Trimming hair: Split ends- Can't see 'em?

Trimming hair appears to be a big no no for some and so this week I will be exploring it once again. I certainly do not advocate for pointless cuts but I do think that trimming can be useful.

I have heard many questions emailed with people saying they cannot see split ends but think they need a trim. I am really intrigued by this because I find split ends on my hair and they are pretty easy to spot.

Example 1: The basic split end

Example 2: The oh my poor hair complex split end

And.............just in case the large image is playing games with you, I have super fine hair! Here are the same four strands placed next to a 5p coin (roughly the same size as a dime). The hair is roughly quarter of an inch in length except for the last which is half an inch.

Do you have trouble seeing split ends or do you never get split ends?


  1. I do not have trouble spotting my split ends when my hair is loose.

    I have been used to trimming all of my hair when my ends "feel rough". However, I am considering the Search and Destroy method to maintain my ends now.

  2. I find it easier to see splits if my hair is in twists, simply because I can examine the twists one at a time.

    So - in my case - it's really not that I CANNOT see them, per se... but rather that it wears on my nerves trying to carry out a 'search and destroy' mission with large chunks of uncontrolled tightly curly hair blurring my vision. :)

  3. I have such a hard time seeing split I don't think about them..

  4. I don't see split ends very often....maybe 1 or 2 a month. When I do find them, they look just like the ones in your pictures.

    I did (ok, my boyfriend did) a quarter inch trim back in April and even then I didn't see split ends, just thinning ends.

    I wonder if it has to do with the length of your hair? My hair is long enough to pull to eye level and examine, but it's not as easy as it would be if it was APL or longer. I'm sure there are split ends hiding that I can't reach and evaluate properly.

  5. i don't have any problems seeing my slit ends, loose or in twist.

  6. I used to see those types all the time. Now that I moisturize and seal all of the time I rarely see any. My last trim was in december and have not seen much if any split ends.

  7. I do the search and destroy only when I'm bored. It takes a long time and I usually end up doing the front and then getting bored. I'm too inconsisent with it to claim it as a method of hair care.

    Perhaps as Littleone said it may probably have to do with the fact that I can stretch my hair to see and examine it clearly.

    My method now is just to trim off atleast a quarter inch every 3-4 months (sometimes I forget but I am generally scissor happy). I then look at the trimmed hair searching for split or thin ends. Most times I will find a handful (like 10-20) but most of it actually has no splits.

    I do think it is possible too to not have split ends but I think in that scenario

    1. You must be maintaining your hair at a fixed length (meaning regular cuts not trims)
    2. If you are not cutting your hair it should be fairly long (I'll explain more later!)

  8. My hair is very fine and I can see split ends well. I do search and destroys on the parts of my hair that I can see, but the parts in the middle are harder to get to. I can't figure out why I keep getting splits when I don't use heat or color and I moisturize. Trimming all at once is pretty pointless because the splits are at different lengths.

  9. I'm so fed up with my split ends :(

    I trim when I remember (hairsalon or I ask my sister) but it means that my hair has remained at the same length for the last 4 years *cries*

  10. Joy-Mari, how long is your hair?

  11. LOL, "The oh my poor hair complex split end" :D !!!
    My split ends drive me to despair. They are very hard to see, so Search+Destroy takes forever and I never get through with it. I would gladly ignore them, but once I manage to get rid of a lot, it always makes a big difference in managing + combing.

  12. Gerlinde, I feel a little shudder whenever I find

  13. I dont think I get split ends! I haven't seen any it possible that I just don't get them? No heat, very little manipulation, lots of moisturizers...

  14. Thank you Thank you Thank you for posting that second set of splits! I thought I was the only one who would have five to ten different crazy looking splits in one strand! I honestly don't care that much because I love my natural hair, but I thought i was abusing my hair and those were incredibly rare. I know I'm not free of guilt, but this made me feel so much better

  15. My 8 yr old daughters hair is natural. It's easy to comb, from the root but at the ends its fuzzy and hard to comb thru. She hasnt had a trim in years. Does this mean she has split ends? Looking at them, I cant tell.

