Mid-strand split nightmare (long)

I posted about a year about a problem I had with mid-strand splits. The problem seems to have gotten even worse. I see my strands thickening around the bend, forming and incomplete split and eventually and midstrand split. This time they are on the whole strand. I'm wanting to get rid of the damage but I don't want to big chop. Is there a way that I can transition without big chopping?

I think the damage is from all of the stretching and combing that I've put my hair through. My strands are medium and fine and I even started noticing the splits on fine strands. I normally wear my hair in two strand twists and my mother normally styles it this way. Before the splits were only on the ends. I've though about solely finger combing my hair until next spring and then chopping off the damage. Do think this is a good idea?
I think "protective" styling may not be for me. My hair hasn't retained length and it's more damaged now than it has ever been since I've been natural. Sigh.
Whoop whoop!
GIFSoup
Last relaxer: December 20, 2008
4a/b, medium-fine, normal porosity & elasticity, thick
Mid shaft split ends are one of the most wicked forms of split ends.They take far more length than the 'normal' split will do.This means that your hair stands have been weakened and damage could be due to too much manipulation,dry hair e.t.c I suggest you do a heavy protein treatment every 6 weeks it will help fill in the weak spots that might eventually turn into splits.Also up your moisturizing treatments and continue with your low manipulation styles.If finger detangling works for you then that will be a good thing to do.Slowly trim an amount of hair per month till you get rid of all the midshaft splits.I hope my suggestion is helpful
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Sorry this is so long. I tried to edit as much as possible. I'm just very verbose.

Why do you say protective styling may not be for you? Have you ever done protective styling before? If so, what was/were your style of choice?

I've experienced this severely before and mildly as of late. I've posted about it a lot before if you care to search. In a nutshell here's what I've done that got me a remedy: cutting off the damage (there's really no way around this if you want optimally healthy strands of hair), protective styling, moisturizing and sealing my hair daily, no heat, low manipulation, and protective styling(oh I already mentioned that).lol

In my experience, the mid strand splits are brought on by a combination of things. The most important is not having a proper balance of moisture and protein. Secondly, excessive tension, which is what you've identified. Manipulating the hair too often and too harshly will wreck havoc on your strands- especially kinky curly ones. The natural haven did a blog post about the structure of kinky hair and how over stretching it can encourage those splits. I wish I was eloquent enough to explain it. I'd try if I weren't on my iPod. Lastly, HEAT. Self explanatory really. this is the main cause of my recent, but much smaller, setback.

The first time around I just did a bc down to 1 inch and started from scratch because it was easier. I tried the gradual trimming but I had too much damage. Not even mini chops were helping. The thing with doing it gradually is that they will get worse if you're not cutting off enough of the damage. I wore extensions for 6 months after I bc'd and when I took them out I had a plan on managing my hair and it worked well for me (kept them at bay foe over a year, did not need to trim my hair much at all).All I did was moisturize and seal my hair everyday , and I did my hair on a weekly basis (wash, dc, detangling). I detangled less often if i wore twists. I wore twist outs during the summer and twists during the fall/winter.

I started to slack on my regimen and used heat twice and then the setback came. This time I'm not gonna do another bc because I don't have that much damage. Its at the ends for the most part. I did a trim before I put in my current protective style and I'll see how much more I need to trim after I take these out.

I won't tell you how much to cut because it's up to your level of comfort, but if you've had this problem for a while and it isn't getting any better then you may have to just bite the bullet for the sake of healthh hair. But then again, the extent of the problem may not be as bad as you think so it is possible to do it gradually if you stay on top of your maintenance. Really assess your damage though. Looking at the shed hair is a good way to gauge the extent of the damage. And consider your rate of growth in this as well. That may help you make a better decision. If it seems slower than average, choping as much as possible may be a better option. You may notice better retention or "faster growth" afterwards, like me. If its average or above average, you may can do well with the gradual approach. I'd advise against waiting till next spring to do any cutting though. Not a good idea IMO. That will just give the splits more time for traveling up the hair strand. There's no stopping them. At the very least start a trim schedule/regimen if you're adamant against mini chops or a bc.

