you should trim your hair include:
- Hair drying faster than usual
- Visible spilt ends
- Visible thinning ends
- Difficulty detangling
- Difficulty styling
Tools To Trim 4C Hair
If you decide to trim your hair, you can safely do so ONLY if you use hair scissors.
Using regular scissors can cause your hair more damage because these regular scissors are blunt and cause trauma to your hair.
To trim your hair:
1. Do a clarifying wash to get rid of any products in your hair
2. Let your hair dry naturally (don’t rub your hair with a towel, as this causes more split ends, and using a blow dryer uses heat you don’t need) before trimming ends, as trimming wet hair will cause you to lose length.
3. Twist or braid your hair.
4. Using a sharp pair of hair scissors, trim a quarter inch off your ends.
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