My hair also grows fine with damaged ends (strawlike feel, tangles like mad, looks fried etc) and the damage does not seem to spread upwards. I do however not seem to get split hairs which might explain it? As for big-cut and all of that, I think one big part of it is not having to take care of very different textures. Today I keep cutting of fried parts as soon as I see them because they annoy me a lot and I definitely could not make it with a couple of inches of that in my hair.
CG since 8th of September 2013 - learning in progress!

3a/m/iii - waist length wet
Cleanser: Naturelle Volumizing
Conditioner/LI: Garnier Respons Avocadooil and Shea Butter, Schwarzkopf Gliss Ultimate Volume Conditioner
Styling: Eldorado Hairgel Strong