Finger combing is a really good idea. I haven't used a tool since maybe march or April.

Get that moisture/protein balance in order. Work on those cuticles. The healthier they are the less damage your hair will experience. Evaluate your products and their ingredients. How's the overall feel of your hair?

Decreasing manipulation will benefit you as well. How do you normally wear your hair? Do you have a relatively consistent process or regimen? It's getting cooler outside and dry weather is approaching as well. You should think about how you'll wear your hair if you don't want to put it away.



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I have to say I disagree with anyone who thinks you should continue stretching your hair. I am in the same situation as you with hip length damaged hair, all because some lady on youtube claimed you can prevent split ends by doing braid out's only. Now my entire hair midshaft is damaged and my ends are healthy. My husband thinks I am just obsessing, so cutting my hair off is going to make him think that even more. I am going to trim a half inch per month. My advice is do not stretch your hair. Wear a loose bun. Right now everything will aggravate the splits but a healthy low tension regimen will help your new hair grow in stronger. Although lack of moisture can be a cause, in your case having healthy ends, it is NOT. Do not stretch your hair! My hair is fine like yours, I don't even dry braid it now. My advice is do a hair porosity test and follow the regimen of someone with healthy hair who has the same porosity.
I am in the same situation as you with hip length damaged hair, all because some lady on youtube claimed you can prevent split ends by doing braid out's only. Now my entire hair midshaft is damaged and my ends are healthy..
Originally Posted by hiplengthcurls
I don't get how a braidout would prevent a splitend. Can u explain her reasoning?
Sorry to hear about the mid shaft splits. It just sounds like you have really fine hair. Many fine heads avoid twists because they can cause splits, and tangles on fine hair. Since you have been wearing twist; it might just be mechanical damage. Also I have noticed that extension hair damages some fine hair.

Good luck, we all have to learn our hair, may you have a setback free journey from now on.
I think that her logic is old fashioned and wives talish. A braid theoretically would keep the hair moisturized better but it never ever did that for me. Fitting braids wet or dry cause me split ends because it overstretched my fine strands and decreases circulation to already long hair at that.


I also want to take back what I said about the bun. Bunning made my breakage worse since my last post. Let your hair loose. I would recommend clarifying and then trying the loc method, and maybe conditioner washing daily. Clarify once a month. Eat spinach, walnuts, sprouted seeds, meat, veggies, yogurt...veggies cooked and raw. Chicken bone broth is good. Massage your scalp to bring nutrients into your hair.


I am in the same situation as you with hip length damaged hair, all because some lady on youtube claimed you can prevent split ends by doing braid out's only. Now my entire hair midshaft is damaged and my ends are healthy..
Originally Posted by hiplengthcurls
I don't get how a braidout would prevent a splitend. Can u explain her reasoning?
Originally Posted by adthomas
For those suffering with midstrand splits do you use products with glycerin? I live a dry heat area and figured it was giving me splits because it made my hair extremely dry..It took me awhile to figure out that straight glycerin with water wasnt helping me. I stopped using it in February and my hair seems to be getting better. My mom told me once that I had these splits as a child, im not sure if she knows what im talking about, however I never seen mid strand splits until after i jumped into hair care and started doing everything under the sun to my hair. So i believe glycerin made my hair have holes and shred the ends due to dryness..It was bad..At one time my relaxed damaged hair was healthier then my natural hair
I read this comment last night before washing my hair so being I am a product junkie I browsed through to see if I had a conditioner/oil/cream combo that did not have glycerin. I figured it would be worth trying to see if things get better over a period of time. I used Giovanni Deep Conditioner as a leave-in, grapeseed oil and Shea Moisture Curl and Styling Milk (not the smoothie). So far, so good. I have not seen any new midshaft splits in excess. I expect a few because it will take time. But I did notice that especially when I was heavy handed with glycerin products, my hair seemed like it got worse. So I thought I would try. If you have dry hair like mine maybe try that combo for a while. Or you could do almond or jojoba oil as well. I tend to do loc method and co-wash a lot because my hair loves water but it gets greasy with constant layering.






