By Cipriana of Urbanbushbabes.com
There is nothing more frustrating than sealing your ends only to have them look like tumbleweeds a few days later. Now since I wear my hair in updo protective styles 24/7 my tumbleweed moments have become a distant memory but I can relate to all of you who love to wear your hair out or rock protective styles freeform. The featured picture above shows my ends in two different states. The ‘Before’ picture:
is the end of one of my twists just washed with conditioner, then immediately ends are sealed, left to air and worn down for two days. The ‘After’ picture:
These are my ends two days later done with the same exact steps and treatment except tweaked with a special technique I created. If you are experiencing dry ends just a few days after sealing I may have an easy, longer lasting solution that will work for you.
Our ends tend to go haywire on us quickly because they are the oldest (and therefore most fragile) part of the hair. And the curlier the strand the more difficulty sebum has lubricating your ends. Sebum is the natural oils your sebaceous glands secrete to lubricate scalp and hair. Sebaceous glands are microscopic glands in the skin throughout most of the body, but mostly populated on the scalp and face. They actively moisturize our hair but, because of the curly road sebum has to travel, it may not even reach your ends. Remember, it is much easier for the oil to run down a wavy or straighter strand versus extremely curly which is why it is important to have a regular sealing routine.
Now you may be thinking ‘YES, I have implemented a regular sealing routine into my regimen but WHY after just a few days have my ends turned into tumbleweeds? How can I assure a longer lasting sealing routine?’ Below is the breakdown of the WHY and what you can actually do about it.
Dry, Frazzled Ends
As I mentioned earlier the ‘Before’ picture is the end of one of my twists just washed with conditioner, then immediately ends are sealed, left to air dry and worn down for two days. YES, just after two days of wearing my twist down ladies, my ends take on a very straw like feeling. Now for those of you who know me, you know good and well I do not wear my hair down, but I wanted to demonstrate the effects wearing my hair down have on my ends, even when sealing. So, if your hair is relatively healthy and you are experiencing a similar affect your ends may not be damaged, but just appear to be.
Part of the reason is porosity levels and density of your individual strands. Even though my strands are normal porosity levels I still deal with absorption issues. My hair is a sponge so products dissipate very easily, add the fact that my strands are super fine and can fray on my clothing, and this translates to ends breakage if I wore my hair down on a daily basis. Of course you can seal every other day, but that may not be an option for those with hectic schedules.
5 years ago I created a technique which I call ‘Operation Protective Seaweed’, consisting of 6, quick and simple steps for refreshing your ends and turning those tumbleweeds into seaweeds.
Operation Protective Seaweed
Tools & Ingredients:
Your favorite sealing product
Part the hair and twist into 6–12 chunky twists. If you have super thick/dense hair try 10–12 twists.
Take one sectioned off twist and saturate your ends with the water bottle. To keep the rest of your hair dry place the nozzle directly above your ends.
Once your ends are fully saturated with water, squeeze the excess water from your ends with your fingers only. Draining the excess water from your ends gives them a longer lasting seal. When you place any type of product on soaking wet hair the product will most likely drip away and not have a chance to hold on to your ends and create a barrier to protect them.
Generously place your favorite oil or butter onto your ends
- Bobby Pin:
Now place your thumb in between the bobby pin and proceed to wrap your ends along one side of the bobby pin like this:
Placing your ends along one side of the bobby pin creates a miniature size clamp. Once you have finished wrapping, place the bobby pin in the chunky twist right above the wrapped area. This assures extra hold. Remember that the hair is at a more fragile state when wet due to water weight so the wrapping should be firm but not tight.
- Air Dry:
Let ends air dry and unravel. Before you unravel I would recommend placing extra oil or shea butter on the wrapped ends before removing the bobby pin. As I mentioned before your ends should be firmly placed around the bobby pin but not too tightly. If done correctly you should be able to slide your ends from the bobby pin by unclamping the bobby pin, and sliding your ends gently from the pin. Depending on the bulk of hair you have wrapped around the bobby pin your ends might resemble this coily pattern once they have fully dried. The ‘After’ picture is the natural pattern of my hair when stretched.
*Repeat steps 1–6 one twist at a time. This way your ends are guaranteed to have the same results and benefits versus trying to do all your twists at the same time. Also let ends completely dry before you remove the bobby pins. Less manipulation and making sure ends are completely dry will only increase better results.
Keeping your ends tucked and left to air dry after you have sealed versus leaving them down and left to air dry produces more sound results in a longer lasting sealing method. This method I created is just another version of the tucking method but amplified for even longer lasting sealed ends
This method sounds really effective! Thanks Cipriana for sharing this! Ladies, have you tried this? How do you seal your ends?