  16. DeNise some questions for you

    1. What hair type is your daughter?
    2. What kind of comb are you using (i.e what is the space between the teeth)
    3. Do you comb her hair dry or do you comb it when it has conditioner in it?

  17. Hi, i absolutely love your blog. I have been lurking around for a while.

    ? on split ends.

    Am in my 6th month of transitioning. My hair was previously APL length (relaxed and very healthy). I have since done a big chop to ear length. My goal is to reach BSL in 18 months. fingers crossed!

    the problem is that i dont see any split ends AT ALL. I try and look but cant find. I cant exactly see the back portion of my hair tho.

    could it be am not looking correctly or i simply dont get them?

    i do moisturize and seal every other day. and use design essential products. and my hair is always in cornrows (wigging it for the next 18 months)

    also, how bad is sulfate shampoos really? i use Design essentials and they have been the best so far. but has sulfates in them. are these really that bad.. can i get away with using without necessarily daming my hair? btw, i now wash every 2 weeks. washing every week was breaking and shedding my hair bad!

  18. Okay I know this is a very old post. I pray that you will still be interested enough to answer my question. : ) I just started back with trimming my ends after a 7 mos stretch. I was on a 2 mos scheduled but then people were saying I was trimming too much. so recently I had a lot of knots and dry crispy ends so I trimmed them and decided I will keep my self on a every 3 mos schedule. I didn't notice Any splits only rough and dry. Once I trimmed that appeared to be gone and I was happy. But now a week later, my ends are starting to feel a little rough again, in certain areas? I"ve been moisturizing everyday, and sealing my ends with shea butter. why are my ends still dry? I don't use heat, and there is no color on my hair. I also wear protective styles often.

    1. I think it's your moisturizing regimen. Think about it like this, every day you are putting moisture on your hair then sealing it. Then you do it again the next day without washing it off. I used to do the same and had damaged hair until I finally gave into the fact that it simply makes no sense scientifically to moisturize and seal hair that has already been moisturized and sealed.

      The more I moisturized, the more I felt the need to, then I find split ends and breakage and reason that it is not working. It is simply build up.

      What I started doing is washing my hair once every one to two weeks with a baby shampoo like Angel Baby which is sulfate free. Then I deep condition with catnip tea (which washes out easily), leave tge tea on and then coat my hair thoroughly with mineral oil.

      After that, the only thing I put on my hair is water. My split ends and breakage magically disappeared (thanks to searching and destroying old ones) and my hair is never weighed down anymore, I never get build up.

      Another thing is I detangle with my hands between washes and then when I wash abd apply the oil that isthe only time I use my wooden comb in moderation to distribute the oil.

      I only wear protective style at night or if I will be out for hours with my kids. Basically only when I want to.

  19. I rarely find splits on my daughter's hair and her hair is baby fine and straight with just a loose curl on the ends. She never gets a big one though, those in the pic woukd be too big to find on her head. She
    is more likely to have one or two fairy knots. I used to think I had split prone hair but looking at my hair now and how my daughter's hair has always been, I think I
    was just not doing what was right for my

    I have done s&d my whole life because I was raised by a single father who thought split ends were a harmless myth since we all had long hair in spite of them.

    But while I do think some s&d is necessary for any healthy hair regimen, I also think that periodic trimming is necessary, with or without split ends. Not everyone getd split ends, but everyone's hair gets damaged and old, this is evidenced by tge fact that while my hair will split at the drop of a dime if my regimen or products are wrong, my hair is a lot longer than many ppl who claim they never get splits. IMO, if your hair is not damaged it should be able to grow. Also fairy knots are also an indication of wear and tear and damage.

    Periodic trimming can keep the age of your hair as young as possible. After all we don't want past mistakes to haunt us forever. It also makes your hair easier to detangle which will overall contribute to less damage for ppl like me whose hair naturally loves to tangle.


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