Our ends are the most fragile part of our hair. They are the very reason so many African-American women experience breakage and tend to have shorter hair. This does not have to be the case. We can do this! Aside from the need to be gentle with our hair to retain length, we must also properly seal our ends. Since the moisture from our scalp has a hard time getting past all our coils and curls, our ends dry out really fast. To seal your ends mean to “lock” in moisture to your strands using oil or butter. Here’s my technique. Of, course you can make adjustments based on your hair type.
First, to seal your ends you need to start with wet hair. Our hair needs lots of moisture so that it will not dry out and become brittle. It’s a good habit to practice sealing your ends after washing or as needed to control dryness. Be sure to towel blot the excess water. If the hair is too wet the products we apply will slip off. Also be sure to re-wet the hair with a spray bottle of water as the hair begins to dry out during the sealing process.
After adding water, you will want to use a water-based moisturizer or conditioner that lists water as the first ingredient and contains no petroleum, lanolin or mineral oil. During this process, I also like to detangle my hair with my fingers by gently running my fingers through my hair to pull the hair apart and loosen tangles. Then, I take one small section at a time and coat it with the moisturizer from root to end.
For your oil, try olive oil, grapeseed oil or shea butter. Some recommend coconut oil to seal ends, but I find it to be too light for this process (not enough slip + absorbs too much into the hair). Apply a small amount of oil to each small section from root to end. Add a little extra oil to your fingertips and pinch and smooth down the ends. If you find unruly spit ends, trim them. Sealing will not save them.
I like to twist each section as I seals my ends because I find it easier to manage my hair in twists. For those with shorter hair, you may find twisting to be unnecessary. I find it helpful to place my hair in a protective style after sealing. This way, you give your ends some rest from styling.
Do you seal you ends? How often? What products do you find most useful?
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