by Cipriana of UrbanBushBabes.com
There is nothing like the feeling of well moisturized ends, but on the flip side there is nothing like the feeling of dehydrated ends, and let me tell you the latter is a feeling I would rather avoid. Depending on the porosity levels, density of the individual strands, texture and state of your hair (transitioning, coloring, use of heat) some may have to seal their ends more often than others, but there are a few tricks I have learned over the years that have helped me maintain moisture on my ends for longer periods of time.
1. Use thicker oils or butters such as Jamaican Castor oil or Shea butterI have found using thicker oils specifically on my ends provides for longer sessions of moisture. After I have saturated my ends with water I will use my “Love Potion #9” concoction as my first coverage and Jamaican castor oil separately as my final coverage of protection when sealing.
2. After thoroughly saturating your ends with water make sure to squeeze the excess water from your endsRemember normal porosity hair can only absorb so much water. Having unnecessary excess water hanging onto your ends can reduce the cover of protection as you begin to apply your oils. Remember your oils act as a barrier to seal in the moisture. You do not want your oils to slip away because you did not drain your ends first. Your ends should still have a very damp feeling to them but they should not be dripping water.
3. Use twice the coverage of oils on your ends when sealingYour ends are the oldest part of your hair therefore more thirsty. As I always say you’re ends should be treated like your elders. They just need a little more love and attention. Remember the curlier the hair the more difficulty your sebum (the natural oils your scalp secretes) has in reaching your ends due to the very curvy path it has to travel. Sometimes sebum does not reach your ends at all so it is pertinent your ends receive twice the coverage when it comes to applying your oils or butter.
4. Once you have sealed your ends Stop, Drop and Roll, lol, I mean Protect, Oil and RollThis tip is very important for longer lengths. As I previously mentioned the longer the hair the older it is, with the ends being the oldest part. After I seal I braid my ends, twist them, then apply more oil and roll and pin them up till they have dried. Placing your ends in a protective format such as a braid or twist can really keep your ends together and reap more of the advantages of moisture once they have dried. Twisting your ends rather than braiding might work better, especially if you are experiencing feathering (the ends of your hair tapering off in the shape of a feather). All hair naturally tapers off with age but very healthy ends should only taper a little. Also twisting provides an easier release process when you want to remove the protective styled ends.
5. After you have sealed do not manipulate your ends until they have completely driedNo manipulation of your wet sealed ends means higher chances of your ends retaining moisture longer. Keeping your hands off ensures you are not losing any applied moisture.
6. Tuck your ends awayI know this might be the kryptonite advice for someone who loves to wear their hair down but updo styles (where your ends are tucked away) can drastically reduce the amount of moisture you lose from your ends, especially if your hair is shoulder length and longer. When your hair is down wear and tear from clothing and the elements can do a number on your ends. Now women with hair above the shoulder have more of an advantage because it doesn’t make contact with clothing. Also women who constantly cut their hair in shorter styles keep their strands in a “new state”. The hair closer to the root is the newest part of the hair therefore ensuring constantly healthy ends.
7. Become a “Hair Whisperer” for your endsNow I know this might sound strange but your ends will tell you how often they need you to seal. I seal once a week, but I wear my hair in updo styles 24/7. Someone who wears their hair down more often or all the time might have to seal more than once a week. Just like the forces of Mother Nature our body is a force and goes through many changes, whether it be hormones, diet, stress, etc. Both of these forces can easily impact the way our hair behaves so stay in tune and listen to what your ends are telling you.
8. Make sure your ends are healthyLast but certainly not least make sure your ends are at their best before you seal. Trimming or the “search and destroy” method for split ends can drastically change the way your ends retain moisture. Unhealthy ends means you are sealing damage! Those damaged ends can travel further along the strand and create more damage and dryness.
Again these are tips I have acquired over the years due to trial and error and hopefully my errors will result in your success.