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4c Hair Split Ends – Explanation & How To Get Rid Of Them

4c hair split ends

Having type 4c hair is absolutely amazing. It’s versatile, it’s curly and coily but it’s also extremely prone to breakage.

Split ends are a common problem for black women with the 4c hair type and one of the main reasons why I started my natural hair journey in 2020. Because

Because 4c hair has the tightest curl pattern it is the most fragile, making it more susceptible to breakage and split ends.

Luckily, I have been very adamant about figuring out ways to stop my 4c hair from breaking, and can now share with you how to deal with 4c hair split ends.

What causes split ends in 4C natural hair?

There are several causes for split ends in 4c hair, including styling techniques and chemical hair products.

They occur because the protective layer at the ends of your natural hair strands got damaged, which causes the hair to split into two or more strands. This can result in dry, brittle, and even frayed hair.

Here are some causes of split ends on natural 4c hair, we are all guilty of:

  • Lack of Moisture: Thanks to its dense and coily hair structure, 4c hair is naturally drier than other hair types. Therefore the hair strands become brittle and prone to breakage.
  • Heat Damage: Heat-styling tools, such as flat irons, curling wands, and blow dryers, can cause heat damage and lead to split ends. Many women with 4c hair use heat to manipulate their hair to be straight.
  • Chemical Treatments: Relaxers and perms have been used in the natural hair community for years. Unfortunately, these products weaken our natural hair and increase the risk of split ends. Most hair dyes are just as bad.
  • Excessive styling: Many hairstyles, such as braids, twists, and tight updos, put excessive stress on your hair. That causes it to break and split at the ends. That’s why on I try to feature low-manipulation protective styles.
  • Excessive brushing: Improper detangling techniques, such as using a brush or comb on dry hair, as well as excessive brushing can cause breakage and split ends.
  • Extreme weather conditions: Exposure to harsh environmental factors, such as wind, sun, and cool air, can weaken your hair as well and increase the risk of split ends.

All these things can lead to split ends and result in damaged 4c hair, which is the last thing you want. This is why it is important to take steps to prevent split ends in 4c natural hair.

what causes split ends

What do split ends look like on 4c hair?

Split ends on 4c hair look like frayed or broken strands. They resemble the end of an unraveled rope because they appear as single or multiple splits.

Moreover, split ends may appear white or lighter than the rest of the hair strand, which indicates that your hair’s protective outer layer has been damaged.

Sometimes split ends are difficult to see, in that case, you can identify it because of your brittle hair. You will also notice that your hair suddenly gets more easily tangled up.

And lastly, if your hair feels very dry at the ends or it becomes harder to style, then you most likely have split ends.

It is important to identify split ends early on, as they can lead to further breakage and damage if left unaddressed. So make sure to regularly examine the ends of your hair to prevent them from affecting the rest of your hair.

How to prevent split ends on 4c hair

How to prevent split ends on 4c hair?

Of course, being proactive is always better than being reactive. So you ideally don’t even want it to come to split ends on your 4c hair.

In order to prevent split ends on your healthy natural hair, here are some steps to incorporate into your 4c hair care:

1. Moisturize regularly

In order to avoid split ends, you have to keep your natural hair well-moisturized, which will prevent dryness and brittleness. You can do that by using sulfate-free shampoos and incorporating a deep conditioning treatment or protein treatment on wash day.

In addition, make use of the loc method afterward and moisturize your 4c hair with a leave-in conditioner and natural oils, such as coconut oil, olive oil, and castor oil. This will provide your hair with the necessary moisture and nourishment it needs to stay healthy.

2. Avoid heat-styling tools

This should not come as a surprise, as most of our split ends stem from heat tools, such as flat irons, curling wands, and blow dryers. These can cause heat damage and increase the risk of split ends.

Therefore, limit your use of heat-styling tools to once or two times a month at most. And whenever you really desire straight natural hair use a heat protectant to minimize natural hair breakage.

3. Detangle your hair gently

Harsh detangling techniques, such as using a brush or comb on dry hair and brushing it with force can cause breakage and split ends.

Instead, use a wide-tooth comb, your fingers, or a detangling brush to gently detangle your hair. Only detangle damp or wet hair and avoid overdoing it. Once done, immediately put your hair into twists, so that your natural hair stays detangled and is ready to be styled.

4. Trim regularly

This one is the most important point and something a lot of natural hair girls avoid. Regular trims every 4-6 months can help to keep split ends at bay because you are cutting off the damaged ends before they can affect more hair. This helps promote healthy hair growth as you are only left with healthy ends that tangle less and do not have frizz.

5. Protect your hair

Harsh environmental factors, such as wind, sun, and extreme weather conditions weaken 4c hair and increase the risk of split ends. Therefore you want to protect your hair as much as possible. For one, make use of hair butters such as shea butter, which provide antioxidants that provide a natural protective layer to your natural hair.

Secondly, cover your hair with a hat if needed, and use products that protect your hair from environmental damage. Last but not least, don’t go to bed with your hair just out. Instead, always protect your hair from friction while you sleep, by wearing a silk bonnet or using a silk pillowcase.

6. Avoid chemical treatments

Number 6 goes without saying. But if you want your 4c natural hair to thrive and experience less breakage then you have to not limit but stop using chemical products. So no relaxers, dyes, or perms.

Instead, look for natural hair products and techniques to achieve the desired outcome. You can seek the help of a professional stylist who is experienced in working with 4c hair and knows different ways to make your vision a reality.

7. Use protective styles

Lastly, my absolute favorite tip is to get into protective styling. From Bantu knots to knotless braids, there are so many beautiful protective hairstyles you can choose from. They are perfect for tucking your hair ends away and sealing in moisture, while allowing you to look cute without having to tug, pull or manipulate your hair daily to look cute.

Trust me, after rocking a cute 4c hairstyle for a few weeks, you will see massive growth thanks to the length retention while in a protective style.

how to get rid of split ends

How do you get rid of split ends on Afro hair?

To be perfectly honest, the only way to get rid of split ends is by cutting off the dead ends. Unfortunately, you cannot treat or repair split ends, because they are too damaged.

So, instead of avoiding it, you are better off trimming the damaged ends now and taking great care of the rest of your hair while it grows back. If you fail to do so, you will end up having to big chop completely.

And trust me, I know what I’m talking about.

Remember that hair grows back and you can always wear a wig or 4c hair extensions if you prefer long hair.

How to trim split ends on 4c hair?

Trimming split ends on 4c hair can be a delicate process, but it’s totally doable at home.

To get the best results, you first want to stretch or straighten your tight coils with a blow dryer. That allows you to see your true hair length and identify where your hair has split ends.

Next, comb your hair thoroughly and divide it into small sections, using hair clips to keep each section separate. That way you don’t risk cutting too much hair.

Now identify the split ends, by holding each section of hair between your fingers and examining the ends. Split ends will appear as frayed or broken strands of hair at the tips. You will also notice that your hair is much more dry or thin in certain spots.

Once identified, use a sharp pair of hair-cutting scissors to carefully trim the split ends. Be careful not to cut too much hair, but only the damaged portion. The best way to do that is by placing your fingers where the split ends start and cutting the excess hair off.

Repeat the trimming process on each section of your natural hair until all the split ends have been trimmed. And if you are unsure or nervous about trimming your own 4c hair, get it done at a natural hair salon instead.

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