You’ve worked so hard to finally get your hair to grow to its current length.
Now you’re ready to enjoy life with longer hair. Only there’s a problem.
Split ends. For some, like girls with finer hair, maybe lots of them. But anyone with hair of decent length has ‘em. Which is why everyone hates them so.
So how it’s feel to have longer hair that looks frayed and scraggly or anything but healthy.
Or worse for some there’s all that hideous halo effect going on near their ends. UGH!
It’s so unfair.
Because nothing says traumatized hair like dull, lackluster locks, does it? Embarrassed much?
In addition to being real style killers it’s so and frustrating. And after all the effort you put into your mane too.
But there is a fix. It’s rather ominously called “search and destroy”. Heard of it?
Despite that sinister sounding name this is an amazing micro trimming technique. One that lets you easily clean out those annoying splits.
If that sounds good buckle up. You’re about to learn some tricks that can change hair forever. Ready?
Guided Search and Destroy
- VIDEO: Using The Search And Destroy Hair Method To Get Rid Of Split Ends
- Why Do Ends Split? The Six Main Reasons?
- Search and Destroy Tips | How to Eliminate Split Ends?
This short video clip lays out three ways to accomplish your mission.
VIDEO: Using The Search And Destroy Hair Method To Get Rid Of Split Ends
Obviously the name says it all. Search and destroy (S&D) means to search for your split ends then destroy them with hair shears.
But how do you do that?
If you’re looking for help with the actual “how to” stay tuned.
Spoiler AlertNow there are several ways to find the little suckers. Three are demonstrated in this video. You’ll want to figure out which is best for you.
Basically you want to section to encourage the split ends to show themselves. Then cut maybe a quarter of inch below the split.
This is where using hair shears makes a difference. You want a clean cut. You won’t want to encourage more splitting.
For the first method the steps are as follows:
- Section your clean locks into smaller sections
- Work each section separately running the hair over your finger
- Look for obvious splits
- Snip them off
HOT TIP: The more sections your mane is divided into the better. (Think six to eight)
That’s because you want to be able to flatten the hair across your finger as seen in the video. This encourages the splits to pop up. Problem with thicker sections is it’s easier for splits to remain hidden.
Then there’s the twist method. It’s another way to identify problems.
Finally there’s the braiding method. It’s just like it sounds. Do you hair up in a quick and dirty two strand braid. Closely look it over in bright light. Cut off any splits this process turns up.
BRILLIANT IDEA: Braided hair day anyway? This is the perfect opportunity to get rid of some more splits. Because over the course of the day the problem strands will naturally pop through. More than with the two strand braid method shared. Then eliminate them in the evening while watching TV. Problem resolved.
That’s a special nugget braid lovers might want to glom onto if splits are an issue.
Why Do Ends Split? Here’s Six Reasons
If you need a reminder here’s the most common causes of split ends laid out in an easy to grasp format.
Exploring the common culprits like this is a good last stop before we get into the split end killing tips, don’t you think? Because isn’t this what everyone wants to know or should?
Search and Destroy Tips | How to Eliminate Split Ends
Here are 10 tips you’ll almost always regret ignoring if you’re looking for help when it comes to winning the “How To Eliminate Split Ends” game.
Also note none involve taking a flamethrower to your locks.
TIP#1: Your Goal The big idea here is to methodically single out any damaged or dead ends. Snip these bad boys off. Leave the rest of the strand untouched.
Now a head of hair free of split ends is NOT the goal. Keeping them in check is.
Oh and if it helps while playing the game of “I Spy” with your hair here’s some of the types of split ends you may come across. Plus some every day bad hair habits to avoid to help keep them at bay to begin with.
TIP#2: Suffering From a Multiplier Effect? Does it seem the more splits you destroy the more you see? If so, let me ask you this. What kind of scissors you using? Anything but sharp, official hair shears, even budget friendly ones like these from Goody, are a big no no.
That’s right. Craft, kitchen, or scissors from your kid’s back pack could be creating more problems than they solve. Leaving you with more frayed ends chewed off by dull blades.
On the other hand, hair shears give you a clean, precise cut.
Don’t know what to look for? Our post on hair cutting shears can help.
TIP#3: Hair Type Matters Yeah hair type also plays a role in how prone your hair is to splits. For example some feel fine hair splits more easily than thicker strands.
TIP#4: Bright Lights Contrasting Background Some find spreading out their ends in front of piece of white paper makes splits easier to spot. Adding a bright light to the picture can make a difference too.
TIP#5: Sectioning Working with smaller sections makes the task seem less overwhelming. Especially if you split this chore up and spread it out over several days.
TIP#6: Don’t Go All OCD Truth is splits are everywhere in your mane. Everyone’s mane. (Well okay not those with a pixie cut.) Still, having split free hair is about as rare as Big Foot sighting in your back yard. So close counts.
In other words don’t go for pristine, split-less tresses. You’ll never get all of them.
Still if your hair isn’t feeling all smooth and silky it may be time for a little S&D action. Otherwise don’t let this stress you out.
TIP#7: Keep It Real Remember too if your hair is much shorter, doing this will be harder. That’s because you won’t really be able to see your ends closely. And you’ll likely be doing the back with the help of a friend or by your sense of touch.
TIP#8: Zen Mindset The search and destroy method for trimming should only be done under the following conditions:
- You have time for some mindless snipping without being rushed
- You’re in a mellow mood and feeling particularly patient
Otherwise don’t bother.
I’m not gonna lie. It takes time. But it’s so worth it.
TIP#9: All Lighting Situations Are Not the Same While you may not think so, the type of lighting can make a difference when searching.
Yeah different lighting can cause some split to be visible where they weren’t before. Which may be why you feel you keep turning up these little devils even in hair already treated.
Some report success with the glow coming off their computer.
Some like to sit near a window with bright light.
Others prefer doing this outside in direct sunlight.
The best lighting? It’s the one you use to keep your love affair with the S&D habit going.
TIP#10: Don’t Go Crazy This process can be quite addictive. But some find going wild with this S&D stuff just isn’t smart as that can lead to thin ends. Which isn’t going to help your quest for longer hair if that’s what you’re going for.
Because sooner or later that thinning will mean a trim to keep your locks looking pretty and healthy.
Look. Split ends are a fact of life. We all got them.
Battling them consistently is smart.
Making it your life’s work is not.
TIP#11: Easier Styling There’s a side benefit here. That is you may find even clearing out what seems like a small number of splits makes your hair easier to work with. It will look healthier too.
So trim the offender about a quarter of an inch above the damage and call it good.
TIP#12: Sharp Scissors Mentioned before but worth repeating. Make sure your scissors are sharp. Dull scissors shred the hair more than cut it which only creates more splits.
So if you feel like your split ends are multiplying you may want to buy new scissors.
Again even the most diligent won’t banish all the problem ends with S&D. But that’s okay. You just want to beat them back enough so your hair is something you can live with without being self-conscious.
Listen. If you’d love more killer hair care tips like these please follow our Hair Tricks and Tips board on Pinterest! Your hair will thank you.