Of all the curly hair problems that require constant attention, split ends are high on the list. They can affect the appearance and overall health of each curling pattern. It's easy to cut split ends, but it's also important to know what's causing them. Read on to learn how to prevent split ends on curly hair.

how to prevent split ends on curly hair

What are split ends?

Your hair grows from the roots, so the ends are the oldest part of your hair. Depending on your hair length, the ends of your hair may have been with you for years! Imagine that the hair ends have seen everything and have been with you all along. How many times have they been washed, styled, or straightened? As a result, the ends of your hair can't last forever, and daily wear and tear on your hair can degrade and wear down the cuticle of your hair over time, exposing the inner cortex. The result is split ends or broken hair.

Different types of split ends

What are split ends?

1. Classic forks of curly hair

The most common type, classic split ends are when the hair splits in half at the top. It looks like a fishtail!

2. Incomplete bifurcation

This type of split occurs when the hair strand weakens at one point, but does not completely split, creating the "eye of a needle" appearance.

3. Tree and feathery split ends

This is when the ends of your hair split multiple times, similar to the appearance of branches or feathers. This also means it's time to prune. The appearance of this condition means that your cuticle layers can't actually hold together.

4. Single-strand knot

These split ends, which are more common in women with naturally curly hair, are also known as "fairy knots," or their technical name, capillary angioma. One strand curls back, forming a small knot, resulting in hair prone to tangles. You can identify it by running your finger along a strand of hair until you encounter a solid bump in it.

5. Y-shaped split

This type of bifurcation is very common. A Y-split is when a strand of your hair splits evenly into two parts, creating a Y-shaped shape.

6. Tapered split ends

Cone-forked ends are not completely forked as in other types. This is when your hair does not split, but rather thinner at the ends, compared to the rest of your hair. This is a good sign that it's time to trim.

Tapered split ends

Is curly hair more prone to split ends?

Curly hair is inherently prone to drying out and cracking at the ends more than other hair types, simply because of the way the strands curl. Naturally textured hair is more likely to crack in curly areas. These curved areas are weaker than the rest of the hair, making it harder for natural hair oil to run down each strand. Because of the way curly hair grows, curly hair causes strands to become entangled more frequently, which makes split ends more likely. There are many reasons why curly hair can split, including:
• Excessive scrubbing or grooming
• Dry your hair roughly with a cotton towel
• Use hair products that contain dried alcohol, sulfates, and other harsh chemicals
• Wear your hair in tight braids, braids, extensions or curls, and so on
• Environments, such as sunlight, wind, and pollution
• There is not enough treatment or protein in the hair treatment routine
• Hair malnutrition
• Hair damaged by hair coloring, excessive styling with heat tools, chemical treatment, hair treatment, hair bleaching

How to stop split ends on curly hair?

Stopping curly hair split ends can take some up-front work. It may sound a little daunting, but just a few changes in your natural hair care lineup, as well as a few styling changes, can keep things under control.

How to stop split ends on curly hair?

1. Get regular curly hair trims

Split hair is like handling a run in a pair of stockings. If you don't stop it in its path, it will continue to grow. Trim split ends to prevent split ends from advancing further into your hairline. Aim for a trim every six weeks or so, or talk to your curling expert to figure out the right pace.

2. Deep conditioning every month

In addition to traditional conditioners, curls benefit greatly from deep moisturizing treatments and hair masks. Ingredients like glycerin and coconut oil keep natural hair from breaking when subjected to pressure such as friction.

3. Create protective builds for your curls

Create a protective look for your natural curls. You can tuck the ends of your hair in to reduce friction and pulling. The same rules apply when it comes to hats and accessories. Before styling your hair, use conditioner or oil to help seal in moisture and add shine.


Split ends are a bad experience that can make you want to grab the scissors and cut them all off. In fact, split ends are inevitable to some extent, and the three tips above can help you reduce them.