For those suffering with midstrand splits do you use products with glycerin? I live a dry heat area and figured it was giving me splits because it made my hair extremely dry..It took me awhile to figure out that straight glycerin with water wasnt helping me. I stopped using it in February and my hair seems to be getting better. My mom told me once that I had these splits as a child, im not sure if she knows what im talking about, however I never seen mid strand splits until after i jumped into hair care and started doing everything under the sun to my hair. So i believe glycerin made my hair have holes and shred the ends due to dryness..It was bad..At one time my relaxed damaged hair was healthier then my natural hair
Originally Posted by jessie57888
I had issues with mid-strand splits too. Ever since I switched over to the Tangle Teezer those and single strand knots have decreased ALOT. I'm sissor happy too so I've been gradually clipping my ends and the mid-strand spits disappeared.

I never thought about braids being damaging. I do braid outs once a week and maybe a twistout over the old braid out in between wash days and I haven't seen any bad effects from the braiding or twisting. I don't have any other choice because my hair tangles ridiculously easily so at my length a wash n go is out of the question. I wish I could finger detangle so bad because I would like to get rid of using any tools but that's not going to happen
So... I always hear two conflicting views.... wearing hair in it's shrunken state causes tangles, breakage, & splits (which is true for my fine kinky hair... at least the tangles and the breakage... I've yet to find any splits in my hair). But then others say stretching the hair causes those same things... it's so confusing. I'd think pretty kinky hair is better off stretched than tangling around it self.
I read this comment last night before washing my hair so being I am a product junkie I browsed through to see if I had a conditioner/oil/cream combo that did not have glycerin. I figured it would be worth trying to see if things get better over a period of time. I used Giovanni Deep Conditioner as a leave-in, grapeseed oil and Shea Moisture Curl and Styling Milk (not the smoothie). So far, so good. I have not seen any new midshaft splits in excess. I expect a few because it will take time. But I did notice that especially when I was heavy handed with glycerin products, my hair seemed like it got worse. So I thought I would try. If you have dry hair like mine maybe try that combo for a while. Or you could do almond or jojoba oil as well. I tend to do loc method and co-wash a lot because my hair loves water but it gets greasy with constant layering.
Originally Posted by hiplengthcurls


Giving it time and testing it out is a good idea. I stop using glycerin in February 2013 and Im about 90% sure that glycerin ruined my hair. I was cutting inches off my hair off each month because I was trying to get rid of the damage and it just kept coming back and wasn't improving..
I made a hair diary to help figure out the cause and wrote about what i was doing t my hair. I even researched midstrand splits... most are not sure why it happens and just ignored it as something that happens so i got very little help from that.. I thought it was my diet, stretching my hair my hair, styling it the wrong way(i protective style all the time so that wasnt it). Finding the cause of my problem was very difficult
I soon realized that my hair was dry no matter what I did and it just wouldn't stay moisturize. Hair holds small amounts of water and the glycerin was pulling this water out causing serious dryness, splits and breakage.

Even though I had all this damage I'm very surprised how my hair never broke off. My hair got short because I cut it. I had hair that was split in 10 different place and was still was able to hold on even through combing and washing . My hair is quite strong despite all the splits So my hair practices and health are not the cause.

Its going to take awhile to undo all the damage i created.I was using my spray glycerin mixture for awhile and its weaken my ends so i need to trim every few months but not as a much as last year. I trimmed before braiding my hair and saw a few bad ends but the damage is very minimal so i see improvement..finally..

right now I just use water and oil to moisture and seal my hair since its in braids and i dont want buildup. I also stopped using products with glycerin and adding too many products to my hair... I to noticed that the products with glycerin never really worked for my hair and just made it very dry. I've heard that not using protein can stop midstrand splits. I cant use it a lot but once a month is good enough. Im going to give myself a hair check up at the end of summer to see whats up but i feel like i'm on the right track.

Last edited by jessie57888; 07-23-2013 at 02:16 AM.

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